Roman Reigns

Update (9:55 p.m. ET): WWE has announced that Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar will now take place at Crown Jewel to determine a new Universal Champion from Saudi Arabia.


Moments ago live on RAW, Universal Champion Roman Reigns revealed he is currently battling leukemia and will be taking time away from WWE.

Reigns, who revealed he’s been living with leukemia for 11 years, announced it has returned and has been forced to vacate the Universal Championship as a result.

Reigns was scheduled to defend his title against Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on November 2. What that means for the title match remains to be seen. As of now, the Universal Championship is officially vacated.

Excerpt courtesy of Mike Tedesco’s live RAW recap:

Reigns has an interesting look on his face. Reigns stands in the ring and chuckles at the boos. Reigns stands there for a few moments, and his eyes look red. Reigns says he feels like he owes everyone an apology. For months — maybe even a full year — he’s come out and spoken as Roman Reigns. He said he’d be a fighting champion and a workhorse, but that’s all lies. The camera zooms in on the championship. Reigns says the reality is his real name is Joe and he’s been living with leukemia for eleven years. Unfortunately it’s back. Reigns cannot fulfill his role and will relinquish the Universal Championship.

Reigns was diagnosed at 22, but he fought and it went into remission. That was a tough time. He didn’t have anything and a baby on the way. Football was done with him. Reigns puts over WWE and the fans. A loud “Thank you, Roman” chant picks up. Reigns looks moved to tears. Reigns says they all know the deal. Life is not fair. It’s not all peaches and cream. Sometimes life throws you a curveball. The right thing to do is to go home and focus on his family and his health. This is by no means a retirement speech. After he’s done whooping leukemia’s ass once again, he’s coming back home.

When he does, it’s not just going to be about titles and being on top. It’s about a purpose. He’s coming back because he wants to show the whole world, his family, friends, children, and wife that when life throws a curveball at him, he’ll stand in the batter’s box, crowd up on the plate, and hit for the fences. Reigns says they will see him very soon. Reigns thanks the fans and says he loves them. Believe that. Reigns puts the Universal Championship down in the middle of the ring while a “Thank you, Roman” chant picks up. Reigns leaves the ring and shakes hands with fans.

On behalf of the entire staff here at, we would like to wish Reigns a speedy recovery as he battles this terrible disease.