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Roman Reigns Reveals He Is Battling Leukemia, Relinquishes WWE Universal Championship

23 October 2018

Therefore, Braun Strowman will face Brock Lesnar one-on-one at Crown Jewel to determine a new WWE Universal Champion.

"My real name is Joe (Anoa'i) and I've been living with leukemia for 11 years", he said, "and unfortunately it's back and because the leukemia is back, I can not fulfill my role, I can not be that fighting champion and I'm going to have to relinquish the universal championship".

He missed weekend house shows, and wrestlers PWTorch contacted over the weekend said they were not told why and assumed he was just given the weekend off. Fans were not told he was not on the shows, despite being advertised heavily for the three weekend events.

Roman Reigns announced at the top of Raw that he's been living with leukemia for the past 11 years and it has unfortunately returned, meaning he'll have to relinquish the Universal Championship.

This was an absolutely shocking announcement and obviously I join everyone in wishing him the very best with this battle.

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Despite the announcement, Reigns made it clear that he doesn't want to treat this as a retirement. He explained that he was diagnosed at the age of 22, but fought the disease, which then went into remission.

"I'm not looking for sympathy", Roman continued.

He said that there was a time when he didn't have anything, but WWE is the team that gave him a chance.

The fans quickly united in support, chanting "thank you Roman". "I will beat this", Reigns said.

He walked up the entrance ramp and was met by his two fellow members of faction The Shield, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Along with being cousins with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, he's the son of WWE Hall of Famer Sika of the Wild Samoans and the brother for former WWE superstar Rosey, who died in 2017.

Roman Reigns Reveals He Is Battling Leukemia, Relinquishes WWE Universal Championship