Roman Reigns Explains His Career Goals Before Leukemia Diagnosis

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns joined The Michael Kay Show on ESPN radio to hype up his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38. The Tribal Chief was also asked about the most difficult moment of his professional life, in which Roman detailed his battle with Leukaemia at a young age that derailed his dream of being in the NFL.


"I think it would be the original diagnosis of Leukaemia," Roman Reigns said. "Being 21/22 years old, being a Division 1 college athlete with aspirations of playing in the NFL, that was plan A, B, and C, there was no backup plan, all the eggs were in that basket and that's how I was. To be hit with that type of adversity, to be hit with that type of roadblock, for my dreams to be taken away from me on top of having, for the first time ever, any real type of health-scare. It was a lot to be able to digest.

"I'm one of those people that moves forward and when something's negative around me, I can either push it away or compartmentalize it to where I stay focused on the positive in my life and move forward to the things that are going to be beneficial around me. At such a young age with nothing, I didn't have an asset to my name. I had nothing going on as an adult, a human being. I was still so young and clueless at that point, thank God I had my mom, thank God I had my wife, and had just such a strong security blanket around me to help guide me through that process."


Roman Reigns continued to talk about what would've happened had he not been diagnosed with Leukaemia at such a young age and where his career would be right now. The Universal Champion said he would've never become a professional wrestler had his NFL career been able to begin at that young age.

"Oh nah, I would've done 12 years in the league and then retired," Roman Reigns said. "I really believe I would've been successful in football. I was a pretty good football player who had a lot to work on and a lot of room to get better, so to me, that was a really big upside because I was already pretty good but in my mind. There were so many different facets of the game that I could strengthen and get better at and gain that experience, as we all do in whatever we're doing. We learn these life hacks that make things easier, we get smarter and we work that way as opposed to working harder and doing things we don't have to do."

Having main-evented several WrestleManias to this point, Reigns spoke about who he's trying to catch as the greatest of all time in the WWE. The 36-year-old revealed why he believes he is already the G.O.A.T. and why having The Bloodline surround him helps elevate that statement.


"To me, I'm not trying to get there, I believe I'm there," Reigns said. "I believe I'm living in the day of the G.O.A.T. in my own performance. For me, I'm just constantly pushing myself and for many reasons, I feel like I'm surrounded by the greatest. For me as a singles competitor, as the Universal Champion, as a top guy in WWE, the face of this billion-dollar company, I'm the greatest of all time. When it comes to tag teams, when it comes to Tag Team Championship runs and the men that carry that role, my cousins The Usos, they are the greatest of all time. When it comes to management, when it comes to representation, when it comes to mouthpieces, advocates, and special councils, it's without question Paul Heyman is the greatest of all time.

"So when you put us all in one, man, we're unstoppable. Right now, we just try to push ourselves, there's so much inner-competition, that we're able to push each other and continue to drive ourselves. We look at it as an audition for next week. If we want to go out there and open up the show and control segment one, we have to knock it out of the park in order for this to happen next week. Those are the humble beginnings that we take ourselves to, which allows us to put in preparation and capitalize on an opportunity, and have that swag and confidence to be the best."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Michael Kay Show with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.