Roman Reigns has been fighting Leukemia for more than 11 years, and was finally cleared to perform inside the ring after four months of him coming out in October 2018, to let the world know about the blood cancer.
Thank you to everyone who's reached out...I can't put into words what it means to me.
Your energy and positivity motivate me to get better quickly to get back in the ring, but for now I'm going to spend time with my family and focus on health.
Thank you - Joe/Roman
After relinquishing his title and saying goodbye to the WWE Universe back then, Reigns returned to Raw a couple of weeks ago and has been putting in some great work in his promos ever since.
People have absolutely forgotten about Reigns' weaknesses and limitations that led them to criticise his abilities as a WWE performer and have adapted Joe Anoa'i, the real man behind Roman Reigns' character.
We got in touch with the 'Big Dog' himself and asked him about his phenomenal road to recovery.
What is it like coming back to the WWE after conquering Leukemia?
I have been cleared for contest. My vital organs are intact and that was the main concern for me and my medical team. Even the smallest of injuries could have made the situation a lot worse so we justed wanted to make sure that I was cleared and good to go.
Remission is not a situation where you just return and go with it, you need to prepare to be able to through a course of a 30-minute match. There is nothing that can actually make you ready for the ring after something so big and tolling has happened. All you can do is just wrestle.
Honestly, I am just nervous as to how my body is going to react to all the grinding work ahead.
Ever since your return, the WWE Universe has welcomed your character with open arms. How does that make you feel?
I think my journey and my story are both very special. I have always made some impression as Roman Reigns and the character has had a lot of positives, it has also drawn a lot of negative energy as well.
Ever since my return, everybody dropped the hate and picked up a lot of positivity and lots of love. The people pay their hard earned money to watch the show, they are entitled to make noise however they want to. For everybody to put all the hate aside and to take real life on, it shows the type of family we are.
Family comes to the aide when an outsider attacks and in my case the 'outsider' was cancer and everybody who loves sports and entertainment, they all got on my side. I will never forget that and it just shows that people are good. Regardless of the fact that controversy and negativity sells but when push comes to shove, people are good and they had my back.
What did you miss the most during your time off?
The thing I missed the most was comradery and just having my 'guy-time'. We have spent so much time together and when you spend more time with your coworkers than your family, you forget how important they are to you and how close you have become. All the small memories you have shared together just came back rushing in.
Particularly, during all the travelling, sometimes we feel like a bit of an outcast in some locations and we only have each other to count on. To be really taken away from all that really makes you remember and cherish those times.
How do you feel about Becky Lynch's brilliant run in the WWE and her chances of event main-eventing at Wrestlemania?
I love it.
What better way to showcase what we have been for a few years now? I stand firmly behind these strong women and am proud of the strength these young women have shown as role models.
I have a daughter who is in a time of her life where she is easily influenced. Why not have these strong women tell young girls like my daughter that they can do anything.
Becky, Ronda, Charlotte, they are all great examples of strength. Hell, if women can handle giving birth and all the crazy things that come along while creating life, and nurturing and taking care of us, why can't they main-event a sports-entertainment show?
Now that you are back, what are your goals from a professional and personal standpoint?
Now that I am here, my professional goal is just to take back the role that I had in the WWE before I left. When you get comfortable with the situation, you don't want to return to the exertion. For me I want to go back to be known as the 'Big Dog', stay in my lane and use this experience that I have gained over the years for the betterment of the people around me.
In the past few months, we have seen Joe Anoa'i and Roman Reigns, the character, getting meshed in some sense. Similarly, my goals both professionally and personally are the same and that's to stay healthy and perform at the ultimate level. I want to leave the WWE better than when I came in and if I can do that, my career speaks in that regard.
After all that you have been through, how important is it for you to be a role model for the little kids?
I think it's huge.
It is a weird responsibility. Not only do you have a large amount of your personal life out there in display but once you have made that interaction with people and you have made your mark, you have to hold up to that.
This is not just a 'Roman Reigns' thing, this is me, this is Joe Anoa'i and this is my life and I have taken to high regard to how people look at me. So it is my responsibility to stay consistent and kind.