Shawn Michaels gives his thoughts on Roman Reigns.
The wrestling world was stunned on Oct. 22 when Roman Reigns opened WWE Raw by announcing that he was battling leukemia. A somber Reigns relinquished the WWE Universal Title and stated he would be taking time off to fight the disease, which had been in remission for 11 years. The outpouring of love and support was immediate as fans and peers wished Roman well on his road to recovery.
Speaking ComicBook.com during a Q&A session, Shawn Michaels discussed Roman's announcement and his character as a person.
"I know Roman, which is to say I've met him, know him, and conversed with him. But we only know what we know. We see each other here and there, but he's a different generation. Then you hear this story. It's someone in your line of work, a person that you know, a person that you understand is a leader in this locker room and the leader of this generation," he said. "It's a role where either once you have played or you've seen other people play and understanding that, that guy is going through something tough. For us, it really gets real. We live in a constant world of make believe. On one hand, it's the greatest thing in the world because it allows none of us to really have to grow up and become adults. We get to go through life, making a living, never having to grow up. And every now and then, real life comes in and throws something in your face that makes you understand that real life does still happen and to appreciate the time we have with each other and the job we have."
Michaels continued, "Things like that happen and it makes you appreciate everything a lot more. That's what that moment did. To understand it's something he's fought through before. That was a revelation I don't think anybody knew about. It's encouraging on one hand and then, it helps you understand and get to know him. He could have told anybody that and 'used that' to help in the wrestling business to get over. But the human being that he is, didn't want to do that. He wanted to put it behind him and go on his own merit and abilities and be judged on that. That speaks to the kind of character, the real character, that's behind him."
Triple H offered a similar sentiment following Reigns' announcement, saying Roman kept his leukemia a secret as he didn't want to be pitied. Vince McMahon reportedly didn't know about the leukemia until days before Reigns' Raw announcement. Reigns has reportedly started treatment for the disease. There is no timetable for his potential return.