Roman Reigns recently spoke with People to promote his match with Drew McIntyre at Sunday’s WWE WrestleMania 35 event. Reigns talked about the fan support he received when he announced his leukemia battle back in October, and said he was blown away at the reaction because of how polarizing his character had been in the WWE storylines.
“I was blown away,” Reigns said. “I have kind of been a polarizing character in our storylines and our industry, and our fans are passionate. They are passionate and vocal and will let you know what they are feeling and thinking, so I was nervous because this was something I kept with just me and my family for years.”
Reigns said people were able to drop their opinions of his character, and respond with an outpouring of support. He called it a huge blessing.
“Even in this crazy world of social media and negativity, and opinions and critiques, everybody dropped that. They dropped their opinion whether it was bad, good or indifferent,” Reigns said. “They were just trying to help out, and the fact that everybody rallied behind me and gave me that support, I’ll never be able to say thank you enough. I am super grateful to them.”
Reigns said he began training for his ring return as soon as he started feeling better from the battle with leukemia. He focused on that return and was confident he would be cleared by doctors.
“The moment I started feeling better, I started working out, getting back to training, trying to pull my mind away from being on the shelf — on the sideline and out of work essentially,” he says. “I just focused on my return and when the time was right, I knew my oncologist and the WWE doctors, they would give me the proper clearance to get back into the ring.”
Sunday’s match with McIntyre at the biggest show of the year will be Reigns’ first big singles match since returning to the ring in February. Reigns said he’s looking forward to the amazing spectacle that is WrestleMania.
“There is nowhere like WrestleMania when you have that many people — I think we’re at over 80,000 people again — that type of emotion from that many people is incredible,” he said. “For me, to be able to see all of that culminate after a full year of hard work, all these guys and girls that came together to put on this product for a full year, no offseason — it makes it even more special, and it’s pretty amazing.”