WWE star shocks fans with devastating cancer news

WWE is widely regarded as ‘fake’, but this very real and raw moment left fans completely stunned.

On Monday night (local time), Roman Reigns – real name Joe Anoa’i – revealed that he was taking a leave of absence as he battles leukaemia.

The stunning announcement opened ‘Raw’ as Anoa’i revealed that he has battled the disease in the past and that he had been in remission since 2008.

Roman Reigns in June. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Anoa’i, one of the biggest stars in the WWE, revealed that due to his health, he would be relinquishing the Universal Championship, which he was set to defend in a triple-threat match against Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman at the “Crown Jewel” event set to take place next month in Saudi Arabia.

“My real name is Joe and I’ve been living with leukaemia for 11 years and unfortunately, it’s back. And because the leukaemia is back, I cannot fulfil my role, I can’t be that fighting champion [I said I would be],” Anoa’i announced live to fans.

The crowd, which normally heavily boos the former Georgia Tech football star, gave Anoa’i an emotional ovation and chanted “Thank you, Roman” during the announcement.

Anoa’i laid his championship belt in the centre of the ring and was then joined by his stablemates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as he made his teary-eyed departure.

Anoa’i, who said his previous bout with the cancer ended his football career, vowed to return to WWE.

“I want to make one thing clear, by no means is this a retirement speech, because after I’m done [beating] leukaemia once again, I’m coming back home.”

Following Anoa’i’s announcement, support from around the wrestling world poured in.

Anthony Sulla-Heffinger – Yahoo Sports