WWE superstar Roman Reigns (real name Joseph Anoa’i) is preparing for the biggest match of his life this weekend as he’s set to participate in the main event of WrestleMania 32 in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Triple H. For those not familiar with professional wrestling, it’s kind of a big deal. It’s essentially the Super Bowl of wrestling and more than 100, 000 fans are expected to pack the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, for the event tomorrow night. Reigns also main-evented last year’s WrestleMania at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s fitting that Roman Reigns is performing in front of these huge crowds at football stadiums, seeing as that’s what he originally set out to do with his life. Coming out of Escambia High School in Pensacola, FL, Reigns was given a full ride to Georgia Tech to play defensive tackle.
Reigns earned All-ACC honors and planned to continue his football career in the NFL but was not selected in the 2007 draft. However, he was eventually signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out in Minnesota for Reigns and he was cut before the end of the preseason. He spent a little time in Jacksonville and also had a brief stint with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL before quitting football in 2008 to focus on following in his father’s footsteps as a professional wrestler, a move that’s worked out quite well.
However, before that 2007 NFL Draft in which Reigns wasn’t selected, he met with numerous teams, one of whom was the Chicago Bears. The Bears were just coming off an appearance in Super Bowl XLI and Roman Reigns really wanted to be in Chicago.
“It’s funny. That was one of the teams I interviewed for before the draft and everything. I actually came up to Chicago and took a trip. I got to meet the head coach Lovie (Smith) at the time and I was sold. I wanted to be a Chicago Bear immediately. But unfortunately it didn’t work out, but we found the right team.”
You can catch Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 32 tomorrow night on the WWE Network at 6:00.