Roman Reigns real name Leati Joseph Anoa’i is an American professional wrestler born on 25th May 1985 in Pensacola, Florida. Reigns is currently signed to the RAW brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is one of the most integral wrestlers of the company.
It is interesting to know that Reigns did not start his career as a wrestler but as a football player. He started his professional football career with off-season spells with Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League back in 2007. He then moved across the border to join Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos in 2008. He was released at the end of the season and with that Reigns’ football career ended.
Roman Reigns WWE Career
Reigns then pursued his career in professional wrestling and was signed by the WWE in 2010. He made his main roster debut in 2012 as a part of the group, The Shield, along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. After the trio split in 2014, Reigns started wrestling as a single wrestler.
He is a three-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWE United States Champion, a one-time WWE Intercontinental Champion and a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion. Reigns also won the 2015 Royal Rumble and the 2014 Superstar of the Year.
Reigns jointly holds the WWE record for the most number of eliminations in a Survivor Series Elimination Match with four in the 2013 edition.
He also holds the record for the most number of eliminations in the Royal Rumble with 12 in the 2014 edition. The record was then broken by Braun Strowman later. Reigns has headlined the last four Wrestlemanias and WWE has attempted to establish Reigns as the “face of the company” in the past few years.
Roman Reigns moved to wrestling in July 2010, when he signed a contract with WWE and was later drafted to their Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) territory. He made his WWE debut on 9th September 2010 using the ring name Roman Leakee.
With Roman Reigns age being in the 20s, the former Jacksonville Jaguars player made his singles WWE debut in a losing effort to Richie Steamboat. Roman won his first match in the division after sustaining a couple more losses.
In 2011, he formed a tag-team with Donny Marlow and the duo challenged Calvin Raines and Big E Langston for the FCW Tag Team Championship. However, their attempt would be unsuccessful.
In 2012, Leakee pinned then FCW Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger during a tag-team match. The match emerged as the starting point of a new feud as Leakee later defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match, becoming the number one contender for the FCW Heavyweight Championship.
However, he failed in his mission as he lost to Kruger the following week. Leakee later regained the tag-team titles with Mike Dalton. After WWE rebranded FCW to WWE NXT, Leakee changed his ring name to Roman Reigns and made his debut on 31st October to beat CJ Parker. He beat Chase Donovan and wrestled in his last match in the division against Gavin Reids which he won on the December 5 episode of NXT.
Roman Reigns Heel
Standing at 6 ft 3 in, Roman Reigns height certainly played a huge factor, as the former FCW sensation made his first appearance on the WWE main roster as part of the group known as The Shield along with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
They made their appearance during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship involving CM Punk, John Cena and Ryback at the Survivor Series PPV. They came in through the crowd and attacked Ryback together.
A tired and vulnerable Ryback could not do anything as they beat him mercilessly. They ended by throwing him through the commentary table which later turned out to be the signature move of the group. As a result of the intervention, CM Punk retained the title.
The Shield WWE
In the episode of RAW following the Survivor Series, The Shield defended their actions by saying that they vowed to battle against injustice and categorically denied working for CM Punk. They would call themselves ‘The Hounds of Justice’.
However, the group would emerge from the crowd to regularly beat up Punk’s opponents and adversaries including Ryback and Team Hell No, a tag-team comprising of Kane and Daniel Bryan.
This led to a tag-team match between The Shield and the three adversaries of CM Punk in the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay per view. This was the official debut match of the group, which The Shield easily won.
The Shield continued to attack Punk’s opponents, including beating up The Rock who is Roman reigns cousins. On the January 28, 2013 episode of RAW, it was revealed that CM Punk and his manager Paul Heyman had been paying The Shield to work for him.
The trio ended their association with Punk and began feuding with John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus.
They faced each other on February 17th at the Elimination Chamber which was won by The Shield. The group competed in their first match on RAW in the following episode which they won against Ryback, Sheamus and Chris Jericho.
In an attempt to beat the group, Sheamus formed an alliance with Randy Orton and Big Show and faced them at the Wrestlemania 29, where The Shield again emerged victorious.
The Shield started attacking The Undertaker in the following episode of RAW but were stopped by Team Hell No. This set up a six-man tag team match in the 22nd April 2013 episode of RAW which The Shield won.
The Shield’s winning streak came to an end when they lost via disqualification in an elimination tag-team match against John Cena, Kane and Daniel Bryan in the 13th May 2013 episode.
At the Extreme Rules pay per view, Reigns won his first belt in WWE as he partnered with Seth Rollins to win the WWE Tag Team Championship in a tornado tag team championship.
They won the rematch against Team Hell No on the 27th May 2013 episode of RAW. The duo defended their titles against Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan at Payback, against The Usos at Money in the Bank and against Prime Time Players at Night of Champions.
In August, The Shield started working for Triple H and The Authority in a change of storyline. Reigns and Rollins lost their titles to Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a no disqualification match following interference from Big Show and went on to lose the rematch against them as well.
At Survivor Series, Reigns was the sole survivor for The Shield in a five-on-five elimination tag team match where he made a Survivor Series record by eliminating four. In the Royal Rumble, Reigns entered the rumble at number 15 and made the record for the most number of eliminations with 12. He was finally eliminated by Batista.
Just before the Wrestlemania XXX, The Shield attacked Jerry Lawler but later turned their attention to Kane. Leading upto the event, they continued to attack Kane who was joined by The New Age Outlaws, thus culminating into a match at the pay per view. The Shield won the match.
The feud with Kane resulted in The Shield severing ties with Triple H who reformed Evolution once again. However, The Shield defeated Evolution at Extreme Rules and Payback. Batista quit WWE soon after, which led Triple H to execute his Plan B. This led to Seth Rollins attacking Reigns and Ambrose and as a result The Shield broke apart.
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