WWE performer Roman Reigns revealed his secret 11-year battle with leukemia live on television during Monday Night Raw leaving his fans in shock.
The 33-year-old WWE Universal Champion – real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi – shocked fans as he said that he will be unable to compete until further notice.
As he holds the current top title in the company, he also was forced to relinquish the 10-pound gold belt in front of the thousands in attendance and millions watching on television.
He was fighting back tears as he said:
“My real name is Joe. And I’ve been living with leukemia for 11 years. And unfortunately, it’s back.Because the leukemia is back, I cannot fulfill that role. I can’t be that fighting champion, and I’m going to have to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship.”
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The crowd in attendance at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island were obviously stunned as they cheered ‘Thank you Roman’ after his shocking revelation.
Reigns said he was initially diagnosed with the cancer of blood-forming tissues back after his successful college football career at Georgia Tech when he was 22-years-old.
Shortly after his emotional speech, Reigns left the Universal Title in the middle of the ring.
He walked up the entrance ramp and was met by his two fellow members of faction The Shield, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
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Rollins (real name Colby Daniel Lopez) was visibly shaken as he had tears running down his face as the trio did their signature pose in which they place their fists together.
Roman had been scheduled to face Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar in a three-way match for the championship at the controversial Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on November 2.
It was later announced on Raw that Strowman and Lesnar will go one-on-one for the vacated title.
Reigns is one of the most decorated pro-wrestlers of the modern era as he is ninth grand slam champion as he held the WWE’s World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, Tag Team, and United States championships.
He was also ranked number one in Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s rankings of the top 500 singles wrestlers rankings back in 2016.
Reigns married Galina Joelle Becker in December 2014. He has a daughter named Joelle as well as twin boys who were born in 2016.