What We Learned From The Roman Reigns WWE Chronicle Documentary


Roman Reigns has had an incredibly dramatic past few months in his career, and I think it’s safe to assume, his life. After finally winning the WWE Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar, he was forced to vacate the title and step away from the ring because, he revealed in a character-breaking speech, the cancer he’d been living with for eleven years had returned. Fortunately, after about four months away, Reigns was able to return to Raw last week and deliver the heartwarming announcement that, “I’m in remission, y’all.”

Though most of Reigns’ recovery process is still understandably being kept private, the Big Dog revealed some details on the latest episode of WWE Chronicle, which aired on the WWE Network last night after Raw.

Previous episodes of the documentary series have mixed real-life insights about wrestlers with kayfabe details related to their ongoing storylines and/or feuds. Several – the episodes for Paige, Becky Lynch, and Dean Ambrose – did this while also incorporating wrestlers’ shoot health struggles, in these cases, all injuries. The Reigns Chronicle, though, seems to be close to 100% a shoot documentary, and though his cancer was controversially incorporated into a wrestling angle between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, it was not used for fictional purposes here, which was probably for the best. With that being said, here’s what we learned from Roman Reigns’ WWE Chronicle, which was shot between February 22-25, 2019.

Roman Reigns Revealed What Type Of Leukemia He Has

At one point in the documentary, Reigns revealed some details about his cancer diagnosis, saying “I have CML. It’s the chronic phase of leukemia. It’s the earlier stages, so it’s pretty much where you want to catch this disease, this illness…”

He Received Oral Chemotherapy And Arthritis Was A Side Effect


Reigns said that both times he’s gone through cancer treatment, he’s used oral chemotherapy.

“There’s a few different types now. When I first started, there was just one and it’s not like taking Advil. It’s nothing like taking true radiation and chemotherapy, but it does have its side effects and it does have its nastiness about it, but at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to just take a pill, I think you’re ahead of the game.”

Though he says the availability of this treatment is “a huge win for people,” it’s not without side effects. “For me, the main thing was arthritis. It started at my feet and went all the way up to my hips. But I’ll take a little bit of arthritis over going through radiation any day.”

His Initial Cancer Diagnosis Signaled The End Of His Football Career

In this documentary, Reigns confirms something that could previously only be inferred, that his initial battle with the illness had meant the end of his football career. He states candidly that,

“The first time, football was done with me. I knew it. Like, I knew they were done, and that put the worst taste in my mouth too, like, because I put a bunch of time into football, like since I was seven years old, and then out of nowhere they were just, like, done. There’s a whole bunch of other kids that are going to be able to play, but not you, you know what I mean? And so I felt very isolated.”

He Would Secretly Tell Make-A-Wish Kids About His History With Cancer


One of the Chronicle’s most heartwarming moments is when Reigns reveals that, “during Make-A-Wish, like, if a child had leukemia, I would let them know… I would tell them, ‘I don’t really tell anybody this, but this is what has been going on with me. These are the troubles I’ve ran into, and I just want you to know you’re not alone,’ you know what I mean. And it touched those families, the way the kid and the mom and the dad and the siblings would react, it was so powerful…”

He Was Worried About The Crowd Reaction To His First Announcement

Reigns says that “the quickest thing that hit me [after his diagnosis] was the fact that I’d have to drop the title…” and when he went out to make that speech on Raw, “I was just scared, you know? I was just worried the world wasn’t going to take to this news properly.” However, he says that “Once I got it off my chest… I felt free… Finally, I can tell somebody about this stuff. Finally, I don’t have to just bury it.”

Roman Reigns Has Returned To WWE With A New Purpose


Throughout the documentary, Reigns talks about his new role as a figure for people dealing with cancer. He says this made him realize, “You have more of a purpose than just being a wrestler.”

“If that one kid can say, if Roman can do it, I can do it, then I think my job is done… If I can be a figure that makes these children or anybody who’s going through blood cancer fight a little extra, want to live for an extra day or give them the strength to keep going, to keep pushing through treatments and life, then my story landed. It did what it needed to do…

I’m not asking for sympathy. If you want to boo me, boo me, man. I don’t care. I just want to be out there. I don’t need anything extra. I don’t need anyone’s sympathy. I just want to go out there and try to entertain you again. If I can do that for those kids, you know, those different people… Even if it’s just the tiniest of reassurances, it’s worth it.”