WWE superstars flood Roman Reigns with support after leukemia battle revealed

This week’s WWE Raw brought some shocking news right off the bat when Roman Reigns announced that he would be relinquishing the universal championship as he revealed his battle with leukemia. This isn’t Reigns’ first bout with the cancer, as he was initially diagnosed in 2008 — then just 22 years old — before quickly fighting it into remission. That initial battle wasn’t previously known by many, so Reigns’ announcement to kick off Raw this week was an unexpected development that left the pro wrestling world absolutely stunned.

After Reigns — real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi — addressed the crowd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, support flooded in from a number of prominent wrestling names both past and present. There were thousands of well-wishes sent to the 33-year-old, who was joined by Shield brethren Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in an emotional gathering atop the ramp.

I’ve been in many wars with this man. He’s been my biggest rival on tv!!!! But behind the scenes he’s one of my closest friends!!!! He’s is one of the toughest men I’ve ever met and I have no doubt he’ll kick leukemia’s ass and and be back to battling with me soon and I can’t wait. You and your family are in my prayers. Love you Big UCE!!!!! #FUCancer

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Reigns’ speech to open up this week’s Raw was one of the most real and, well, raw moments you’ll see in WWE. As he spoke to the crowd, he made sure to remind everyone of his real name, signifying that this a real fight that goes beyond the character he plays in the ring. He made the decision to address it at the top of Monday’s show so that could use his platform to raise awareness for the disease.

But he also brought a bit of signature bravado and confidence while addressing the crowd, clarifying that “by no means is this a retirement speech.” Even if you’re not a Reigns fan, everyone has to be pulling for Anoa’i. And judging from the amount of support that flooded in in the wake of the news, he certainly won’t be alone in the fight.

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