Lloyd Anoa’i Reflects on Roman Reigns’ Unexpected Journey into Wrestling

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Roman Reigns is unquestionably WWE’s biggest Superstar today, but one member of his family once believed the Tribal Chief would never become a wrestler.

Reigns recently surpassed three years as WWE Universal Champion with his reign seeing him dispatch of Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Cody Rhodes, and Drew McIntyre, among others.


Speaking on a recent edition of the “WrestleBinge” podcast, Lloyd Anoa’i, who once competed for WWE and ECW, stated that Reigns hardly seemed interested in getting into the business at first. He said,

“He’s always been quiet. Ever since he was younger, Roman’s been quiet. He was always to himself. Him and the twins [The Usos], they were inseparable. They were always hanging out because they all lived in Pensacola, Florida, together.

“So they were around each other every day. Joe [Reigns] was… I’ve never seen him, really, to be honest with you, I never thought he’d get into the wrestling business because he never looked that way. He never focused on it. He wasn’t really interested in it.

“After college, when he got drafted to the NFL, I was like, ‘Alright, here we go.’ Then, of course, everything happened with the sickness he had, and he couldn’t pass the test for the NFL, and things happened. So then his next step was, why not get into wrestling? It’s only natural.” 

Reigns hasn’t competed since WWE SummerSlam in August and is being advertised for next month’s WWE Crown Jewel pay-per-view event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Roman Reigns, the current WWE Universal Champion, has become one of the biggest superstars in the wrestling industry today. However, it may come as a surprise to some that there was a time when one member of his family doubted his potential as a wrestler.

Lloyd Anoa’i, who himself competed for WWE and ECW, recently shared his thoughts on Reigns’ early days in the wrestling business during an episode of the “WrestleBinge” podcast. Anoa’i revealed that Reigns initially showed little interest in pursuing a career in wrestling.

Anoa’i described Reigns as a quiet individual who kept to himself, often spending time with his twin cousins, The Usos. Growing up together in Pensacola, Florida, they were inseparable. Anoa’i admitted that he never expected Reigns to enter the wrestling business because he didn’t fit the typical mold of a wrestler and didn’t seem particularly interested in it.

After college, Reigns was drafted into the NFL, which seemed like a natural path for him. However, due to a medical condition, he couldn’t pass the required tests and had to reconsider his options. It was then that Reigns decided to give wrestling a try.

Reigns’ decision to pursue a career in wrestling turned out to be a game-changer. He quickly rose through the ranks and became one of WWE’s top stars. His reign as WWE Universal Champion has seen him defeat notable opponents such as Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Cody Rhodes, and Drew McIntyre.

Although Reigns hasn’t competed since WWE SummerSlam in August, he is set to appear at the upcoming WWE Crown Jewel pay-per-view event in Saudi Arabia next month. Fans eagerly await his return to the ring and are excited to see what he has in store.

In conclusion, Roman Reigns’ journey from being a quiet individual with little interest in wrestling to becoming WWE’s biggest superstar is a testament to his talent and determination. Despite initial doubts from some, Reigns has proven himself as a dominant force in the industry. His story serves as an inspiration to aspiring wrestlers and reminds us that sometimes the most unexpected paths can lead to greatness.