Roman Reigns is an American professional wrestler born on 25th May 1985 in Pensacola, Florida. Reigns is currently signed to the RAW brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is one of the most integral wrestlers of the company.
It is interesting to know that Reigns did not start his career as a wrestler but as a football player. He started his professional football career with off-season spells with Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League back in 2007. He then moved across the border to join Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos in 2008. He was released at the end of the season and with that Reigns’ football career ended.
Reigns then pursued his career in professional wrestling and was signed by the WWE in 2010. He made his main roster debut in 2012 as a part of the group, The Shield, along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
After the trio split in 2014, Reigns started wrestling as a single wrestler. He is a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWE United States Champion, a one-time WWE Intercontinental Champion and a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion. Reigns also won the 2015 Royal Rumble and the 2014 Superstar of the Year.
Reigns jointly holds the WWE record for the most number of eliminations in a Survivor Series Elimination Match with four in the 2013 edition. He also holds the record for the most number of eliminations in the Royal Rumble with 12 in the 2014 edition. The record was then broken by Braun Strowman later.
Reigns has headlined the last four Wrestlemanias and WWE has attempted to establish Reigns as the “face of the company” in the last few years.
Reigns moved to wrestling in July 2010, when he signed a contract with WWE and was later drafted to their Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) territory. He made his WWE debut on 9th September 2010 using the ring name Roman Leakee.
He lost to Richie Steamboat in a singles match on his WWE debut. Roman won his first match in the division after sustaining a couple more losses. In 2011, he formed a tag-team with Donny Marlow and the duo challenged Calvin Raines and Big E Langston for the FCW Tag Team Championship. However, their attempt would be unsuccessful.
In 2012, Leakee pinned then FCW Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger during a tag-team match. The match emerged as the starting point of a new feud as Leakee later defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match, becoming the number one contender for the FCW Heavyweight Championship. However, he failed in his mission as he lost to Kruger the following week. Leakee later regained the tag-team titles with Mike Dalton.
After WWE rebranded FCW to WWE NXT, Leakee changed his ring name to Roman Reigns and made his debut on 31st October to beat CJ Parker. He beat Chase Donovan and wrestled in his last match in the division against Gavin Reids which he won on the December 5 episode of NXT.
WWE Main Roster Debut
Reigns made his first appearance on the WWE main roster as part of the group The Shield along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. They made their appearance during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship involving CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback at the Survivor Series PPV. They came in through the crowd and attacked Ryback together.
A tired and vulnerable Ryback could not do anything as they beat him mercilessly. They ended by throwing him through the commentary table which later turned out to be the signature move of the group. As a result of the intervention, Punk retained the title.
In the episode of RAW following the Survivor Series, The Shield defended their actions by saying that they vowed to battle against injustice and categorically denied working for CM Punk. They would call themselves ‘The Hounds of Justice’. However, the group would emerge from the crowd to regularly beat up Punk’s opponents and adversaries including Ryback and Team Hell No, a tag-team comprising of Kane and Daniel Bryan.
This led to a tag-team match between The Shield and the three adversaries of CM Punk in the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view. This was the official debut match of the group, which The Shield easily won.
The Shield continued to attack Punk’s opponents, including beating up The Rock who is the cousin of Reigns. On the January 28, 2013 episode of RAW, it was revealed that CM Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield to work for him.
The trio ended their association with Punk and began feuding with John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus. They faced each other on February 17th at the Elimination Chamber which was won by The Shield. The group competed in their first match on RAW in the following episode which they won against Ryback, Sheamus and Chris Jericho.
In an attempt to beat the group, Sheamus formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show and faced them at the Wrestlemania 29, where The Shield again emerged victorious. The Shield started attacking The Undertaker in the following episode of RAW but were stopped by Team Hell No.
This set up a six-man tag team match in the 22nd April 2013 episode of RAW which The Shield won. The Shield’s winning streak came to an end when they lost via disqualification in an elimination tag-team match against John Cena, Kane and Daniel Bryan in the 13th May 2013 episode.
At the Extreme Rules pay per view, Reigns won his first belt in WWE as he partnered with Seth Rollins to win the WWE Tag Team Championship in a tornado tag team championship. They won the rematch against Team Hell No on the 27th May 2013 episode of RAW. The duo defended their titles against Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan at Payback, against The Usos at Money in the Bank and against Prime Time Players at Night of Champions.
In August, The Shield started working for Triple H and The Authority in a change of storyline. Reigns and Rollins lost their titles to Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a no disqualification match following interference from Big Show and went on to lose the rematch against them as well. At Survivor Series, Reigns was the sole survivor for The Shield in a five-on-five elimination tag team match where he made a Survivor Series record by eliminating four. In the Royal Rumble, Reigns entered the rumble at number 15 and made the record for the most number of eliminations with 12. He was finally eliminated by Batista.
Just before the Wrestlemania XXX, The Shield attacked Jerry Lawler but later turned their attention to Kane. Leading upto the event, they continued to attack Kane who was joined by The New Age Outlaws, thus culminating into a match at the pay per view. The Shield won the match.
The feud with Kane resulted in The Shield severing ties with Triple H who reformed Evolution once again. However, The Shield defeated Evolution at Extreme Rules and Payback. Batista quit WWE soon after, which led Triple H to execute his Plan B. This led to Seth Rollins attacking Reigns and Ambrose and as a result The Shield broke apart.
As a Solo Wrestler
After The Shield broke apart, Reigns was brought into title contention. He failed to win the World Heavyweight Title Championship Ladder Match at Money in the Bank. In the next pay per view at Battleground, Reigns was a part of the fatal four-way match for the Championship which he lost as well. Reigns then developed a feud with Randy Orton which led to a match between them at Summerslam where Reigns beat Orton.
In the meantime, Ambrose was feuding with Rollins over his betrayal which ultimately led to Ambrose being injured by the latter. Reigns stepped in and a match was set up at Night of Champions. However, Reigns developed an incarcerated hernia which required a surgery before the event and thus Reigns was ruled out of action for an indefinite amount of time.
Reigns returned in the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs event where he attacked both Big Show and Seth Rollins to help John Cena win. Following the event, Reigns faced Big Show in a multiple matches, all of which were won by Reigns.
Reigns entered the 2015 Royal Rumble at number 19, which he won thus earning an opportunity to headline Wrestlemania 31. Reigns was then forced to defend this opportunity with a match against Daniel Bryan at Fastlane and successfully managed to do it. At Wrestlemania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank when Reigns’ match against Brock Lesnar was underway. Rollins then pinned Reigns to win the championship.
In April 2015, Reigns refuelled his rivalry with Big Show which resulted in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules. Reigns won the match. At Payback, Reigns failed to win the championship against Rollins in a fatal four-way match. He competed in the Money in the Bank match at the pay per view but failed to win after Bray Wyatt attacked him.
Reigns also failed to win against Wyatt at Battleground following an intervention. At the Night of Champions, Reigns teamed with former ally Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho but the duo were beaten by Wyatt, Luke Harper and Braun Strowman. At Hell in a Cell, Reigns had his redemption as he beat Wyatt.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion
On the 26th October 2015 episode of RAW, Reigns participated in a fatal four-way match involving Alberto del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens to determine the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns won the match, which was followed by Seth Rollins’ untimely injury leading to the championship being vacated. A tournament was announced and Triple H tried to persuade Reigns to join The Authority by providing him a bye to the final.
Reigns declined the offer and went on to win the tournament to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the first time. Triple H appeared to congratulate Reigns following his victory but hit him with a spear instead. Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, thus ending Reigns’ reign.
At the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Reigns lost to Sheamus following an interference from Alberto del Rio and Rusev. On the next episode of RAW, Mr. McMahon granted Reigns a title rematch against Sheamus which Reigns won to regain his title despite interferences from Mr. McMahon, Del Rio and Rusev.
On the 4th January 2016 episode of Raw, Reigns once again defended his crown against Sheamus. Reigns was then made to defend his title in a Royal Rumble match at the pay per view. Triple H won the title after winning the rumble.
At Fastlane, Reigns beat Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in a triple threat match to become the number one contender for the championship at Wrestlemania 32. He the went on to win the title at the event. After successful title defences against AJ Styles at both Payback and Extreme Rules, Reigns lost his title to old foe Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank.
After failing to win the WWE Championship and failure to contend for the WWE Universal Championship, Reigns challenged Rusev for the WWE United States Championship. The duo faced each other at Summerslam which was declared as a no contest. Rusev then cost Reigns’ opportunity to become the number one contender for the WWE Universal Championship. Reigns beat Rusev at Clash of Champions to become the WWE United States Champion.
On the 28th November episode of RAW, Reigns challenged WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens to a non-title match which he won. He thus earned a shot at the title according to the stipulations of the match. The duo met at Roadblock: End of the Line and Reigns lost via disqualification after Chris Jericho attacked Owens to prevent Reigns from winning. On the 9th January 2017 episode of RAW, Reigns lost his United States Championship to Chris Jericho.
Reigns faced Owens in a no disqualification rematch at Royal Rumble with Jericho being suspended in a cage above the ring. Reigns lost the match after Braun Strowman interfered. Later on, Reigns entered the Royal Rumble match at number 30 but was eliminated by Randy Orton.
Reigns faced The Undertaker at the Wrestlemania 33 and beat the legendary wrestler. In doing so, he became only the second wrestler to beat him at Wrestlemania.
At Extreme Rules, Reigns was named in the fatal five-way match along with Bray Wyatt, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins which he failed to win. On the 19th June 2017 episode of RAW, Reigns challenged the person who would become the WWE Universal Champion at Summerslam, but Strowman returned on the same night and cost him his opportunity. The duo went on to face each other in an ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire, which Reigns lost.
In October, Reigns rejoined his old pals Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to recreate The Shield due to issues with The Miz, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Cesaro and Sheamus. They were slated to participate in TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs together but Reigns could not due to an illness. Reigns later beat The Miz to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship and thus completed the Grand Slam. He was the seventeenth Grand Slam champion. He lost the title to The Miz at the 25th anniversary of RAW episode.
Pursuit of the Universal Championship
Reigns participated in the Royal Rumble match at the pay per view but was eliminated by Shinsuke Nakamura. He failed to regain the Intercontinental title from The Miz and took part in a number one contender match for the Universal Championship at Elimination Chamber. Reigns won the match. He faced the champion Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34 but failed to win after suffering six F5s. They played a rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble in a steel cage match. Reigns speared Lesnar through the cage, thus giving Lesnar the win as he went out of the cage first.
Roman Reigns in Films
Reigns appeared in two films as himself. He made an appearance in the 2016 movie Countdown. He also appeared as himself in The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania.
Reigns is half Samoan and half Italian through his lineage. Wrestling runs in his family as both his father Sika Anoa’i and brother Rosey were wrestlers. He is cousin to former WWE wrestlers Yokozuna, Rikishi, Umaga and The Rock.
Reigns married Galina Joelle Becker in December 2014. They have a daughter named Joelle. In 2016, Reigns’ wife gave birth to twin boys.
Finishing Moves and Signature Moves
· Moment of Silence
· Samoan drop
· Superman Punch
· Multiple corner clothesline
· Special Op by Jim Johnston (as part of The Shield)