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The EST of NXT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
http://www.cagesideseats.com/2017/5...istory-may-25-happy-birthday-roman-reigns-wwe

It's a happy 32nd birthday for Leati Joseph Anoa'I, but you may know him as the reigning WWE heavyweight champion of the world, Roman Reigns.

Born to the famous Anoa'I wrestling family (his father Sika and brother Rosey both wrestled), the half-Samoan, half-Italian Leati is cousins with former wrestlers Yokozuna, Rikishi, Umaga, and the Tonga Kid, as well as first cousins once-removed to the Usos, and a non-biological cousin of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson).


Before getting into the family business, Anoa'I played football for Pensacola Catholic High School and Escambia High School in his senior year. The Pensacola News Journal defensive player of the year went to Georgia Tech and played on the same Yellow Jackets team that featured future NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson. He recorded 29 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in his senior year in college, and was named to the all-ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) first team.


Despite an impressive senior season, Anoa'I went undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft. He would be picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Vikings, but was cut less than a month later. He would be signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but would be cut just before the start of the 2007 NFL season.

In 2008, he would sign with the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos. He would play in just five games for the club, starting in three of them. His highlight game came in September 2008 when he recorded five tackles and forced a fumble. Anoa'I was released in November 2008, after which he retired from football.


Leati joined WWE in July 2010 and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling, their developmental territory at the time. Leati, then known as Roman Leakee (later shortened to Leakee) would wrestle primarily in tag team bouts for the first year or so. In January 2012, Leakee defeated FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger in a tag team match. The next month, he defeated Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in a triple threat match for a shot at the Florida Heavyweight Championship. He would lose his title match to Kruger the following week. In June, Leakee and Mike Dalton would win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship from Corey Graves and Jake Carter. They would hold them for just a month before being defeated by CJ Parker and Jason Jordan.


Following the FCW rebranding to NXT that summer, Anoa'i was renamed Roman Reigns. He would wrestle just three bouts on NXT programming, defeating CJ Parker, Chase Donovan, and Gavin Reids in singles bouts.


Leati joined the WWE main roster at the 2012 Survivor Series as Roman Reigns. He along with former FCW rivals Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose assaulted Ryback during the triple threat main event for the WWE Championship, allowing CM Punk to retain the championship. Soon, the threesome called themselves The Shield, a group who vowed to fight the injustices that plagued WWE. Though they denied working directly with CM Punk, they were always around taking out Punk's adversaries, including Ryback and Team Hell No, whom they would defeat in a six-man match at TLC. The Shield continued to assist Punk through January, attacking The Rock and Ryback; Punk's association with The Shield ended when it was outed that Paul Heyman had paid off The Shield and Brad Maddox to work for them.



The Shield wrestled primarily in six-man tag team matches for the next few months, going unbeaten on television until May 13, 2013 when they were disqualified in an elimination tag team match against John Cena and Team Hell No. Six days later, Reigns and Rollins defeated Team Hell No in a tornado tag match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. Just over a week later, they defeated Hell No in a rematch on RAW, but Hell No would get a measure of revenge in June when the duo and Randy Orton became the first trio to pin or submit The Shield when Bryan submitted Rollins. Reigns himself would not suffer a pinfall loss until September when the Usos pinned him during an 11-on-3 handicap match.

Around that time, The Shield began working with the Authority. Reigns and Rollins would hold the tag titles until October 14 when they were defeated by Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a no disqualification match. After failing to regain the tag titles later in the month at Hell in a Cell, cracks began to form in the group, as Dean Ambrose was the only member of the group with a championship. At Survivor Series, Reigns scored four of the five eliminations in their tag team match and was the sole survivor for his unit. The Shield were defeated at TLC in a three-on-one handicap match against CM Punk, but Reigns would defeat Punk in early January.


Later that month, Reigns would make Royal Rumble history when entering at #15, he eliminated twelve men (two of them being his Shieldmates), a single match record. He would be the eventual runner-up of the match after being eliminated by the returning Batista. The next night, The Shield took on John Cena, Sheamus, and Daniel Bryan, with the winning team entered into the Elimination Chamber. The Shield were disqualified when the Wyatt Family interfered on their behalf. The Shield and the Wyatt Family met at the Elimination Chamber PPV, with the Wyatts winning. There was further dissension within the group, but they reconciled.


The Shield would feud with Kane, and by extension, the Authority. The feud essentially turned The Shield face. After quickly disposing of Kane and the New Age Outlaws at Wrestlemania XXX, they feuded with a reformed Evolution. The Shield defeated Evolution at Extreme Rules and Payback; both groups would dissolve following Payback, with Batista quitting the WWE, and Rollins turning on The Shield and aligning himself with The Authority.


Reigns, now a singles competitor, found himself in the hunt for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After failing to win the title at Money in the Bank and Battleground, Reigns feuded with Randy Orton, culminating with Reigns defeating Orton at Summerslam. He then turned his attention to Seth Rollins, the man who betrayed the Shield. They were set to meet at Night of Champions (Reigns even scored a win over Rollins less than a week before the event), but Reigns would develop an incarcerated hernia, requiring immediate surgery. Reigns was ruled out of action indefinitely, and Rollins was declared the winner via forfeit at Night of Champions.


Roman returned in December to accept the Superstar of the Year award at the 2014 Slammy Awards. Six days later, he interfered on behalf of John Cena in his match against Seth Rollins, attacking both Rollins and Big Show. Reigns would score multiple wins over Big Show over the next few weeks, but never via pinfall or submission.


At the 2015 Royal Rumble, Roman didn't have a record-breaking performance like the previous year, but the #19 entrant would score six eliminations, including the final three (Big Show, Kane, and Rusev) to win the match. The win gave him a Wrestlemania main event against WWE world champion Brock Lesnar. Just over a week later, he suffered his first singles pinfall loss when he was defeated by Big Show.

Though some trace it to the previous summer, positive crowd reaction to Roman Reigns was diminishing rapidly, especially following the Royal Rumble match. Many people claimed the Superstar of the Year award vote to be rigged, but wrestling journalists Mike Johnson of PWInsider and Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter both stated that the fan vote was legit. Reigns finished second in the most overrated wrestler of 2014 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter (he would finish second again in 2015 and win it in 2016). Critics from wrestling pundits and performers themselves began pouring in, calling him out for his limited moveset, forced promo delivery, and his polarizing persona and attitude. Many claimed he was not fully prepared for his rocket push. Anoa'i himself reacted to such claims, saying that his critics were non-wrestlers who couldn't lock up.


After Reigns kept his spot in the main event of Wrestlemania by defeating Daniel Bryan at Fastlane, both Bryan and Paul Heyman endorsed Reigns in what was called by TV.com "shockingly transparent promos... attempting to illustrate [his] greatness". Reigns would be defeated at Wrestlemania 31 in the WWE title match, but not by Lesnar, but by Seth Rollins, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase near the conclusion of the bout.


After briefly feuding with Big Show and failing to win the WWE Championship from Seth Rollins, Reigns began feuding with Bray Wyatt after he had cost Reigns the Money in the Bank briefcase. Though Wyatt defeated Reigns at Battleground, the feud continued into the fall, with Reigns defeating Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match in October.


The next night, Reigns won a fatal four-way match to become the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but just over a week later, the title was declared vacant when Seth Rollins injured his knee while competing in a match in Ireland. A tournament was commissioned to crown a new champion, and Triple H offered Reigns a bye into the final in exchange for joining the Authority. Reigns declined. He would win the tournament, defeating Alberto Del Rio and Dean Ambrose at Survivor Series to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Triple H tried to offer congratulations, but Reigns speared him; it was a trap. Sheamus ambushed Reigns, and cashed in his Money in the Bank, defeating Reigns just five minutes later. Reigns would lose the rematch at TLC thanks in part to Sheamus and the League of Nations. Post-match, Reigns would assault the League and Triple H.


The night after TLC, Reigns was granted a WWE Championship rematch by Mr. McMahon, with the condition that Roman's career was over if he lost. Roman would overcome interference from McMahon, Alberto Del Rio, and Rusev to defeat Sheamus and retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After successfully defending again on January 4 (with McMahon as the special referee), it was announced that Reigns would defend the WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble match. Roman entered first and would get five eliminations before being attacked by the League of Nations. Reigns would eventually return, but would be ousted by the match's eventual winner, Triple H.


After Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in a triple threat match for the right to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the match was set for Wrestlemania 32, where Triple H defended against Reigns. In March 2016, Reigns abandoned the crowd entrance he had used since his Shield days for a more traditional entrance (from the entrance ramp). At Wrestlemania 32, Reigns defeated Triple H to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for a third time.


After successfully defending the title against AJ Styles on consecutive PPVs (Payback and Extreme Rules, both in May 2016), he was attacked by a returning Seth Rollins. An episode of RAW late in his reign as champion (the June 13, 2016 edition) garnered a 2.03 rating, at the time the lowest for a non-holiday episode since March 3, 1997 (a taped broadcast featuring the first ever WWF European Championship match).


Just six days later, Reigns suffered his first clean pinfall defeat since joining the main roster at the hands of Rollins at Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship. Rollins had little time to enjoy the win, as he was attacked by Dean Ambrose. Ambrose cashed in his newly-won Money in the Bank briefcase and would win the title. In a roundabout way, it turned out to be a write-off; Reigns had violated the WWE’s Wellness Policy prior to the PPV, triggering a 30-day suspension. Reigns’ suspension was acknowledged on WWE programming and would get his rematch for the WWE Championship when he returned at Battleground when he took on new champion Dean Ambrose and former champion Seth Rollins. Ambrose defeated Reigns to retain the title.


After failing to win a #1 contender’s match for the new WWE Universal Championship, he would feud with United States Champion Rusev. The two fought to a no contest at Summerslam, but Reigns would win a return bout at Clash of Champions in September for the title. He retained the title in a Hell in a Cell match in the titular match in October, ending the feud. In November, Reigns joined Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, and Braun Strowman in a RAW versus Smackdown elimination tag team match at Survivor Series. Bray Wyatt defeated Reigns to give Smackdown the win 5-3.


Reigns next feuded with Kevin Owens over the WWE Universal Championship. After defeating him in a non-title match, Reigns challenged for the title at Roadblock: End of the Line. Chris Jericho’s interference cost Owens the match, but not the title. In early January, Reigns was defeated by Chris Jericho in a 2-on-1 handicap match for the United States Championship. Reigns’ feud with Owens ended at the Royal Rumble event when Owens retained the title in a no disqualification match, with Jericho suspended in a shark cage. In the show’s titular match, Reigns entered last in the match and eliminated Bray Wyatt, Chris Jericho, and The Undertaker before being last man eliminated in the bout by the match’s winner, Randy Orton.


After becoming the first man to defeat Braun Strowman, Roman called out Strowman. He got The Undertaker instead. The two would feud and face off at Wrestlemania 33 in what would be Reigns’ third straight Wrestlemania main event—and The Undertaker’s last. Reigns would win the match, joining Brock Lesnar as the only men to defeat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. The next night, Reigns was greeted with vociferous boos and vulgar chants for more than ten minutes before simply declaring “This is my yard now” and leaving the ring.


Reigns resumed his feud with Braun Strowman, who attacked him in an interview with Michael Cole. Reigns was taken out on an ambulance, but Strowman got to the ambulance and tipped it over. Reigns returned to face Strowman at Payback, but was defeated by Strowman. The feud is on hold as Braun recovers from elbow surgery.


Crowd reaction towards Reigns continue to remain mixed, leaning negative despite his perceived "hard-luck underdog" story, seeing as WWE "[bent] over backwards to create new obstacles for him... at the expense of almost everyone on the roster". Many websites have reported WWE taking drastic measures to hide fans' disapproval of Reigns, including editing anti-Reigns signs, taking said anti-Reigns signs away, piping in cheers, and muting crowd reactions. It's done little to curb reaction; ESPN's David Shoemaker went so far as to call Reigns "the most despised wrestler WWE has had since it turned Sgt. Slaughter into an Iraq-sympathizing traitor in 1990".

Multiple ex-WWE performers, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, and his cousin Rikishi, have all called for a Reigns heel turn. Reigns himself responded to criticisms saying that WWE is a "kid's show" and he wasn't wrestling to impress "grown men" who boo him: "Continue to be ready to boo. You're going to be mad for a long time. I'm not going away." In a February 2017 interview with ESPN, Anoa’i said that the boos for him were motivation, saying that “thousands of people are screaming, booing at the top of their lungs, and I’m the center of attention, so I must be doing something right”.

Following Wrestlemania 32, Reigns declared himself to be "not a good guy, nor a bad guy, but the guy", indicating perhaps a tweener turn. Additionally, Dave Meltzer said that WWE's new gimmick for Reigns is that he was being positioned as a guy people actually like, but they only boo him because it's fun to boo him; Meltzer said that in reality this was far from the truth. In February 2017, Meltzer said that barring a change in long-term plans, WWE’s push of Roman Reigns will continue, even going so far as to say that it “will never end”. He also predicted that the likely path to Wrestlemania 34 will see Reigns defeat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship and replace John Cena as the company’s lead babyface.


Leati is married to Galina Joelle Becker; the couple, married since December 2014, has one daughter together, with whom he appeared with in a public service announcement in June 2014. The seven-time Slammy Award winner was ranked the #1 singles wrestler in the world in the most recent PWI 500.

He turned 32 today! Cagesideseats has done a beautiful write up and tribute to Roman on his birthday, but EVERY DAY is Roman Day, right here, on Wrestlingforum.com! Believe That :reigns2
 

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Wow! It's Big Dog's birthday today. It's amazing that he has a Hall of Fame career all at the age of 32. Here's to another 15 years of Reigns, both in terms of titles and the man himself.
 

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Won't shut up about Peyton Royce
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Really, a happy birthday thread? And not just for Roman, but for anyone, it's pointless.

But, if this becomes a thing I guess I will have to do one in November 10th
 
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Happy birthday, Roman Reigns! I like you. Keep triggering the smarks.

 

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Doki Doki Literature Club!
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Happy Birthday, Joseph Anoa'i! :hb Not a huge fan of the "Roman Reigns" character but I can see that you are a genuine person outside of the ring, especially with respecting the opinions of the WWE fans, both good and bad! :agree:

Absolutely loved the matches with Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles at WrestleMania 31 and Extreme Rules 2016, respectively. :aj3

Before I forget... BOOOOOOO! :cuss:

 

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The EST of NXT
The LegitEST BOSS
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Discussion Starter #10
Really, a happy birthday thread? And not just for Roman, but for anyone, it's pointless.

But, if this becomes a thing I guess I will have to do one in November 10th
I'll be there with gifs of Asuka squashing Peyton :hunter. My computer might run out of memory if I store those through November :kobelol
 

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Won't shut up about Peyton Royce
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I'll be there with gifs of Asuka squashing Peyton :hunter. My computer might run out of memory if I store those through November :kobelol
Hey, at least she loses to Asuka and not to Alicia Faaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!!!:grin2::grin2::grin2:
 
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i didn't know the worst day of the year was today.

anyways, sappy birthday, you cancerous shithead. here's your gift :v

 
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WF's #1 Mox fan.
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I see a clever attempt to take the spotlight from Jinder to Roman, but nahhh. Won't happen. Every day is Jinder day. From now on its Jinder's birthday!
Eww. Get your Jinder love outta here!!


Happy birthday Roman!! :woo I hope he got today off work to spend with Galina and his kids :)
 
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