WWE Superstar Roman Reigns returned to in-ring action in fine style Sunday night, reuniting with fellow members of the Shield Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for a victory over the team of Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin at the “Fastlane” pay-per-view.
The victory came just under five months since Reigns announced to the WWE Universe that he was again battling leukemia after having been in remission for over a decade. He returned to WWE’s airwaves in late February to announce he was again in remission, but his first match back was not until Sunday night. Speaking with Variety, Reigns said it felt good to reunite with Ambrose and Rollins but he was a little apprehensive about getting back into the ring.
“I think a lot of it was nerves,” Reigns said. “Nothing prepares you for the ring like the ring. I’ve had some really good training sessions, some great workouts, but nothing is like being in that ring in front of that crowd with the lights on you. I was pretty nervous that I would have that ring rust…but I felt once I got out there and started moving around. My instincts took over and it was just like riding a bike.”
“This whole period of the past few months, it’s really solidified my views on family and your support system and just being around the ones you love, trying to capitalize on that love and spread it,” he continued. “It was nice coming back with those guys, and it was more than just me. Obviously with Ambrose, the news out with him not resigning, you just don’t know. It’s a unique time for us. We’ve grown as performers and young me to be able to handle a split to where we were separated…but it was nice to be able to put that aside after being out for five months and entertain the fans. It felt fitting to come back in and lean on those guys one more time.”
Reigns suffers from chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). He stressed the importance of early blood screenings and regular physicals so that people who also have the disease can catch it early. “That way we can be prepared and people can be as lucky as me.”
He had the chance to meet people with similar conditions during a visit to the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital on Monday morning.
“There were so many special children there,” he said. “We were serenaded with a song. There was this little girl who played the ukulele for us and sang an Ed Sheeran song. It was just really neat to go through her process with her. There’s a lot of time these children spend at these hospitals…For her to be able to perform for us was so sweet and such a special moment.”
Reigns also said another patient, Kelsey, had been in touch with him during his recovery. “She actually sent me videos while I was on leave, so she was just sending me support nonstop,” he said. “We actually exchanged some videos back and forth and to be able to bring it full circle and come visit her was really nice.”
Reigns is set to appear at the beginning of this week’s “Monday Night Raw” along with the rest of the Shield in what WWE is billing as their “farewell address.”