Roman Reigns made the very sad announcement this week on Raw that he had let the WWE Universe down because he could no longer be a fighting champion. Leukemia which he once thought to be in remission came back and he needed to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship and go home to focus on his health.
He said that he had been dealing with this for 11 years. He also said that when football left him, he found a home in WWE — which he did. But as The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted, Reigns likely played a little pigskin in Canada even after his first bout with the horrible disease.
Dave Meltzer noted in the Observer Newsletter: “That timeline doesn’t fit perfectly since he played the 2008 season with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League, prior to his July 2010 signing with WWE.”
This means that his first leukemia battle occurred in 2007 if it was indeed 11 years ago. He was able to beat it then, and he’ll beat it again — but football didn’t shun him because of his disease. If anything, Roman had another purpose and the universe realized that the WWE Universe was his home.
Reigns was also in the 2007 NFL draft but remained undrafted, but he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings and released less than a month later. He was then drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars but released a week before the regular season started.
While it’s not a huge deal in regards to changing the gravity of the situation, it’s still an interesting note that certainly helped his speech stick with the WWE audience even if it might not add up 100%.
We wish Roman Reigns, real name Joe Anoa’i the best of luck. He is Anoa’i Strong, and we shouldn’t forget it. So hopefully, he’s taking this fight day-by-day and coming in harder each time he takes another Superman Punch at leukemia.