WWE fans: It shouldn't have taken leukemia for us to appreciate Roman Reigns

Roman Reigns with his Shield brothers

By now, we all know that Roman Reigns has had to tragically take a step away from the WWE as he battles with Leukemia for the second time in his life.

The Big Dog has relinquished the Universal title to go home and be with his family and he has left the company indefinitely, essentially.

Reigns, real name Joe Anoa'i, first battled the form of cancer in 2008 at aged 22. It's heartbreaking to think this is his second life-threatening battle Reigns has had to face, but nothing has ever been easy for the Pensacola, Florida native.

Even after Reigns announced he would be departing the company on Raw - which he did with incredible dignity, class and composure - one stupid fan still shouted "you still suck" from the crowd in Providence, Road Island.

What an idiotic thing to say. The 'I pay my money so I'll say what I want' argument doesn't was here and it's quite concerning that fans can't seem to distinguish the difference between Joe Anoa'i the man and Roman Reigns the performer.

Where did the intense hatred from some quarters of the WWE universe spawn from? When you break it down, it's nothing that Reigns has done himself.

Ok, the Superman Punch isn't the greatest finisher I have ever seen. I'll grant you that. But, other than that, Reigns is one of the best big match performers in recent history and he carries all the traits that had fans falling over themselves for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.

He's one of the hardest working superstars the company could wish for. He has a million dollar look, a palpable charisma and since the WWE stopped scripting him Disney like promos, he's improved ten-fold on the stick.

The exact reasons why Vince McMahon earmarked him as the future face of the company all hold true to this day and shine brighter than ever - he's got it all.

The reason fans don't want to admit that? Vince McMahon's perpetual obsession with getting him over.

Reigns was already getting over organically as part of The Shield in their inaugural run. He was the explosive heavy hitter than the fans wanted more of. The problem was, Vince pushed him so fast and hard that it could be telegraphed from a mile away and thus, the excitement diminishes.

Four straight WrestleManias had Reigns in the main event. Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Undertaker, Lesnar.

Roman Reigns at WM33

In case you hadn't guessed it, I've never been one of the many, many fans that boos Reigns out of the building. I've been to countless Raws, two WrestleManias and a SummerSlam that Reigns has featured on and I've always been entertained. Did I always love his booking? No, but he always gave me my money's worth and, ultimately, those aren't his decisions.

Some fans have never treated him objectively; it's all semantics when it comes to picking holes in Roman's game. As long as it fits their agenda that 'Roman is getting pushed and XXXX isn't', then that's what they'll stick with.

Of course, the John Cena ripple effect didn't help the 33-year-old either. When your pushed and booked as the number one guy in the company and you haven't 'earned your stripes' in the multitude of far-reaching ways that justify that position to fans, the elder statesmen in the WWE Universe reject you out of spite.

Reigns and Cena

Roman was Vince's chosen one, not the fans'. However, at this stage, leukemia or not, you can't deny he's fulfilled every criteria to be the top guy we deserve. Only now that the entire WWE locker room has shone a light on the fantastic human being - and performer - that Reigns is are we now universally supporting the man.

He is due his appreciation regardless. Count them: AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, The Miz, Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins - the list of great Roman Reigns feuds and matches speaks for itself and it goes on and on.

Wrestling is subjective, but WWE's booking of Reigns doesn't mean we shouldn't support the man. A man that does more media and charity work for the company than anyone else at the moment. A man I've interviewed twice and he's gone out of his way to give good answers and be a great interview. A man who is the true locker room leader of WWE and the standard bearer of today's product. A man that has three children - including young twins - and is now in for the fight of his life.

The Shield

But, at the core of this argument, and what we should have opened our eyes to earlier, we should appreciate the man who gives it his all inside the squared circle every single night. When Reigns finally makes his return after kicking cancers ass, he's going to be the biggest thing in wrestling and the hero he is outside of the ring will finally reflect inside of it.

And I can't wait.

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