Triple H provides some backstory on Roman's Leukemia announcement.
On the October 22nd edition of Monday Night RAW, opening the show was the reigning WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Roman was not dressed in his normal ring gear but he was in causal attire. In that moment Roman Reigns was no longer "Roman Reigns" but instead he was Leati Joseph Anoaʻi. Anoa' i made it public that his Leukemia that was in remission since he was 22-years old has returned and with that he had to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship.
Once the announcement was made it sent a shockwave through the wrestling world and many wrestlers, fans, promotions and companies all sent their well-wishes and respect to "The Big Dog". WWE uploaded a clip to their YouTube channel of the reaction Roman Reigns received after making his announcement and it was clear that Roman is beloved by his peers.
One of the first people to embrace Roman Reigns was NXT founder and senior producer Triple H and while in New York to promote the WWE 'Evolution' PPV, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stopped past the 'Elvis Duran Show' and Triple H shared that he has had conversations with Roman about the Leukemia situation but Roman never wanted to put it out there because he did not want to be pitied or receive sympathy from anyone.
"I think it takes a remarkable amount of strength as a person to be able to say that." Triple H said. "Roman has been dealing with this for… Well yeah, Roman announcing that he’s been battling Leukemia for eleven years.” He continued, “Yeah, and this is something that he… very few people know about this. He and I have spoken about it. This is something that he did not want to put out there until he had reached a certain point and time in his career because he didn’t want people to feel like he was being pitied, or given things for a certain reason. He wanted to be able to come out at the end and say, ‘Look, I’ve dealt with this the whole time - you can do anything. This is not an end sentence’, and as we talked about on Monday, he and I… life is what happens when you’re busy making plans." Triple H said to Roman. "The rest of the stuff happens and it didn’t work out the way he thought it would. Here it is back, but he realized now was the time to spread that message and tell people that and he’s gonna fight this and he’s gonna win, and he’ll be back and he’ll be stronger than ever and I think it’s just a matter of time but he’s an incredibly strong human being and I have so much respect for him for just… that’s a very private thing to be able to come out when your image and what you do and everything about you is tough and everything else to come out and go, ‘Look I’m flawed, I’m fragile. I have this problem and all these things’. It’s a really difficult thing and to be able to stand up, not for yourself and say that, but for others."
Now that Roman is no longer the Universal Champion, a new champ will be crowned on November 2nd at WWE 'Crown Jewel' when Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar have their one-on-one rematch from the 2017 'No Mercy' pay-per-view with the strap on the line.
If you are going to use the quote above, please credit the 'Elvis Duran Show' with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.