Roman Reigns is not a stranger to adversity.
Nor is he a stranger to looking it straight in the eye, fighting, and coming out of the other side.
“I’m in remission ya’ll.”
Four simple words that meant so much, to so many, when he announced on RAW this past February that his latest battle with leukemia was being won.
It was a moment fans around the world questioned they would see when Reigns broke character in October last year to reveal his battle with the illness.
What has happened the subsequent months has been nothing short of remarkable.
From that emotion-filled return, another Wrestlemania moment, a role in ongoing silver screen hit Hobbs & Shaw, getting to tag with The Undertaker – to name but a few, it’s been like a career highlight reel over the course of six months, and something that is not lost on the Big Dog.
“It’s hard [to put into words], it’s extremely humbling to see this full arch of extreme adversity to just pure joy and love of being in the moment.
“After everything from me taking my leave, and my time away from the ring and being surrounded by loved ones and strangers alike sending nothing but positive vibes and allowing me to know I am not alone in all this.
“I feel great. I have leaned up a little bit and got rid of some of that water weight of me and just dropping about 10 pounds has made me feel a lot better. It’s nice to feel in a good place health wise, regardless of the career, just from a life standpoint it just feels good to not have that stress of worrying about little things that add up to be big things.”
And now, he is writing a new piece of history, as the latest cover star in the WWE 2K video game series. This is no ordinary cover though – as for the first time there will also be a woman adorning it – Becky Lynch.
A huge proponent for female empowerment, Reigns wouldn’t want it any other way.
“A lot of people will think I wanted the cover by myself, but I’m so proud of where we are and what we are doing,” he said.
“I think it’s great we are showcasing strong females and they can doing anything. There’s not a wall Becky Lynch hasn’t kicked down.
“I’m here with my little girl now and I want her to have those types of role models. She sees these women and what they stand for and they are trailblazing.
“If you know me personally, you’ll know I learned to be a man from a woman. I learned from my mother. My mom has always been my superhero, no one has more respect for women than me, and I’m so proud of my co-workers and what they are doing.”
The cover also gives Reigns the chance to fulfill an ambition that has nagged him since seeing his brother from The Shield, Seth Rollins front the 2K game two years ago.
“This is one of those situations where you want something but you don’t want to cross the line of feeling greedy,” he explained. “I’ve been lucky enough to have some really cool opportunities but to be honest a couple of years ago when Seth had the cover, I was a little jealous, man. You saw the commercial and the trailer, and him just burning it to the floor, it was so cool. I was such a fan of the way that turned out and to see my brother like a complete star in that trailer – I was like ‘man, I want to do that now’. When I saw that I said that before my days were done I got to get me a 2K cover.”
WWE 2K20 will include several franchise firsts alongside streamlined gameplay and a variety of popular modes. The story-driven, objective-based 2K Showcase: The Women’s Evolution will follow the careers of the Four Horsewomen –Becky Lynch, Bayley, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. Controls will be streamlined to allow new players to jump into the game more easily, while experienced players will still enjoy a challenge.
In addition, WWE 2K20 players will be able to compete as both male and female Superstars in MyCAREER and Mixed Tag matches, while last year’s popular WWE Towers returns with exciting new challenges, including a story-driven Tower centered around the career of Roman Reigns.
As for Reigns now, he is just looking forward to being the best he can be.
“It’s a blessing to be able to do what I love and that’s what I try to focus on, always looking at everything as if the worst case scenario shows the glass half full, always putting a positive spin on things,” he said.
“Me and my family are in a good place and now I just want to focus on performance. Focus every ounce on entertaining and continuing to grow as a performer, and as a young man to be able to put myself in a position where there are no excuses, nothing holding me back, I just want to capitalize on all my potential and take every opportunity.”
For more information on WWE 2K20 see wwe.2k.com
Know more about Sport360 Application