Roman Reigns Is the Latest Superstar His Dad’s Initiation Created
Leati Joseph Anoa'i', better known by his ring name Roman Reigns, made his WWE roster debut with Survivor Series 2012. He teamed up with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins against CM Punk, Ryback, and John Cena during the Triple Threat match.
Roman Reigns Wrestling Journey
The wrestler has headlined several WWE pay-per-view events throughout his career and proved to naysayers that he deserves to be up there with the very best in WWE championships.
Before his introduction to wrestling, Reigns was on his way to becoming a professional gridiron football player. He played high school and college-level football, and his impressive performances led to his entry into the 2007 NFL Draft.
In May 2007, he was signed to the Minnesota Vikings franchise and went to Canadian Football League in 2008 but was released from his team in November 2008. He also retired from football shortly after and joined professional wrestling, and continued the Samoan legacy.
Reigns never turned away from a challenge and battled everyone from Brock Lesnar to John Cena, resulting in an impressive list of accolades. He has held the WWE Championship thrice, the WWE Intercontinental Championship once, and the WWE Universal Championship twice.
In 2016, Reigns was also ranked as the number one pro wrestler out of the top 500 single wrestlers in Pro Wrestling Illustrated'sIll'nual PWI 500 list. He has made a lasting impression, but much of it could all be owed to his family.
As the son of WWE Hall of Famer Sika, he was born into the famous Wild Samoan wrestling family. His father was one-half of the legendary The Wild Samoans team.
Roman Reigns' Father
Arthur “Afa” Anoa’i and his brother Leati “Sika” Anoa’i, Reigns' dad, formed a tag team and took WWE by storm in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
They were trained by Uncle Peter Maivia, who debuted in the early 1960s and won almost every title. He was the grandfather of none other than the wrestling superstar, The Rock, whose ancestors often feuded with the Anoai’s.
The Anoa’i brothers began their careers in Stampede Wrestling before they debuted in WWE in 1979. However, by April 1980, they claimed their first World Tag Team Championship and held it for almost four months.
Their second championship lasted two months, while their third and final title reign was longest at just over eight months. Throughout those periods, they battled the likes of Tony Garea & Rick Martel, Bob Backlund & Pedro Morales, The Strongbow’s, and even cousin Rocky Johnson.
But it was the team of Johnson & Tony Atlas that took over the reign of The Wild Samoans. The Anoa’i brothers significantly impacted the ring and continued to do so through their training and managerial services once their time in the ring ended.
They have trained many WWE superstars, including former WWE Champion Yokozuna and former WWE Superstars Rikishi, Tonga Kid, Virgil, Michael P.S. Hayes, and Billy Kidman. They also trained multiple-time World Champion Batista.