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Roman Reigns: The Big Dog of WWE

Full Name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi
Age 38
Birthday May 25, 1985
Death Date
Birth Sign Gemini
Born United States
Relationship Married
Height 6′ 3′′
Net Worth $12M

Joe Anoa'i is a wrestler, signed to WWE as Roman Reigns. Known as the “Big Dog” of WWE, Reigns is one of the most polarizing figures in sports entertainment today, evoking strong reactions from fans for his unique style and demeanor. As a member of the legendary Anoa'i family, wrestling is in Reigns‘ blood. Let‘s take a closer look at the man behind this mega-star personality.

Early Life and Football Career

Born in Florida, Reigns played football collegiately at Georgia Tech where he earned first-team All-ACC honors as a defensive tackle. After brief offseason stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars, he pursued a career in professional wrestling in 2010.

NXT and The Shield

Reigns debuted in WWE‘s developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling before joining the roster of the rebranded NXT in 2010. It was here he formed The Shield faction alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Running roughshod over WWE for over a year, The Shield cemented themselves as one of the most dominant groups in wrestling history.

The Rise of Roman Reigns

Pegged early on as a future face of WWE, Reigns immediately entered the main event scene after The Shield‘s implosion in 2014. Though fans initially rejected him as a handpicked corporate choice, Reigns gained popularity through his underdog spirit and never-say-die attitude.

Some major milestones in his rise:

  • First WWE World Championship at 21 years old, the youngest ever
  • Four-time WWE Universal Champion
  • Headlined 5 straight WrestleManias from 31 to 35
  • Over 210 total championship reign days combined
  • Royal Rumble Match winner in 2015
  • Defeated legends like The Undertaker, Triple H, Brock Lesnar

Leukemia Diagnosis and Return

In October 2018, Reigns announced he was relinquishing the Universal Title to battle leukemia. After five months of treatment, he triumphantly announced his remission and return to WWE in February 2019. His courage and resilience through adversity won over any remaining doubters.

Current Status

Now firmly entrenched as WWE‘s top star, Reigns continues breaking barriers and making history:

  • Became Universal Champion for a record 4th time in 2022
  • Won his second Royal Rumble match in 2022, last eliminating cousin The Rock
  • Headlined last six WrestleMania main events from 31-36
  • Has granted over 600 wishes for Make-A-Wish, most in WWE history

At only 37 and seemingly in his prime, there are surely more iconic moments ahead for Reigns.

Why I Love Roman Reigns

A: He‘s an inspirational figure – Reigns‘ courage battling leukemia and perseverance in returning better than ever is so motivational.

B: He has unmatched intensity – The fire in Reigns‘ eyes when he‘s staring down an opponent gives me chills. You feel the passion radiating from him.

C: His moveset is innovative – The Superman Punch and devastating Spear are just two moves in Reigns‘ arsenal that no one else does better.

D: He makes wrestling feel larger than life – Reigns has an aura about him that makes his matches feel like epic movie fights.

E: His Samoan heritage is awesome – Coming from such an iconic wrestling family like the Anoa‘is, you know wrestling greatness courses through Reigns‘ veins.

5 Fascinating Facts About Roman Reigns

  1. Reigns is a twin – He has an identical twin brother named Rosey who was also a wrestler.
  2. He‘s cousins with The Rock, Yokozuna and Rikishi – The Anoa‘i family tree reads like a who‘s who of wrestling royalty.
  3. Reigns originally wore grey contacts as part of The Shield – This was to match Dean Ambrose‘s and Seth Rollins‘ eye colors.
  4. He has a football injury-related vision condition called keratoconus – It affects his right eye, which is why he squints slightly.
  5. Reigns is ambidextrous – He writes with his left hand but prefers his right hand for most other activities.

Roman Reigns has undoubtedly earned his place among WWE‘s biggest icons through his larger-than-life presence and never-say-die attitude. Win or lose, one thing is certain: The Big Dog always puts on a memorable show. At only 37, Reigns is just getting started, and his best years may still be ahead. As a loyal WWE fan, I can‘t wait to see what he does next!