'REAL BIG DOG HERE' Roman Reigns cancer: WWE star makes his first public appearance since surprise leukaemia announcement

Wrestler shocked fans by revealing he was battling deadly disease for a second time

28 November 2018 - 09:32

ROMAN REIGNS has made his first public appearance since revealing that he was battling leukaemia.

The wrestling star shocked the world last month as he opened up about being diagnosed with the deadly disease – 11 years after beating it for the first time.

The star, 33, relinquished the WWE Universal Title during an emotional speech on Monday Night Raw as he vowed to overcome cancer and return to the ring.

Fans have been desperate for updates on his condition since but Reigns, real name Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, has kept a low profile over the past month.

However, the four-time world champ was spotted last night at the American Football game between his former team Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Georgia Bulldog.

And he was only too happy to send out a video message via his old side’s Twitter, saying: “I'm the real big dog here. To hell with Georgia, baby.”

Another of the wrestler’s former American Football teams yesterday reached out to him.

Tennessee Titans  tweeted Reigns, who played for Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Edmonton Eskimos, vowing to send him a “special gift”.

The NFL side’s entire squad posed for a photo with two specialised jerseys in honour of the four-time champ.

The first was numbered 1 and said “Reigns” on it while the other had the wrestler’s real name “Anoa’i” on it along with a 96 – the shirt he wore back in his college days.

The Titans also included a touching message as they stated the “special gift” is coming his way.

Their Twitter post said: “Sending good vibes to our guy @WWERomanReigns.

"Special gift is heading your way, Joe. Keep up the fight! #TitanUp.”

Reigns shocked the world when he revealed the shock news about his illness.

In an emotionally-charged speech, he said: “The reality is my real name is Joe and I'd been living with leukaemia for 11 years... And unfortunately it's back.

"And because the leukaemia is back, I cannot fulfil my role. I can't be that fighting champion and I'm going to have to relinquish the Universal Championship.

"I'm not going to lie, I'll take every prayer you can send my way but I'm not looking for sympathy.

"I'm not looking for you to feel bad for me because I have faith.

"When I was 22 years old I was diagnosed with this and very quickly I was able to put it in remission. But I'm not going to lie, that was the hardest time of my life.

"I didn't have a job, I didn't have any money, I didn't have a home and I had a baby on the way. And football was done with me.

"But do you know who gave me a chance? The team that gave me a chance was the WWE. After I'm done whooping leukaemia's a** once again, I'm coming back home.

"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!”

It remains unclear if and when Reigns will make his comeback in the WWE but he looks set to miss out on WrestleMania 35.

The Showcase of the Immortals takes place on April 7, 2019 at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

 

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