Roman Reigns is now undeniably WWE’s top star, but the road to the top hasn’t been easy for him.
Reigns initially struggled to get over with the WWE fans, many of whom argued that despite Vince McMahon’s intentions, he didn’t have what it took to be a top guy.
Vince was right, and after years of trying, Roman’s heel turn in 2020 sent him straight into the stratosphere and fans began to fall in love with his work.
The year before his heel turn, Reigns had to overcome something a lot great that negative fan reactions, being forced to battle Leukemia for the second time.
Reigns was first diagnosed with the disease in his early 20s, but announced on Raw on October 23, 2018 that his cancer had returned.
Reigns took several months away from WWE, but returned in 2019 for the February 26 episode to announce that he’d beaten cancer for the second time and was in remission.
We advertised it as an update so should we get to the update? The good news is I’m in remission y’all. So with that being said ‘The Big Dog’ is back! Thank you so much.
The moment, which you can see below, was one of the most real and emotional in WWE history, and is still a truly beautiful watch, even three years after the fact.
The crowd cheered and erupted into a welcome back chant in a moment that felt like the audience was speaking to Joe Anoa’i the person rather than Roman Reigns the character.
It was a reminder to fans that the WWE Superstars we see on TV are just characters, and there are real people battling real-life issues behind those roles.
Just a few weeks after his heartwarming announcement, Roman returned to the ring to team with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as The Shield beat Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley.
Reigns’ first singles match back came at WrestleMania 35 in April 2019, where he went one-on-one with McIntyre, picking up the win that night.
Reigns and McIntyre will continue their feud later this month and into September as the pair prepare to do battle for Roman’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle in Cardiff.
You can watch WWE Clash at the Castle live on September 3 in the US on Peacock, in the UK on BT Sport, and in all other international markets on the WWE Network.