Leati Joseph “Joe” Anoaʻi is a 36-year-old American wrestler, actor and former professional football player. He is currently signed to WWE and performs on SmackDown under the ring name Roman Reigns.
Anoa’i comes from a family of famous Samoan professional wrestlers including his father, Sika, and cousins Rikishi, Umaga and Yokazuna. He’s also a cousin of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the Usos once-removed.
Before Anoa’i started wrestling, he was a professional football player having had brief stints with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007. During a team physical, it was discovered that Anoa’i had leukemia and was released by the Vikings to get treatment. In 2008, he returned to football and played for the Canadian Football League’s team, the Edmonton Eskimos, for one season.
Anoa’i’s WWE Contract & Debut
In 2010, Anoa’i signed with the WWE and was assigned to the company’s developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). He made his in-ring televised debut on August 19, 2010 using the ring name Roman Leakee in a 15-man battle royal won by Alex Riley. In August 2012, he changed his ring name to Roman Reigns and debuted on NXT (the FCW re-branded).
In November 2012, Reigns was moved to the main roster and debuted on the Survivor Series pay-per-view event alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. The villainous trio declared that they would be known as, The Shield.
At Extreme Rules 2013, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) to win their first WWE Tag Team Championships. The Shield lost the titles in a match against Cody Rhodes and Goldust on an episode of RAW in October.
Roman Reigns Wins Royal Rumble
In 2014, after Seth Rollins betrayed The Shield, Roman Reigns went on a singles run but was unsuccessful in winning a title. At the 2015 Royal Rumble, Reigns won the royal rumble match and earned himself a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 31. Reigns did not win the title at WrestleMania as Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank turning the match into a triple threat which ended with Rollins pinning Reigns.
In October 2015, Reigns defeated Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens in a fatal four way to become the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In November, Rollins, who held the title, had to vacate it due to injury. A tournament to crown a new champion was held and Roman Reigns defeated The Big Show in the first round, Cesaro in the quarter finals, Alberto Del Rio in the semi-finals, and Dean Ambrose in the finals at Survivor Series in November to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Immediately following the match, Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated Roman Reigns, ending his first title reign at only five minutes.
Reigns’ World Heavyweight Championship
Reigns regained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the episode following the TLC pay-per-view event and managed to retain the title until the 2016 Royal Rumble when Triple H eliminated him from the match. Reigns won the WWE World Heavyweight championship a third time at WrestleMania 32.
In September 2016, Roman Reigns fought Rusev to become the United States Champion at the pay-per-view event, Clash of Champions. His United States Championship title reign lasted 106 days.
In October 2017, Roman Reigns alongside Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose decided to reform The Shield. In November, Roman Reigns defeated the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship thus becoming the twenty-eighth Triple Crown and seventeenth Grand Slam champion. His reign lasted 63 days as Intercontinental Champion.
Roman Reigns WWE Universal Champion
At the 2018 SummerSlam, Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship. In October 2018, Reigns announced that he would be vacating the title because his leukemia had returned after 11 years of remission. Reigns began his hiatus following this announcement in order to seek treatment.
Roman Reigns returned to RAW on February 25, 2019, announcing that his leukemia was in remission again. During the WWE SuperStar shake-up, Roman Reigns was assigned to SmackDown. For most of 2019, Roman Reigns feuded with Shane McMahon, Drew McIntyre, King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler.
At WrestleMania 36, Roman Reigns was set to battle Goldberg for the Universal Championship but he had to pull out of the event due to the pandemic and concerns for his health being immunocompromised from his leukemia.
Roman Reigns’ Return to WWE Action
Roman Reigns returned to WWE at SummerSlam 2020 and attacked both Braun Strowman and The Field, Bray Wyatt, at the end of the show.
A week later at PayBack, Roman Reigns defeated Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman in a triple threat, no holds barred match to become the WWE Universal Champion for a second time.
Birth Name: Leati Joseph “Joe” Anoaʻi
Born: May 25, 1985, Pensacola, Florida, USA
Birth Name: Leati Joseph Anoaʻi
Height: 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)
Spouse: Galina Becker
Ring name(s): Leakee, Roman Leakee, Roman Reigns
Current Roster: WWE SmackDown
Finishing Move(s): Superman Punch
Roman Reigns’ Social Media:
Career Championships and Accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- FCW Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- FCW Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- WWE Universal Championship (2 times, Current)
- WWE Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- WWE United States Championship (1 time)
- WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time)
- Twenty-eighth Triple Crown Champion
- Ninth Grand Slam Champion
- Royal Rumble (2015)
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament (2015)