Roman Reigns has relinquished the WWE Universal Title, revealing that he has leukemia. Apparently he has been living with the disease for 11 years, having been diagnosed when he was only 22 years old. Reigns, real name Joseph Anoaʻi became the WWE Universal Champion after defeating Brock Lesnar at August's SummerSlam PPV.
"The reality is, my real name is Joe and I've been living with leukemia for 11 years. And, unfortunately it's back. And because the leukemia is back I cannot fulfill my role, I cannot be that fighting champion, and I'm gonna to have to relinquish the Universal Championship."
"I'm not looking for sympathy," Roman continued. "Because I have faith. When I was 22-years-old, I was diagnosed with this. And very quickly I was able to put it in remission. But I'm not gonna lie, that was the hardest time in my life. I didn't have a job. I didn't have any money. I didn't have a home. And I had a baby on the way. And football was done with me. But you wanna know who gave me a chance? The team that gave me a chance was WWE. Once I'm done whooping leukemia's ass once again, I'm coming home."
After that emotional speech in the ring, Roman left the belt in the ring and his fellow Shield brothers Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins met him on the ramp, tears flowing for one last embrace.
RAW announcers told viewers that they are working behind the scenes to figure out what the future will hold for the Universal title, not that it is the most important thing right now. Roman's next title defense was to be at the WWE's controversial Crown Jewel PPV in Saudi Arabia on November 2.
There is no word on a time-table for Roman Reigns to return. We hope it is a speedy recovery.