Leati Joseph ‘Joe’ Anoaʻi, better known by his ring name, Roman Reigns, is an American professional wrestler from the famous Anoaʻi wrestling family. He is well-known for his appearance on ‘WWE Raw’ or ‘Monday Night Raw,’ and is presently signed with ‘World Wresting Entertainment’ (WWE). Leati is also a former Canadian footballer; he started his career as a collegiate footballer and went on to play the ‘Canadian Football League’ (CFL) before retiring from the sport in 2008. He later trained as a wrestler like the rest of his family and signed a deal with ‘WWE’ in 2010. His first roster debut was alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as part of ‘The Shield’ and in 2014 he qualified to enter single competitions. He won the title of ‘WWE World Heavyweight Championship’ thrice and also won the ‘United States Championship.’ He became the face of ‘WWE’ in 2014 but was met with heavy criticism, and was controversially tagged as ‘the most overrated wrestler’ by ‘Wrestling Observer Newsletter.’ However, his accomplishments as an underdog have earned him a decent viewership and fan base. Roman Reigns has guest-starred in a few television shows. He has made cameo appearances in American action films ‘Countdown’ and ‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.’
Roman Reigns was born Leati Joseph Anoaʻi on 25 May 1985, in Pensacola, Florida, to Sika and Patricia A. Anoaʻi. His father, Leati ‘Sika’ Anoaʻi, was a former American Samoan professional wrestler.He is the younger brother of Matthew Anoaʻi, who later became famous by his ring name ‘Rosey.’ Roman Reigns grew up in a family of wrestlers. Hence, sport was a huge part of his life, but unlike the rest of his family, he took keen interest in football. Roman Reigns attended ‘Pensacola Catholic High School’ and later went to ‘Escambia High School.’ He represented the school football team in both the schools.He won several inter-school competitions and was titled ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ by ‘Pensacola News Journal.’ With education being his top priority, he graduated from high school to seek admission in ‘Georgia Institute of Technology.’In college, he became a member of the ‘Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football Team,’ and was the team captain in senior year. In 2007, he was signed by the ‘Minnesota Vikings.’ He became part of the ‘Edmonton Eskimos’ in the ‘Canadian Football League’ in 2008.He retired from the sport in 2008, and turned towards his family profession and began training as a wrestler. His brother Rosey, who was an established wrestler by then, gave him valuable advice which would help Reigns to establish a career in wrestling.
Wrestling CareerIn 2010, he signed a developmental deal with ‘WWE’ and became a part of its ‘Developmental Territory Florida Championship Wrestling.’ He assumed the ring name ‘Roman Leakee’ and made his debut against Richie Steamboat, a match that he ended up losing.He lost a couple more matches before winning a singles match against Fahd Rakma. That year he continued to compete at ‘FCW,’ participating in mostly tag team matches.Before forming a tag team with Donny Marlow, he had entered a 30-man ‘Grand Royal’ competition but was eliminated from it. However, he later beat Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match to become the number one contender for the ‘FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship.’ However, he couldn’t claim the title.It wasn’t until he made his roster television debut on18th November 2012 alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins that he became a popular figure. After the event, the trio declared themselves as ‘The Shield.’For several six-man-tag-team matches ‘The Shield’ pulled of consecutive victories. Later at the ‘Extreme Rules,’ Roman Reigns and Rollins defeated ‘Team Hell No’ and were titled the winners of ‘WWE Tag Team Championship.’
After ‘The Shield’ split in 2014, Roman was roped in as a singles wrestler in the ‘World Title Contention.’
On 16 June 2014, he won the ‘Battle Royal’ to occupy a spot in the ‘WWE World Heavyweight Championship’ ladder match. However, he lost the match and went on to start a feud with Randy Orton
.Rollins’ betrayal, which caused ‘The Shield’ to split, caused enmity in both Ambrose and Reigns. While Ambrose lost five matches to Rollins, Reigns challenged Rollins but lost to him eventually, owing to an incarcerated hernia.However, he revived his glory and held the title at ‘WrestleMania’ after defeating Daniel Bryan via pinfall.
He then went on to challenge The Big Show, and pulled off a victory against him.Next, he competed for the ‘Money in the Bank’ ladder match in a feud against Bray Wyatt which was followed by a few defeats and disqualifications in tag team matches. Eventually, Romans did go on to win the ‘Hell in a Cell’ match against Wyatt.
After a hernia surgery, he appeared on television for the December 8 episode of ‘Raw’ in 2014, in which he accepted the ‘Slammy Award’ for ‘Superstar of the Year.’
Apart from claiming the ‘WWE World Heavyweight Championship’ thrice, Roman Reigns challenged Rusev to become the number one contender for the ‘WWE Universal Championship.’
On 25 September 2016, he defeated Rusev at the ‘Clash of Champions.’ He continued his feud with Rusev before defeating him in a ‘Hell in a Cell’ match on 30 October.
In 2017, Reigns defeated The Miz to win his first ‘Intercontinental Championship.’ The following year, he defeated Brock Lesnar and won his first ‘Universal Championship’ of his career.