Roman Reigns real name “Leati Joseph Anoa’i” is an American professional wrestler born on 25th May 1985 in Pensacola, Florida. Reigns is currently signed to the SmackDown brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is one of the most integral wrestlers of the company.
It is interesting to know that Reigns did not start his career as a wrestler but as a football player. He started his professional football career with off-season spells with Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League back in 2007. He then moved across the border to join Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos in 2008. He was released at the end of the season and with that Reigns’ football career ended.
Roman Reigns is half Samoan wrestler and half Italian through his lineage. Wrestling runs in his family as both his father Sika Anoa’i and brother Rosey were wrestlers. Roman reigns cousins are former WWE wrestlers Yokozuna, Rikishi, Umaga, and The Rock.
Reigns married Galina Joelle Becker in December 2014. They have a daughter named Joelle. In 2016, Roman Reigns wife gave birth to twin boys.
Professional Wrestling Career
Reigns then pursued his career in professional wrestling and was signed by the WWE in 2010. He made his main roster debut in 2012 as a part of the group, The Shield, along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. After the trio split in 2014, Reigns started wrestling as a singles wrestler. He is a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWE United States Champion, a one-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, and a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion. Reigns also won the 2015 Royal Rumble and the 2014 Superstar of the Year.
Reigns jointly hold the WWE record for the most number of eliminations in a Survivor Series Elimination Match with four in the 2013 edition. He also holds the record for the most number of eliminations in the Royal Rumble with 12 in the 2014 edition. The record was then broken by Braun Strowman later. Reigns have headlined the last four Wrestlemanias and WWE has attempted to establish Reigns as the “face of the company” in the past few years.
Roman Reigns moved to wrestle in July 2010, when he signed a contract with WWE and was later drafted to their Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) territory. He made his WWE debut on 9th September 2010 using the ring name Roman Leakee. With Roman Reigns age being in the 20s, the former Jacksonville Jaguars player made his singles WWE debut in a losing effort to Richie Steamboat. Roman won his first match in the division after sustaining a couple more losses. In 2011, he formed a tag team with Donny Marlow and the duo challenged Calvin Raines and Big E Langston for the FCW Tag Team Championship. However, their attempt would be unsuccessful.
In 2012, Leakee pinned then FCW Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger during a tag-team match. The match emerged as the starting point of a new feud as Leakee later defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match, becoming the number one contender for the FCW Heavyweight Championship. However, he failed in his mission as he lost to Kruger the following week. Leakee later regained the tag-team titles with Mike Dalton. After WWE rebranded FCW to WWE NXT, Leakee changed his ring name to Roman Reigns and made his debut on 31st October to beat CJ Parker. He beat Chase Donovan and wrestled in his last match in the division against Gavin Reids which he won on the December 5 episode of NXT.
Roman Reigns Heel
Standing at 6 ft 3 in, Roman Reigns height certainly played a huge factor, as the former FCW sensation made his first appearance on the WWE main roster as part of the group known as The Shield along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. They made their appearance during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship involving CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback at the Survivor Series PPV. They came in through the crowd and attacked Ryback together.
A tired and vulnerable Ryback could not do anything as they beat him mercilessly. They ended by throwing him through the commentary table which later turned out to be the signature move of the group. As a result of the intervention, CM Punk retained the title.
The Shield WWE
In the episode of RAW following the Survivor Series, The Shield defended their actions by saying that they vowed to battle against injustice and categorically denied working for CM Punk. They would call themselves ‘The Hounds of Justice’. However, the group would emerge from the crowd to regularly beat up Punk’s opponents and adversaries including Ryback and Team Hell No, a tag-team comprising of Kane and Daniel Bryan.
This led to a tag-team match between The Shield and the three adversaries of CM Punk in the TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay per view. This was the official debut match of the group, which The Shield easily won. The Shield continued to attack Punk’s opponents, including beating up The Rock who is Roman Reigns cousin. On the January 28, 2013 episode of RAW, it was revealed that CM Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield to work for him.
The trio ended their association with Punk and began feuding with John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus. They faced each other on February 17th at the Elimination Chamber which was won by The Shield. The group competed in their first match on RAW in the following episode which they won against Ryback, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho.
In an attempt to beat the group, Sheamus formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show and faced them at Wrestlemania 29, where The Shield again emerged victoriously. The Shield started attacking The Undertaker in the following episode of RAW but were stopped by Team Hell No. This set up a six-man tag team match in the 22nd April 2013 episode of RAW which The Shield won. The Shield’s winning streak came to an end when they lost via disqualification in an elimination tag-team match against John Cena, Kane, and Daniel Bryan in the 13th May 2013 episode.
At the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Reigns won his first belt in WWE as he partnered with Seth Rollins to win the WWE Tag Team Championship in a tornado tag team championship. They won the rematch against Team Hell No on the 27th May 2013 episode of RAW. The duo defended their titles against Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan at Payback, against The Usos at Money in the Bank, and against Prime Time Players at Night of Champions.
In August, The Shield started working for Triple H and The Authority in a change of storyline. Reigns and Rollins lost their titles to Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a no disqualification match following interference from Big Show and went on to lose the rematch against them as well. At Survivor Series, Reigns was the sole survivor for The Shield in a five-on-five elimination tag team match where he made a Survivor Series record by eliminating four. In the Royal Rumble, Reigns entered the rumble at number 15 and made the record for the most number of eliminations with 12. He was finally eliminated by Batista.
Just before Wrestlemania XXX, The Shield attacked Jerry Lawler but later turned their attention to Kane. Leading up to the event, they continued to attack Kane who was joined by The New Age Outlaws, thus culminating into a match at the pay-per-view. The Shield won the match. The feud with Kane resulted in The Shield severing ties with Triple H who reformed Evolution once again. However, The Shield defeated Evolution at Extreme Rules and Payback. Batista quit WWE soon after, which led Triple H to execute his Plan B. This led to Seth Rollins attacking Reigns and Ambrose and as a result, The Shield broke apart.
The Big Dog
After The Shield broke apart, Reigns was brought into title contention. He failed to win the World Heavyweight Title Championship Ladder Match at Money in the Bank. In the next pay-per-view at Battleground, Reigns was a part of the fatal four-way match for the Championship which he lost as well. Reigns then developed a feud with Randy Orton which led to a match between them at Summerslam where Reigns beat Orton.
In the meantime, Dean Ambrose was feuding with Rollins over his betrayal which ultimately led to Ambrose being injured by the latter. Roman Reigns stepped in and a match was set up at Night of Champions. However, Reigns developed an incarcerated hernia which required surgery before the event and thus Reigns was ruled out of action for an indefinite amount of time.
Reigns returned in the TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs event where he attacked both Big Show and Seth Rollins to help John Cena win. Following the event, Reigns faced Big Show in multiple matches, all of which were won by Reigns.
Roman Reigns entered the 2015 Royal Rumble at number 19, which he won thus earning an opportunity to headline Wrestlemania 31. Reigns was then forced to defend this opportunity with a match against Daniel Bryan at Fastlane and successfully managed to do it. At Wrestlemania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank when Reigns’ match against Brock Lesnar was underway. Rollins then pinned Reigns to win the championship.
In April 2015, Reigns refueled his rivalry with Big Show which resulted in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules. Reigns won the match. At Payback, Reigns failed to win the championship against Rollins in a fatal four-way match. He competed in the Money in the Bank match at the pay-per-view but failed to win after Bray Wyatt attacked him.
Reigns also failed to win against Wyatt at Battleground following an intervention. At the Night of Champions, Reigns teamed with former ally Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho but the duo was beaten by Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Braun Strowman. At Hell in a Cell, Reigns had his redemption as he beat Wyatt.
Roman Reigns Injury
On the 26th October 2015 episode of RAW, Reigns participated in a fatal four-way match involving Alberto del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and Kevin Owens to determine the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns won the match, which was followed by Seth Rollins’ untimely injury leading to the championship being vacated. A tournament was announced and Triple H tried to persuade Reigns to join The Authority by providing him a bye to the final.
Triple H appeared to congratulate Reigns following his victory but hit him with a spear instead. Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, thus ending Reigns’ reign.
At the TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs, Reigns lost to Sheamus following interference from Alberto del Rio and Rusev. On the next episode of RAW, Mr. McMahon granted Reigns a title rematch against Sheamus which Reigns won to regain his title despite interferences from Mr. McMahon, Del Rio and Rusev.
On the 4th January 2016 episode of Raw, Reigns once again defended his crown against Sheamus. Reigns was then made to defend his title in a Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Triple H won the title after winning the rumble.
At Fastlane, Reigns beat Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in a triple threat match to become the number one contender for the championship at Wrestlemania 32. He went on to win the title at the event. After successful title defenses against AJ Styles at both Payback and Extreme Rules, Reigns lost his title to old foe Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank.
Championships and Accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- FCW Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- WWE Championship (3 times)
- WWE Universal Championship ( 2 times, current)
- WWE Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- WWE United States Championship (1 time)
- WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time)
Finishing Moves and Signature Moves
- Moment of Silence
- Samoan drop
- Superman Punch
- Multiple corner clothesline
- Special Op by Jim Johnston (as part of The Shield)
- The Truth Reigns by Jim Johnston