As noted, Roman Reigns opened tonight's WWE RAW in Providence, RI by announcing that he's taking time off to once again fight leukemia, which he's lived with for the past 11 years as it's been in remission since late 2008. Reigns, who made it clear that this was not a retirement speech and that he will be back home at WWE "very, very soon", also relinquished the WWE Universe Title as he's going home to focus on his heath & family. The vacant title will be decided at WWE Crown Jewel with the Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar singles match on November 2 in Saudi Arabia.
Above is backstage video of Reigns returning to the Gorilla Position after making his announcement. Reigns received support from WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Paul Heyman, Nia Jax, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor and many others. Reigns called for a group hug and continued making his way through the backstage area, greeting others before making his way out of the arena. Reigns noted that he came to RAW at the last minute and wasn't prepared when joking about his rental car.
As Raj noted earlier, several WWE Superstars took to Twitter and reacted to the news from Reigns, as seen below. John Cena, Stephanie McMahon, The Usos, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, Tyson Kidd and many others weighed-in with praise for The Big Dog. Below are more reactions:
?? THANKYOU, @WWERomanReigns. Praying for you and your family.— Nattie (@NatbyNature) October 23, 2018
Thank you @WWERomanReigns ??— Kayla Braxton (@KaylaBraxtonWWE) October 23, 2018
@WWERomanReigns My Family And I Are Thinking Of You And Are Keeping You In Our Prayers! We Are Here For You! ????????????— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) October 23, 2018
Aiden English (@WWEDramaKing) October 23, 2018
Ember Moon (@WWEEmberMoon) October 23, 2018
You got this. #ThankYouRoman— ONEY Lorcan (@_StarDESTROYER) October 23, 2018
Thank you Roman ?? my love and prayers go out to you and your family ?? we are with you!— Daria Berenato (@SonyaDevilleWWE) October 23, 2018
About to board my flight to Newark and hearing news about my #GoodBrother and one of the hardest working, strongest brothers I know @WWERomanReigns , got a pit in my stomach.— Karl Anderson (@KarlAndersonWWE) October 23, 2018
My family throwing so many prayers at you..
Love you bro.
Sending my thoughts and prayers your way @WWERomanReigns ... Thank you and stay strong! ????????— Mandy (@WWE_MandyRose) October 23, 2018
#ThankYouRoman ????— MELLA I$ MONEY (@CarmellaWWE) October 23, 2018
Sorry to hear about Ro'an. I know he's gonna kick this things butt!! #Believedat— The One And Only! (@KingRicochet) October 23, 2018
Selfless.— Dash (@DashWilderWWE) October 23, 2018
The Man. #ThankYouRoman
You're our Universal Champion. We are with you every step of the way brother.— Tye Dillinger ?? (@WWEDillinger) October 23, 2018
Mustafa Ali / Adeel Alam (@MustafaAliWWE) October 23, 2018
Roman is one of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege to share a locker room with. We all knew he was the locker room leader and we all aspired to be like him. Come back stronger than ever my friend #ThankYouRoman @WWERomanReigns— Mike Kanellis (@RealMikeBennett) October 23, 2018
He's our locker room leader.— Singh Brothers (@SinghBrosWWE) October 23, 2018
He IS the business.
He'll be back.
You got this, champ. #ThankYouRoman
Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) October 23, 2018
Buddy Murphy (@WWE_Murphy) October 23, 2018
You got this homie ???? #ThankYouRoman— KALISTO (@KalistoWWE) October 23, 2018
I'm overseas and I just heard the terrible news about @WWERomanReigns and his battle with Leukemia. Totally shocked. Uce, you are a tough bastard and a true fighter, and you will beat this.— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) October 23, 2018
Lots of love.
Our job gives us the ability to portray larger than life characters who possess super human qualities and characteristics.— Johnny Gargano (@JohnnyGargano) October 23, 2018
After hearing his story it's very apparent that Joe Anoa'i is just as much of a superhero as "Roman Reigns" is.#ThankYouRoman
Just saw the @WWERomanReigns news. Absolutely heartbreaking. Roman is one of nicest guys I have ever met in this business and was a pleasure every time I had the pleasure to work with him. My best wishes to him!— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) October 23, 2018
Billie Kay (@BillieKayWWE) October 23, 2018
Wow...that's a lot to take in. Strength and well wishes. https://t.co/B7LOAvONK9— Keith Lee (@RealKeithLee) October 23, 2018
#ThankYouRoman ????— Zelina Vega (@Zelina_VegaWWE) October 23, 2018
We luv you man. You got this!
Tony Nese (@TonyNese) October 23, 2018
Reigns Forever.— King Tez (@MontezFordWWE) October 23, 2018
#ThankYouRoman ??????— Bianca Belair (@BiancaBelairWWE) October 23, 2018
<' lang="en" dir="ltr">'Courage - strength in the face of pain or grief.' You have given us your everything including a courageously vulnerable moment. We, your WWE family, give you all of our love and support. #ThankYouRoman #NeverGiveUp— John Cena (@JohnCena) October 23, 2018
Fight on to victory my courageous brother! pic.twitter.com/wuYAoxa48p— Bret Hart (@BretHart) October 23, 2018
Roman Reigns exemplifies everything I believe a true leader should be.— Chad Gable (@WWEGable) October 23, 2018
Proud to have shared a locker room with him, and I'll be proud to share it with him again after he wins this battle.#ThankYouRoman
Candice LeRae (@CandiceLeRae) October 23, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Roman and his entire family. @WWERomanReigns you aren't a Superstar falling but a Superhero that will continue to inspire those fighting illness alongside you.— MariaKanellisBennett (@MariaLKanellis) October 23, 2018
.@WWERomanReigns you are the definition of what it means to be a leader and a champion and one of the toughest lads on the planet. We are all behind you and sending love. You will beat this. #ThankYouRoman— Rebecca Quin (@BeckyLynchWWE) October 23, 2018
Love you @wweromanreigns You taught me so much about what it means to be a superstar here. Can't wait to see you back ??— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) October 23, 2018
Love ya Uce??— Fandango (@WWEFandango) October 23, 2018
Renee Young (@ReneeYoungWWE) October 23, 2018
My thoughts & prayers go out to @WWERomanReigns & his family. Breaks my heart but praying & believing for a speedy & full recovery.— CJ (Lana) Perry (@LanaWWE) October 23, 2018
#ThankYouRoman for being a huge source of inspiration and wishing you a speedy recovery.— Kyle O'Reilly (@KORcombat) October 23, 2018
Rowe (@RAYMONDxROWE) October 23, 2018
Friend, you have my prayers and your family is your greatest support!! This will pass and you will come back stronger than before. Your health is what matters!! Take care of you!???? pic.twitter.com/dcbp7fSusc— Vickie Guerrero (@VickieGuerrero) October 23, 2018
Roderick Strong (@roderickstrong) October 23, 2018
His real name is Joe & he's a stand up guy! Inside the ring one of the best I've battled with. Outside the ring one of the most genuine people I have ever met & learned from. See you soon good brother #ThankYouRoman ( ..and he smells great)— Finn Bálor forEVERYone (@FinnBalor) October 23, 2018
??? THANK YOU ROMAN ???— Otis Dozovic (@WWEDozovic) October 23, 2018
All Respect and Prayers ????
The BIG DOG will be Back https://t.co/ZyXfmp24rq
@WWERomanReigns' success was something I aspired for myself since he was an all-conference DT at Georgia Tech over a decade ago. I think of how much he's achieved but far more importantly, I think of his family & loved ones. All the love and strength in beating this, Big Uce.— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) October 23, 2018
Cedric Alexander (@CedricAlexander) October 23, 2018
Nothing but love and respect for @WWERomanReigns— TJ Wilson (@TJWilson) October 23, 2018
I've really enjoyed working together over the past year, I can't wait till he's back kicking ass where he belongs. Thoughts and prayers are with you ?? ??
Thank you Roman for showing us what a real warrior looks like. Sending many prayers to you and your family!! We'll all be waiting for you to come back home to #RAW -B— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) October 23, 2018
You're in our thoughts & prayers Joe. You are our Superman! Forever and always! You have an army people standing behind you ready to support and fight with you!??N— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) October 23, 2018
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?"I want to show my family, my friends, my children and my wife that when life throws a curveball at me, I am the type of man that will stand in that batter's box, I will crowd the plate, I will choke up and I will swing for the fences every single time!" [email protected] #ThankYouRoman for being a true Champion and a beacon of light, hope and courage? for us all.