Roman Reigns' announcement that he needed to step away from professional wrestling due to a leukemia diagnosis sent shock waves around the wrestling world back in late October.
Nia Jax, a distant relative of Reigns as part of the Anoa'i family tree, spoke with SportBible recently about her reaction to the announcement.
"He's such a quiet, humble person. Roman Reigns is this larger than life, Superman character but the true Joe, Joe Anoa'i is a very shy humble guy and he's super giving and loving," Jax said. "So that's why when the news came out everybody was hit hard. I feel like that day there was just a hole in the entire locker room. He gives advice to everybody and he's always there for everybody. And he carried the company on his shoulders on his shoulders for the last few years.
"There's nothing he would say no to and he works his butt off," she continued. "We thank him so much for all the contributions he's given. I think we're all still getting used to it. I think everybody's trying to find their footing now we've lost our Superman."
Reigns announced his diagnosis on the Oct. 22 episode of Monday Night Raw, relinquishing the WWE Universal Championship in the process. The four-time world champion assured his fans that he would beat the cancer and return to the ring in the future.
"But I want to make one thing clear, by no means is this a retirement speech," Reigns said. "Because once I'm done whipping leukemia's ass I'm coming back home. And when I do it's not going to be about titles and being on top, it's about a purpose. I'm coming back because I want to show all of you, the whole world, my family, my friends, my children and my wife, that when life throws a curveball at me, I am the type of man that will stand in that batter's box, I will crowd the plate, I will choke up and I will swing for the fences every single time. Because I will beat this, and I will be back and you will see me very, very soon."
Since the announcement numerous people have shared their initial reactions to Reigns' departure. One of the most visibly emotional members of the locker room during the segment was Seth Rollins, who greeted Reigns at the top of the Raw entrance ramp alongside Dean Ambrose.
"It threw everything up in the air," Rollins said in a recent interview with Al Arabiya English. "It's hard to go a day without thinking about him and how he's doing and hoping he's doing alright. I'm fighting the urge to check in on him like a brother every two hours, but he's a strong dude, and I know that he's in a good place mentally as well as physically. He's in good health for the most part. I think he's going to be able to fight this thing pretty strong. We're just getting through it while we can. Obviously it's going to be easier as time goes on, but certainly the last couple weeks have been, and last week especially, have been a roller coaster of emotions. Lots of ups and downs."