Roman Reigns 24/7 Online

June 27, 2020

After opting not to perform in the ring during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WWE superstar talks about preparing for a return to the ‘new normal’ in wrestling

Roman Reigns (real name: Leati Joseph Anoai) has reason to claim that he is one of the most prolific names in sports entertainment, be it his controversial career graph, his immaculate success inside the ring, or his inspiring story of beating leukaemia and returning to action. Earlier this year, the former WWE champion made the headlines for opting out of performing in the ring for WWE due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the USA, even though the sports entertainment outfit was deemed an essential business.

When Reigns pulled out — he was set to face-off against veteran wrestler Goldberg in a championship bout at Wrestlemania before being replaced by Braun Strowman — there was speculation over whether it was for health reasons or if he had a fallout with his employer.

However, the 35-year-old clarifies that he is in perfect health, and that he took the decision as his wife (former athlete and fitness model Galina Becker) was expecting twins, and he did not want to expose his family to the virus.

In an exclusive interview with MetroPlus, Reigns talks about balancing fatherhood while keeping his fitness routine intact at home as he prepares to make a comeback into the ‘new normal’ that awaits him at WWE.

Congratulations on the twins. How has the last couple of months been as a father?

It’s been tough… it is hard to get two babies coordinated and on the same schedule, so that they don’t keep you up all night! They seem to have this little trick they like to play at about 6.30 in the morning, that is when I really wake up bright-eyed and ready to go… but it has been great. It has been a great blessing to have two more additions, and to be able to expand our family tree.

How important was it for you to clarify that you were not performing during the pandemic, because you did not want to put your family at risk?

For me, I just had to make a choice for my family. The company (WWE) has done everything that they can to make it the safest work environment possible. It is not the workplace that I was necessarily concerned about.

The decision was taken mainly because each performer travels so much, and we are all such a diverse group and from all over the place. I’m not convinced, and I can’t trust the fact that everybody is taking it as seriously and locking themselves down at home like I am. I trust my life with my co-workers every time I step foot in the ring, but I just can’t put the same trust when it has my children, my wife and my family involved.

But I don’t want it to come off as I am taking a stand against the company at all, because I love the WWE. I’ve been a part of this company just since I was a little boy. That’s why I always take it so personally when I represent them.

Roman Reigns and David Spade talk about their first impressions of each other while filming Netflix’s “The Wrong Missy,” Spade’s future as Braun Strowman’s manager and more.

On 5/19/2020 WWE Superstar Roman Reigns joins Larry and Kevin to discuss his partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support blood cancer patients during the COVID-19 crisis


Episode Info
WWE superstar Roman Reigns joins the Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 Edition of The Patrick Johnson Show to talk deciding not to wrestle for the WWE during the COVID-19 pandemic, his relationship with the company, his diagnoses of leukemia, and much more!!!

Here on the Patrick Johnson show got an interview coming up in just a few minutes with WWE Superstar Roman Reigns Ever since all of this broke out with covid-19 it affected sports and. we are experiencing the new normal of all of these major sporting events possibly being played or even being you know played without anybody in the stands WWE had to face this right around the time they were going to have their signature event of the Year WrestleMania.
One of the headline matches was Roman Reigns against Goldberg for the world championship Roman Reigns the WWE Superstar who is a two-time survivor of leukemia had Pull out of the event and also has held himself out because of his health situation, and he is unfortunately could be very susceptible to this covid-19 burlier this morning. I had a chance to speak to WWE Superstar Roman Reigns, and we talked about a myriad of topics including his relationship right now with World Wrestling Entertainment going on Saturday morning.
PJ: Good morning to you buddy. It’s great to have you on the Patrick Johnson show here. Just want to get an update. Update on how you’re doing physically right now with everything going on covid-19 is your health good
Roman: Right now things are good. And you know, I’m very blessed to be in a position where I still have a job and they’ve been very supportive of me, you know taking control of I guess my narrative and  protecting myself and my family I can’t thank of WWE enough, you know new babies  and the opportunity to protect their family.
PJ: So  just to clarify cause you know, there’s a lot of chatter about this. From wrestling fans you and the WWE are good right now, right?
Roman: Me and the WWE have always been good and we will always be good. They could fire me today and I would still be so grateful for the opportunities that I have been afforded in the times and you know, the memories and friendships and relationships that I created in WWE. WWW will Always be good with me. That’s for sure WWE
PJ: Superstar Roman Reigns joining us here on the PGA show today. Leukemia Survivor one-time College. All player with Georgia Tech and he is speaking today with the group LLS are on behalf of the group LLS the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We’re going to have a little bit more on that it just a minute plus another special guest joining us, but  Roman Reigns is on the phone line with us right now.
PJ: Roman as far as the decision to pull out of WrestleMania and kind of hold out right now while this pandemic is going on being a two-time leukemia Survivor. What went into that decision how much consulting did you do with your medical team? Maybe with the WWE’s medical team Etc.
Roman: You know, I had you know, the help of my doctors, LLS, but it was mainly just a personal choice that I had to make as an individual, you know, not only just for myself and my family but just, you know, for my community as well. I think that every scenario is different and we’re all individuals and we have to think like but I had to think for myself and you know make that choice for my family.
PJ: any time anyone hears the word cancer. It’s a scary diagnosis. I have to imagine it was both times, but maybe how was that diagnosis and you receiving that news different the second time around than the first time around for you
Roman: you know, I so young and there wasn’t a huge support system for me, the second time around I had you know a huge fear. I’m losing everything I had worked for, losing my job, losing my dreams. You know the first time it happened I had no clue what you know about being a wrestler being with WWE achieving the things that I’ve been able to achieve. So losing all that was very scary. But as soon as I shared it with the world to feel that that outpouring of support you know wrapped a huge security blanket wrapped around me. It just made me know that I made the right choice by sharing it and it just really shows the positivity that we still have in this world, but the internet and the connectivity of social media and some people really try to use it in a very negative way, but my story kind of showcases the positivity and the support.

Video

WWE superstar Roman Reigns says he’s champing at the bit to get back in the ring … but can’t take any chances with his health because he needs to “protect” his young children.

“We just had two newborn twins, twin boys,” Reigns says … “They’re 8 weeks old so I had to make a decision for them.”

As we previously reported, Reigns opted out of performing at Wrestlemania 36 back in April — citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people … they think that it was based off of my heath and the history of my fight against leukemia. Talking to my doctors and stuff, I actually am fine and my immune system is good,” Reigns explained.

“The drugs that I take to fight the leukemia, they don’t attack your immune system.”

Reigns says the decision was “bigger than me” — “It’s my family, it’s my children, they are my legacy. No matter what I do in this world, my children are gonna be the ones to represent my name and carry our name forward. So I had to make that choice for them, to protect them being so young.”

The 34-year-old says he misses wrestling like crazy — “I wanna be out there, I wanna get back to work, I wanna get back to normal but I just feel like I have an obligation not only to my family and myself but to my community.”

“Also, to set the example because at the end of the day, we can do a lot of different things and say a lot of different things but its through our actions that really speaks volume. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Watch Roman Reigns in a sit-down interview with Muscle & Fitness Magazine


WWE superstar Roman Reigns was trending toward the NFL when he was diagnosed with leukemia during rookie camp. He since has become one of the biggest WWE superstars on the planet.


WWE superstar Roman Reigns was trending toward the NFL when he was diagnosed with leukemia during rookie camp. He since has become one of the biggest WWE superstars

Muscle & Fitness Magazine Full Print Layout

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Photographer @eschultz for Muscle and Fitness Magazine shared the full magazine layout for the April 2020 edition of Muscle & Fitness featuring Roman Reigns. You can see the full spread posted on our

WWE Superstar Roman Reigns on His Return to the Wrestling Ring
The wrestling superstar shares his life story and battle with leukemia.
by Zack Zeigler & Anthony O’Reilly | @muscle_fitness

It was a storyline twist even the most astute WWE fans never saw coming.

On Oct. 22, 2018, Roman Reigns entered the ring in Providence, RI, uncharacteristically dressed in street clothes and greeted with a mix of cheers and jeers.  The reaction was to be expected. At 6’3″, 265 pounds, the strong, athletic, and ring-savvy half- Samoan, half-Italian bruiser had become one of the most polarizing WWE Superstars on the roster. Reigns—a six-time WWE champ who had headlined the previous four WrestleManias—had built a massive fan base during his six-year tenure. But there also were factions within the WWE Universe that viewed his main-event push as forced and used any opportunity to let him know it.

As Reigns stood in the center of the ring, mic in hand and the WWE Universal Championship belt draped over his shoulder, he took an extra beat before he spoke. He wasn’t there to goose the crowd or further a story angle, he was there to reveal that the man behind the character—Leati “Joe” Anoa’i, a husband and father of three—had leukemia and would need to step away from WWE for treatment.

“It was such a heavy moment,” he recalls. “If that was going to be my last 10 minutes out in that ring, I didn’t care what noises they made. I wanted to feel everything.”

Unscripted and partially scripted WWE bits can be memorable. (The Brawl for All tourney in 1998, CM Punk’s 2011 “pipe bomb” promo, and Edge’s 2020 return to the ring all come to mind.) But Reigns’ off-script monologue connected on a different level. It wasn’t someone with an ax to grind; it was a visibly rattled, healthy-looking 33-year-old athlete—a larger-than-life WWE Superstar at the top of his game—confessing that he’d been pulled into a fight with cancer for the second time in 11 years.

It was gut-wrenching to witness and a reminder that cancer is indiscriminate and something nobody can muscle his way out of—not even Roman Reigns.

Joe Football
Before he was “the Big Dog,” Joe Anoa’i was an athletic kid from Pensacola, FL. Though his family had deep roots in pro wrestling—’90s and ’00s WWE Legends such as Yokozuna, Umaga, and Rikishi are all part of the same bloodline (and though Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t technically related, they refer to each other as cousins)— he didn’t grow up privileged.

“There’s a huge misconception that I grew up with a silver spoon,” he says. “It wasn’t like that. I lived in a small one-story cinder-block home with three bedrooms and one bath.”

Joining the family business wasn’t even his first career choice. As a standout defensive tackle at Georgia Tech University who earned first-team All-ACC honors his senior year in 2006, Anoa’i eyed a career in the NFL.

He signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent, but a team physical raised red flags about his health. Anoa’i was sent home, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a slowly progressing cancer of the body’s white blood cells that can hinder one’s ability to fight infections, control bleeding, and transport oxygen; he was released.

“I was 22 years old, and the carrot [of playing in the NFL] is almost in my hand, and it slipped right out. On top of that, my wife was pregnant…everything was falling apart. I felt like I was on an island with nobody to relate to.”

Treatment for leukemia can range from oral medication to chemotherapy to radiation to stem-cell transplants, based on severity. Anoa’i would be given a less invasive oral chemo, which sent his cancer into remission. After trying to get his football career back on track, including stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars and a season in the Canadian Football League, he hung up his cleats for good in 2008.

“I thought I had some pretty good skills, but it just didn’t work out,” he says. “But I also believe everything happens for a reason.

Making it Reign
Being a WWE Superstar is a nonstop grind because the show never stops. Live shows occur around the country year-round three to four nights a week. Living out of a suitcase and being away from family and friends most weeks isn’t a schedule that suits everyone. But Anoa’i knew about life on the road before signing a WWE developmental deal in 2010.

“My father and uncle were quite successful [in wrestling], but they were living in the moment and having a good time,” he explains. “Thinking about the future wasn’t necessarily a priority.

“In this business, you can go from being on top to not having a pot to piss in, so you have to stay conscious of who you are, where you come from, and where you’re trying to go. You have to know what anchors you. For me, it’s my humble beginnings.”

Anoa’i’s work ethic was anything but average, so he spent two years learning the ropes at Florida Championship Wrestling (later rebranded NXT in 2012).

Outside the ring, he shed more than 30 pounds from his 300-pound football-playing weight and began training like a bodybuilder instead of loading massive amounts of weight onto a bar, he sought to develop strength while improving his mind-muscle connection

In 2012, Reigns made his WWE debut. By 2014, he was positioned to take the baton from John Cena as the face of the company.

“I was born into this family tree for a reason—I’ve been groomed for this,” he says. “So I’m not surprised to see generational Superstars like me and my cousins [the Usos, a current tag team] gravitating toward the top.”

The upward trajectory continued as Reigns headed into the back half of 2018: His merch was wildly popular, he elicited strong responses during performances, and he looked bigger and stronger than ever—which made the derailment of the Reigns train all the more stunning in late October.

Catch Roman at the 1:10:00 mark.

credit: KITM

50+ Screencaps + video added of Roman Reigns at the Press Conference for WrestleMania 37 on 2/11/2020.

 

Added 20+ screencaps + video of Roman Reigns on WWE Backstage 2/4/2020 talking about his defeat of the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33

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