He’ll be a big focus of Sunday’s edition of Undertaker: The Last Ride, and he was a hot topic around the wrestling web earlier this week when he wasn’t anywhere to be found in the version of his WrestleMania 31 loss to Seth Rollins that was shown on Raw.
Good time for Roman Reigns to provide more background on his decision to not participate in the shows WWE’s been producing during the coronavirus pandemic. And that’s exactly what he did in a TMZ Sports interview that dropped early this morning (Fri., May 8).
“A lot of people think that it was based off of my health, and the history of my fight against leukemia. But just talking to my doctors and stuff, I actually am fine and my immune system is good. The drugs that I take in order to fight the leukemia, they don’t attack the immune system. But not everybody knew, because I try to keep it private in this crazy world but - my children. I just had two newborn twins, twin boys. Eight weeks old. So I had to make a decision from them.
I love this business. If anybody ever questions if I love this business, go back about a year and a half ago. I came back as fast as possible. I could have took a lot longer off to focus on my health, but they told me, ‘yeah man, you should be fine to get in the ring and do your thing if you want to get back to normal’ and I jumped as soon as they gave me the green light. But this is bigger than me. It’s my family. It’s my children. They are my legacy. No matter what I do in this world, my children are gonna be the ones the represent my name and carry my name forward, so I had to make that choice for them, being so young.
We’re doing good. It’s tough, because I want to be out there. Don’t get me wrong. It’s weird to see the show in front of no one, but - you know what I mean? It’s strange because we sell the atmosphere. There’s nothing like being at a WWE show when the house is packed and the crowd is going nuts, it’s unlike I anything, there’s no comparison, because the unison. And it’s all like a home crowd, it’s not like a split crowd, it doesn’t get quiet. If it quiet out there, then that’s on the Superstars - something’s going wrong, but, yeah man, I miss it. I want to be out there, I want to get back to work, I want to get back to normal.
But I feel like I have an obligation, not only to my family and to myself, but to my community and also to set the example. Cause at the end of the day we can do a lot of different things and say a lot of different things but it’s through our actions that really speak volumes and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
As to when he might be back on SmackDown?
“Really to be honest, I don’t know. I mean, we’re just going day by day, taking this thing how it comes, you know? We’re in weird times. These are brand new times for us, this is a new normal and we’re just trying to collect as much information and make the most educated choice possible, and that going forward will, like I said, protect my family and myself. But I definitely want to get out there, I definitely want to be back to normal and just performing for the fans. It’s tough to be a performer who’s not performing... [Reigns pans the camera to show his two older twin boys sneaking up behind him and laughs] I can’t even get away ... but yeah man, hopefully very soon.”
Nothing too surprising here. It’s more just confirmation of previous reports with more detail from the man himself than his only previous statement.
The two things which stand out the most, at least to these ears, are Reigns belief that the best example he can set for the community is not to soldier on in the way WWE portrays their essential business - but to stay home.
Also, it sounds like The Big Dog dislikes empty arena wrestling as much as the fans.
What do you think of Roman’s explanation? Will it settle the debate surrounding his WWE absence, or just fuel the fire?