Roman Reigns is one of the biggest stars in all of wrestling today, but as many know, his plan was not always to be a wrestling superstar. That pro wrestling bug bit him in a big way and thanks to his family lineage, The Tribal Chief had a great place to start.

Reigns was previously a college football player playing defensive tackle for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, where he was a starter for Georgia Tech. After an unsuccessful attempt to turn professional and join the NFL, Reigns realized that his true calling was the professional wrestling business.

Reigns revealed on the Pat McAfee Show that it was with a conversation with The Usos that Reigns decided to pursue his career in wrestling. Reigns revealed that through his family’s connection to the wrestling business, he had grown up watching and learning from some of the best wrestlers the business has ever seen.

“When I was in football, that’s all I wanted to do. My family is so big in sports entertainment that, I didn’t want that to be my identity. I wanted to be able to create my own path and then everything played out the way it was. When I made the decision hang up the cleats and pick up the boots…I told one of the Usos, we were at the bar one night, and this is when I was working for my sister and selling office furniture, we were smashing beers and he was in FCW, back for the holidays, I told him, ‘I think I want to wrestle.’ Under his breath, he laughed, and was like, ‘What do you have to bring to the table? What’s so special about you to where you think you can do this?'”

“I never really trained, I’ve been around the business and watched it growing up just like him and his brother. It was a very on-point statement from him because he was going through the grind and development. He was in the fire. From that moment on, I don’t know how to put my thumb on it, but I got ‘it’ and I was starting to shed that football weight and I started to see the old me coming back.”

“When I got to Tech or, even football in general, if I wasn’t starting, I would sit in the back and watch guys in walkthroughs. I would see how they play the technique and how to counter or what the game plan was and I’d study it. I knew I could make myself do what was happening and what needed to be done, and also put my own spin on it. That’s exactly what I did in WWE,”

The decision by Reigns to switch from football to wrestling has proven an obvious success, with the man known as the Head of the Table running strong alongside The Usos as the Universal Champion, and the face of WWE.

h/t to Fightful for the quotes

Jack Waynick

A wrestling fan since the age of six and a Michigan State University Alumnus with a degree in sports journalism, Jack has a true passion for writing and for wrestling. Jack covers breaking news throughout the world of wrestling. Jack is responsible for live coverage of WWE Friday Night SmackDown and AEW Rampage for Ringside News. Jack’s hobbies outside of wrestling include video games, basketball and listening to music.

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