When Roman Reigns announced on this week’s Monday Night Raw that he would be going on hiatus due to his leukemia returning, it came as a shock not only to fans — but also to most of the WWE locker room. There were only a select few within the company structure who knew that he was fighting the disease again. The fact that Roman Reigns had first battled leukemia more than a decade ago was also something that he chose to discuss only with select people within the WWE. Triple H was one of those people, and in a recent interview, the WWE executive — and part-time wrestler — spoke on the subject of why Reigns had chosen not to open up about his past leukemia diagnosis until the disease returned.
Speaking on the Elvis Duran Show (via YouTube) on Friday, Triple H explained that Reigns had previously made him aware of his earlier battle with leukemia. He added that Reigns had opted to keep this private until he had “reached a certain point in his career,” and that he chose to do so because he didn’t want it to appear as if he was being “pitied,” or being given opportunities simply because of the challenges that he faced.
“He wanted to be able to come out at the end and say, ‘Look, I’ve dealt with this the whole time. You can do anything. This is not an end sentence,'” Triple H recalled, as quoted by Wrestling Inc.
Triple H also recalled the talk that he had shared with Roman Reigns on Monday, where he showed his support for Reigns’ decision to go public about how his leukemia had returned.
“[I told him] ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.’ The rest of the stuff happens and it didn’t work out the way he thought it would. It’s back and now’s the time to spread that message.”
Triple H Says Roman Reigns Never Made His Leukemia Battle Public Because Roman Didn't Want To Be Pitied https://t.co/ASChgHrAXv
— Fightful Wrestling, MMA, Boxing (@FightfulOnline) October 28, 2018
Later on in the interview, Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon, recalled WWE’s “Superstars of Tomorrow” pediatric cancer awareness campaign from September. Said campaign included a trip to Dallas, where a group of children created a video for Roman Reigns, encouraging him to “keep fighting.” While this visit took place about a month before Reigns’ condition became public knowledge, McMahon said that the video is still relevant because it’s important that people “support and love one another” in their daily lives.
With almost a week having gone by since Reigns broke character to relinquish his Universal Championship due to his battle with leukemia, WWE’s “Big Dog” has received continued support from fans and colleagues alike. According to Give Me Sport, Reigns’ long-running on-screen rival, Braun Strowman, was photographed at a live event in Kentucky while holding up a sign bearing the words “Get well, Roman.” The photo was posted and shared by several Twitter users, many of whom felt touched by Strowman’s post-match gesture.