Why Roman Reigns didn’t become household NFL name? Examining the failed expedition of the “Tribal Chief”

Roman Reigns is currently the reigning Undisputed Champion in WWE, showcasing his dominance in the company. He has already held the championship for an impressive duration, solidifying his position as a mega star in WWE. At SummerSlam 2023, Reigns is reportedly set to face Jey Uso in what promises to be a highly anticipated match.

However, prior to his successful wrestling career in WWE, Leati Joseph Anoa’i (his birthname) was a promising football player whose career was rather short-lived.

Roman Reigns signed for Vikings following dominating college football

The Tribal Chief had a background in football similar to his cousin, The Rock. Reigns played as a defensive tackle, following his time at Georgia Tech University before transferring to Frankford’s Yellow Jackets during his senior year. However, in 2006, Reigns earned him All-ACC first-team honors by showcasing his impressive skills on the field and also held an impressive record of 40 tackles. 

Roman Reigns

In the following year, Roman Reigns signed as a free agent with Minnesota Vikings. However, he never got the opportunity to showcase his skills as he was released in May. This was due to the medical conditions of the Undisputed WWE Champion at that time. During the drafting process, Reigns had failed to pass their physical examination which resulted in his release from the club. 

Roman Reigns’ leukemia history

The main reason why Roman had failed to clear his physical examination of Vikings was leukemia. After a few years, Reigns quits NFL and started pursuing his wrestling carrier. Even after competing for so many years, Reigns, unfortunately, announced he had been diagnosed with leukemia again on October 22, 2018, due to which he took a hiatus from the company to undergo treatment. This also resulted in Roman Reigns relinquishing his Red Universal Championship. Roman cut an emotional promo which cried many wrestling fans on that day.

However, Reigns returned to WWE as Big Dog on 25 February 2019. The return of Roman Reigns at that time generated a lot of excitement among the fans. Upon his comeback from leukemia, Roman also reunited with his Shield brothers for the final time.

Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles throughout his career, Roman Reigns has consistently overcome the odds and solidified himself as one of the biggest stars of his generation. The character of Roman Reigns as The Tribal Chief is considered one of the biggest turns of Reigns’s carrier in the company.


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