Reigns Of Triumph
Inked|November 2019
WWE Superstar Roman Reigns on tradition, family, and how to keep a positive outlook despite all odds.
Bill Hanstock

If you were going to create a professional wrestler in a laboratory, you’d have a hard time coming up with one more perfect than Roman Reigns. The 6’3”, 260-plus-pound Reigns is almost impossibly handsome, with hair so lush and healthy that it borders on satire. Inside the ring, Reigns oozes charisma, ability and athleticism, almost daring you to find something wrong with him. The WWE Superstar is one of the most popular, prominent and accomplished people on the entire 100-plus-strong roster. Both he and the announcers on weekly television programming will be happy to remind you that Roman Reigns is the Big Dog, and WWE is his yard.

Outside of the ring and away from WWE, Reigns is Joe Anoa’i, a native of Pensacola, Florida, who currently resides in Tampa with his wife and children. The 34-year-old is poised and confident at all moments, but soft-spoken, polite, and a genuinely lovely human being. Joe is the latest megastar to come from the Anoa’i family—one of the most extensive and storied pro wrestling families. You may have heard of his father, Sika: one half of the Hall of Fame Wild Samoans tag team. Or you’ve probably heard of his cousins, Yokozuna, Umaga and Rikishi. If all else fails, you almost certainly know about his most famous cousin of all: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Recently, Reigns spent time away from the ring due to a battle with leukemia. He used that hiatus, in part, to portray an art-imitates-life role as a relative of Johnson’s character in the Fast and Furious spin-off film Hobbs & Shaw. Reigns says the experience was good for his soul, and although he did debate whether he should take the role, he ultimately felt like it was something he needed to do. “I felt like it was important for me to show that even though this crazy thing is happening to me I still have a life, I still have a passion, I still have goals,” he says. “And if there’s nothing necessarily holding me from achieving those then I might as well take advantage and do it, and show the world that it is possible, and put a whole new paint job on blood cancer.”

For a span of several years during his career, Reigns’ positioning at the forefront of WWE programming and storylines rankled many fans, who felt it was a case of “too much, too soon,” despite Reigns being one of the most prominent and popular men in the company when his faction – The Shield – dissolved and he struck out on his own in 2014. Reigns received healthy choruses of boos everywhere he went, and eventually fans’ propensity to shower Reigns with jeers became written into the show as a sort of metatextual crowd participation.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM INKEDView All

OBESE TO BEAST

JOHN DAVID GLAUDE LOST 180 POUNDS, BUT GAINED HIS LIFE PURPOSE.

4 mins read
Inked
January 2021

SWIMMING IN Riches

Teddy Swims and his amazing singing voice forced the world to do a double-take. Now he’s ready to put it all out there and never be “Broke” again.

7 mins read
Inked
January 2021

FEATURING - TY DOLLA SIGN$

Ty Dolla $ign gave us the inside scoop on his highly anticipated third album, collaborating with Kanye West and keeping the nation’s spirits high.

6 mins read
Inked
January 2021

THE GOOD FIGHT

UFC fighter Lyman Good discusses the mental and physical strength required to succeed in the octagon

5 mins read
Inked
January 2021

MIKE CHABOT

When the pandemic hit, personal trainer Mike Chabot watched as gyms were forced to close their doors. While many in his industry were forlorn by the news, Chabot saw an opportunity to meet the demands of millions.

3 mins read
Inked
January 2021

PARANOIA

MAGGIE LINDEMANN SPILLS THE TEA ON HER UPCOMING EP, TRAN- SCENDING GENRES AND COLLABORATING WITH POP PUNK’S FINEST.

5 mins read
Inked
January 2021

Tattoo Artist – Carlos Fabra

Whoever said you can’t learn anything while glued to the television?

2 mins read
Inked
January 2021

Going Strong

Eddie Hall breaks down his journey to become World’s Strongest Man and his ongoing beef with "The Mountain" from "Game of Thrones."

6 mins read
Inked
January 2021

Problem – All The Answers

Problem has the perseverance and drive to make his dreams come true. We spoke with the rapper about his latest mixtape, entrepreneurship and how his tattoos remind him of what’s important in life.

6 mins read
Inked
January 2021

Fusing The Flavors Of The World

After growing up in the kitchen that brought pad thai to america, Jet Tila wants to broaden your culinary horizons one meal at a time.

5 mins read
Inked
January 2021
RELATED STORIES

WWE NETWORK MOVE TO PEACOCK PART OF VERY BUSY SPRING FOR WWE

World Wrestling Entertainment is used to making headlines this time of year leading up to WrestleMania. But the company has more on its plate leading up to its showcase event on April 10 and 11.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
March 12, 2021

A Doll's Hat

My fears around the surgery built all day.... God, please let me be as strong as my young patients are.

3 mins read
Mysterious Ways
February/March 2021

perfectly simple

Popcorn, pine cones and holly berries…

4 mins read
Angels on Earth
Nov/Dec 2020

Program Highlight

Florida Agriculture Literacy Program Modifies Events for Safety

3 mins read
Central Florida Ag News
October 2020

DOLPHINS!

Is there any sight more uplifting?

4 mins read
Angels on Earth
July/Aug 2020

FROM THE RING TO THE WORLD

We're excited to have Daria Berenato for this month's cover. She wrestles in the WWE under the name of Sonya Deville. This athlete started as an MMA fighter and transitioned into becoming a WWE Superstar who uses her platform as an activist for the LGBTQ community, supporting those that are looking to break barriers and of course continuing to expand her empire in fashion, acting and more. We also talked about her upcoming fight with former tag team partner, Mandy Rose on WWE SmackDown on May 8th!

10+ mins read
Athleisure Mag
April 2020

ROMAN'S SECOND REIGN

After being sidelined with leukemia in 2018, WWE Superstar Roman Reigns returned bigger and stronger—both inside and outside the ring.

7 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
April 2020

CJ PERRY

What was your favorite look from your Runway cover shoot and why?

6 mins read
Runway
Winter 2019

WWE's Fittest Superstars! Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins

Amid their individual ascents to the top of WWE, Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins have captivated the WWE Universe, emerged as all-stars in the fitness industry, and blazed a new path for aspiring Superstars to strive for. How’d they do it? Hard work, determination, and training their asses off.

6 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
October 2019

Roman Empire

After battling back from a leukemia diagnosis earlier in the year, WWE Superstar Roman Reigns finds himself making his big-screen debut with his cousin The Rock in Hobbs & Shaw.

3 mins read
Muscle & Fitness
August 2019