WWE kicked off SmackDown this week with a heated back-and-forth promo segment with John Cena and Roman Reigns. They pulled it off masterfully, especially considering the fact that they did not rehearse beforehand. It was previously reported that Jamie Noble produced the segment, but he was not the only one involved.
Ringside News has learned that Jamie Noble was the producer on this segment, but he “stayed on headsets” during that time. Michael Kirschenbaum was the writer assigned to the segment. Cena wrote his own part while Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman handled Roman’s part.
This was an interesting segment for fans at home and for those backstage as well. A tenured member of the creative team told us “I don’t even know if [Cena and Reigns] talked before the segment.” Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman were also not in Gorilla Position until just before they went out to confront Cena. There was a time when some were wondering “where are they?”
There was no rehearsal for that opening segment either. In fact, we were told “I don’t even know if they saw each other beforehand or if they knew what the other was going to say.” They said a lot and those reactions were genuinely organic. It was also “a sellout” at the monitor backstage.
The segment went incredibly well and captured the attention of the WWE Universe. John Cena’s direct reference to Dean Ambrose generated a lot of buzz, and CM Punk also seemingly referenced Cena’s line about him.
We will have to see what WWE does to continue the feud between John Cena and Roman Reigns, but they made a lot of noise this week on the blue brand’s show.
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