5 Rare photos of Roman Reigns before making it to WWE
Former Universal Champion Roman Reigns is on his way to becoming not one of, but THE biggest superstar in WWE when he becomes the new "face that runs the place." WWE has been building Reigns up as their next big star for years now and the latter has gone on to main event four WrestleManias in a row, even though most of those matches received generally unfavorable reviews from fans and critics.
While we have known the Roman Reigns character for a while now, not many people know about the man playing the character, the man known as Joe Anoa'i. Joe comes from a family of professional wrestlers. It runs in his blood. His father Sika Anoa'i and his brother Rosey also competed in WWE and his cousins The Usos are the biggest name in the tag team division right now and his other cousin, The Rock, is one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history.
When The Big Dog publicly announced that he has been living with leukemia for 11 years, fans were legitimately shocked because none of us knew anything about it. That told us that there is still a lot we don't know about him and although we have known the character for years, Joe Anoa'i felt like a stranger to us.
From his childhood growing up to playing American football, here are some of the rarest photos of Roman Reigns before you knew him in WWE.
#5 Roman Reigns in Florida Championship Wrestling
The first time that the majority of the WWE Universe saw Roman Reigns was when he debuted with his Shield brothers Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose at Survivor Series in 2012. Before that, Reigns competed in Florida Championship Wrestling under the name Roman Leakee from 2010 before the developmental territory was rebranded to NXT.
While FCW was under WWE, Reigns did not "make it" in WWE yet and he was hardly known as he is today. The Big Dog went on to main event four consecutive WrestleManias and became the ninth Grand Slam Champion in WWE, winning the Tag Team Championships, United States Championship, Intercontinental Championship, WWE Championship, and Universal Championship.