American professional wrestler Roman Reigns on Monday relinquished his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Universal Championship title after revealing that he is battling with leukemia. The 33-year-old made the announcement during a RAW episode in Washington DC (USA). Elaborating on his condition, Roman Reigns said that he has been living with the disease for 11 years and the return of the same has forced him to take a leave of absence from WWE. "I've been living with leukemia for 11 years, and unfortunately it's back...I'm going to have to relinquish the Universal Championship," WWE quoted Reigns, as saying.
Post the shocking revelation from the champion, wishes for his quick recovery poured in from all quarters. Former wrestling legends along with fans expressed their disbelief and wished him quick recovery on social media platforms.
EXCLUSIVE: Moments after announcing that his returning leukemia has forced him to relinquish the Universal Championship, @WWERomanReigns is met with an outpouring of support backstage. #Raw pic.twitter.com/JRv0iYLILJ— WWE (@WWE) October 23, 2018
Fight on to victory my courageous brother! pic.twitter.com/wuYAoxa48p— Bret Hart (@BretHart) October 23, 2018
This hit me on so many levels. In June of this year I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. I was devastated. Before the diagnosis I used to train 4 times a week and was a good 96kg of muscle. I used to bench 120kg, deadlift and squat 140kg.— Fitness40andbeyond (@Fitness40andbe1) October 23, 2018
We miss you brother.. pic.twitter.com/xO8gDkuudq— kaleem khan (@kaleemkhan1995) October 23, 2018
Reigns revealed that he was first diagnosed with the disease back in 2008 at the age of 22. Clarifying that the hiatus should not be considered as his retirement, Reigns said that he would be back after beating leukemia.
"This is by no means a retirement speech. I will beat this, and I will be back, so you will see me very, very soon,' Roman said.
Reigns has been a four-time world champion in WWE, having held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship three times and the Universal Championship once. Reigns is also a one-time United States Champion, a one-time Intercontinental Champion, a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Zeth Rollins), the 2015 Royal Rumble winner, and the 2014 superstar of the year.
(With ANI Inputs)