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Roman Reigns hasn’t forgiven Philadelphia for ‘ruining’ Royal Rumble win ahead of WrestleMania 40 return

Roman Reigns plans to wash a bad taste out of his mouth at WWE WrestleMania XL. Reigns returns to Philadelphia, the site of his heavily criticized 2015 Royal Rumble win, looking to upset the same fans who robbed him of a career highlight that night.

Reigns’ music blared over the Wells Fargo Center as he eliminated Rusev to win the Royal Rumble on Jan. 25, 2015. It was a bucket list moment that few superstars tick off, but his career-high achievement was drowned out by deafening jeers.

“I was booed, historically. You think about these moments. You dream about them,” Reigns said in clip from an upcoming episode of “Biography: WWE Legends” obtained exclusively by CBS Sports. “And the moment that it actually happens, it’s like they’re playing the worst soundtrack of all time over your moment, ruining your party. That’s how the Rumble in Philly felt.”

WWE fans were not ready to have Reigns as their marquee player; they felt as if he was being forced down their throats by management. At the time, fan sentiment was firmly behind Daniel Bryan.

With Bryan being eliminated halfway through the Rumble, the deflated crowd pushed against the rest of the match. Everything from Reigns winning to his cousin, The Rock, raising his hand after the bell reeked of corporate design. Ironic that Reigns and The Rock will share the ring once again this year in the Night 1 main event of WrestleMania XL against Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins.

Reigns is still bitter about the live response to his achievement back in 2015.

“I try to forget Philly. I try to forget the Royal Rumble,” Reigns said. “There’s only one positive, and that’s the fact that it’s going to be able to tie all the way back around at WrestleMania 40.”

Reigns and The Rock will stand together in Philadelphia on April 6 in that Night 1 match. Rhodes, this year’s Royal Rumble winner who will fight Reigns in the Night 2 main event on April 7 for the undisputed WWE universal championship, and Rollins, Reigns’ former Shield compatriot who stole his crowning moment at WrestleMania 31 in 2015, will be on the other side. 

WrestleMania XL takes place in Lincoln Financial Field. Reigns’ episode of “Biography: WWE Legends” premieres Sunday, March 31 on A&E.

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