Roman Reigns is arguably the most polarizing figure in WWE right now. During a recent appearance on Chris Jericho's podcast, he explained how his ring name was devised.
Reigns, a second-generation wrestler whose real name is Joe Ano'ai, on the latest episode of Talk Is Jericho. Reigns said he and Corey Graves came up with the name together back when WWE was using Florida Championship Wrestling as its developmental home.
"I knew I wanted Roman," Reigns recalled. "I liked Roman. I wanted Roman only and they were like, 'No, you need a last name'. And there's actually another guy in FCW by the name of Calvin Raines. He spelled it like 'rain', like a 'raindrop'. And they, I believe, released him and sorry, brother. He's a good man, a real nice brother. Sorry. Roman Raines sounded good to me, so they were like, 'Alright, give me four or five different names.' "
Reigns sought out the advice of Graves, who also was in FCW at the time.
"He's actually one of my good buddies and our families are, like, really good friends," Reigns said of Graves. "He told me, he was like, 'Hey, I heard you saying Roman Raines' What if you spelled it like, 'reigns', like a king reigns. And I was like, 'Whoa, I like that.' And there you go. And total heel name too!"
Reigns' father, Sika, was part of the Wild Samoans tag team, which is currently in the WWE Hall of Fame. His older brother also wrestled for WWE as Rosey. He followed in his family's footsteps after completing his football career, which included first-team all-conference honors at Georgia Tech and a brief stint in the NFL before playing a season in the Canadian Football League,