As previously noted, the face-to-face confrontation between John Cena and Universal Champion Roman Reigns during the August 13th 2021 edition of WWE Smackdown had references to CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, and Nikki Bella.
Steve Carrier of RingsideNews.com noted the following regarding the segment…
John Cena and Roman Reigns brought fire to their #SmackDown segment this week. We have learned a few interesting things about what went down.
Michael Kirschenbaum wrote the segment, and it's unclear if Cena & Reigns even saw each other beforehand, because there was no rehearsal.
— Steve Carrier of Ringside News (@steve_carrier) August 14, 2021
Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com confirmed RSN’s report and added that John Cena and Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) were responsible for their own lines. It was said that the three of them “wanted to put some shock value into it to get people talking.” Prior to Smackdown, Twitter account @WrestleVotes wrote that WWE was looking to “amp up the rivalry” between Cena and Reigns heading into Summerslam.
Meltzer wrote that Michael Kirschenbaum’s role “was just to keep it promo going off the rails and he was the guy who was accountable to Vince McMahon, and to make sure Kevin Dunn knew the music cues.”