Four months after WWE superstar Roman Reigns courageously announced during an episode of Raw that his real-life battle with leukemia was forcing him to relinquish the universal title and step away from the ring effective immediately, Reigns made an appearance on the same program Monday to provide fans with an update on his fight. And boy was it a good one.
After soaking in the adulation of the fans once his music hit, Reigns slapped the hands of the WWE Universe as well as celebrities and family at ringside with a smile on his face as the crowd chanted “Roman! Roman!” and “Welcome back!” Once he entered the ring, the 33-year-old Reigns, real name Joe Anoa’i, thanked the fans for their prayers and — after a brief delay — announced that his leukemia was officially in remission.
“I said I was going to swing for the fences. We did better than that, y’all. We didn’t just swing for the fences. We hit a home run. So when I tell you this, I’m so grateful and so humbled and so honored to announce this,” Reigns began. “The good news is, I’m in remission, y’all.
“So with that being said, the Big Dog is back!”
Reigns said winning and chasing titles in WWE remains important, but he is now focused on using the WWE platform to “raise awareness” about cancer “and support those who are in need just like I was.” He did not mention a potential return date, though when fans chanted “WrestleMania!” he promised he would “get to that later.” Seth Rollins met him on the entrance ramp as he walked backstage, but Dean Ambrose did not appear.
Two hours later, Reigns and Rollins ran out to the ring, saving Ambrose from a four-man attack. Reigns hit a couple Superman punches and a spear with Rollins adding a stomp to make the save. The duo stopped on their way back up the ramp to look at Ambrose rising in the ring, and The Shield trio smirked before Raw cut to commercial.
Reigns was originally diagnosed with leukemia back in 2008 at age 22. Though he quickly went into remission at that time, he has been fighting the disease since.