Roman Reigns has some good news for WWE fans: His cancer is in remission.
The professional wrestler, 33, made the announcement on Monday, February 25, when he made a surprise appearance during Monday Night Raw at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. He did a lap around the ring to greet the crowd before speaking publicly for the first time since stepping away from WWE in October 2018.
“The good news is I’m in remission, y’all,” Reigns (real name Joe Anoa’i) said. “With that being said, the ‘Big Dog’ is back. … I missed y’all. There is no other job like this. There’s no other fan base like you guys.”
The four-time world champion had privately battled leukemia at the age of 22 before the disease returned in October, forcing him to vacate the WWE Universal Championship.
Hours after Monday’s announcement, Reigns sat down with Robin Roberts, who is also a cancer survivor, on Good Morning America to further discuss his health battle.
“This journey is not gonna be complete until I step foot back in that ring,” he said on Tuesday, February 26, noting that he felt “so nervous” about sharing his good news despite the “really overwhelming” support he has received from fans in recent months.
“People from all walks of life, everybody was thinking about me,” the athlete said. “Everyone was praying for me, and I just feel so blessed to receive that type of attention, that type of love.”
Reigns went on to call his wife, Galina Becker, and their three children his “rock” and “support system.”
“Sometimes it’s our families that suffer the most,” he said. “We’re just in it and we’re just trying to overcome and just move on to the next day and continue to progress, and they are the ones worrying to death. My mom — bless her heart — she is the biggest worrywart in the world. Mom, I love you, but you gotta chill out a little.”
The actor said his first battle with leukemia “felt like I was on an island,” but the second time around “felt like I was surrounded by guardian angels.”
Reigns has not yet specified when he plans to return to WWE.