Universal Champion Roman Reigns is having one of the best runs of his WWE career so far. ‘The Tribal Chief’ made his debut as part of The Shield and was then pushed to the moon by WWE as the next face of the company after John Cena.
Reigns signed with WWE in 2010 and was part of their developmental territory, FCW, before its transition to NXT. He made his debut on the main roster in 2012, and eight years later, he is on top of the WWE mountain.
Current AEW Color Commentator, Jim Ross, recently revealed on his Grilling JR Podcast that WWE had their eyes on Joe Anoa’i (Roman Reigns) way back in 2006, but decided against signing him.
He said, “He changed his body immensely, he was a 300-pound nose tackle for Georgia Tech there in the ACC, and before [John] Laurinaitis took over talent relations, he was certainly on my radar. And we were all aware [of him], Michael Hayes, different guys, because Hayes was close with the Samoans.
“He has Football to get out of his system, and I encouraged that, quite frankly. You don’t want somebody to come in and not be sure that they’re at the right place for them. So if he got a chance at Football, and he didn’t make it for whatever reason, then he gets it out of his system, and then here we go.”
He also compared Roman Reigns’ situation in 2006 to Ken Shamrock’s.
“Same analogy I’d use for Ken Shamrock, who could not get MMA out of his system. And he was getting over like a son of a gun in WWE, at least he was in my eyes, then all of a sudden he’s, he keeps talking about these fights. ‘I could do this in three fights.’ So finally it was just a matter of, ‘You need to go get this out of your system. Then we’ll bring you back.”
No matter the reason for WWE not signing Reigns in 2006, it’s safe to say the ‘Head of the Table’ is doing great for himself, especially with his newfound aggression in 2020.