Roman Reigns’ battle with leukemia for the second time had a profound impact on his life and career. The WWE superstar faced this challenging journey during his hiatus from the ring, and it ultimately led to his transformation into The Tribal Chief and The Head of the Table. Paul Heyman recently reflected on this tumultuous time and how it shaped Reigns as a person.

Speaking on the Tetragrammaton podcast, Heyman discussed the significant changes Reigns experienced during his time away from WWE. Prior to his diagnosis, Reigns maintained a rigorous full-time schedule, performing in numerous shows and spending a significant amount of time on the road.

Heyman emphasized the abruptness of the transition, stating, “He was on a full schedule, working every show, and then it stopped. Boom. Now you’re home. Boom. Complete shock to the system in every conceivable way.” Reigns’ sudden departure from the demanding WWE schedule and put his focus on his health and well-being presented a monumental shift in his life.

According to Heyman, this experience provided Reigns with a newfound appreciation for life. He developed a deeper understanding of his own mortality and recognized the blessings he had in his life.


Heyman acknowledged Reigns’ blessings, including the health of his children, the presence of his mother and father, and the support he received from fans and the wrestling community. This perspective shift gave Reigns a different purpose and inspired him to use his platform to connect with others who faced similar challenges.

“I’m sure it gave him a greater appreciation of life. I’m sure it gave him a greater appreciation of one’s own mortality,” Heyman said. “I’m sure it gave him a greater appreciation of the blessings that he has over and above what many other people have … Roman Reigns had an affliction. His children, thank god, as of now, don’t share that affliction. His children are healthy. What a blessed man. His mom is still alive, and what a character she is. He’s a blessed man. His father is still alive and a legend. What a blessed man.”

Reigns’ partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society allowed him to connect with people who shared similar stories and struggles. The experience was described as “life-changing” for Reigns, as he discovered a new sense of purpose beyond simply entertaining the audience.

Upon his return to WWE in 2019, Reigns gradually transformed his character and embraced “The Tribal Chief” persona. This reinvention culminated in August 2020, and Reigns has since held the Universal Championship for over 1,000 days, solidifying his dominance in the ring.

How do you feel about Roman Reigns’ transformation and character development following his battle with leukemia? Do you find his story and newfound purpose inspiring? Leave a comment below.

Tags: Roman Reigns
Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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