Professional wrestling fans are used to drawing turns, but attendees of "Monday Night Raw," not to mention millions of viewers at home, got an impressive dose of reality. Speaking from the center of the ring, Universal champion Roman Reigns announced that he was moving away from the WWE to resume his battle against leukemia.
The 33-year-old wrestler began his comments by telling the crowd at the Dunkin & Donuts Center in Providence, RI, that he felt he owed "everyone an apology." Pointing to repeated promises to his fans that it would be "consistent" "And" a workhorse, "says Reigns," that's all lies. "
"That's a lie, because the reality is that my real name is Joe, and I've been living with leukemia for 11 years," he said. "And unfortunately, he has returned."
Reigns, whose birth name is Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoa'i, said his illness meant he could not fulfill his role as WWE champion and that he would be forced to leave his belt. He added that he had faith that he would overcome the situation due to how, when he was first diagnosed at age 22, he was "very quickly" able to "put him in remission".
"Sometimes life throws you a curveball, and now the best thing I can do is go home, focus on my family and my health," Reigns said. "But I want to make one thing clear: it's not in any way This is a retirement speech.
"Because after I finish whipping the leukemia [butt] Once again, I'm going home. "
Reigns has not been the most popular star in WWE, in part because many fans have felt that the company has made them known for its prominence. However, his comments on Monday provoked an avalanche of support songs, while other fighters made their feelings known online.
A former football player at Georgia Tech, Reigns is of Samoan heritage from his father, who was a professional wrestler in his own right. He also has other close relatives who are or were in the industry, and his family tree includes The Usos and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
After testing with some NFL teams, Reigns spent the 2008 season with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Subsequently, he devoted himself to professional wrestling, quickly clung to the WWE and, after acquiring experience in smaller circuits, began to become a familiar figure for fans across the country in 2012.
Reigns was ready to put his Universal belt on the line in a Triple Threat bout against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman in the controversial WWE Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on November 2. Now, in the absence of Reigns, those two stars will have a – A clash for the title.
Reigns produced joys on Monday when he told the crowd: "I'm going to beat this and I'll be back, so you'll see me very, very soon." He thanked the fans for helping him make his "dreams come true" and for reacting strongly to his character Reigns, both positively and negatively, to which they responded: "Thanks, Roman! Thanks, Roman!"
Reigns then put his belt in the ring and returned to the top of the entry ramp, hitting the hands of the fans on the way. There he met with his lifelong partners in "The Shield", Dean Ambrose and a visibly upset Seth Rollins, and they shared an emotional hug before disappearing backstage.
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