Whether you love or hate Roman Reigns, you have to admit he has one of the greatest wrestling names of all time. It's simply bad ass. Roman was recently a guest on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast, and among the many topics discussed by the WWE's Big Dog was the revelation of where he came up with his remarkable ring name.
Many fans assume WWE stars are simply handed names by Vince McMahon's creative team, but up and coming stars are often given the chance to pitch names and characters of their own to see which ones stick.
For Roman, whose real name is Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoaʻi, he already had part of his name figured out, but admits he had to steal the other part to make it complete.
"I knew I wanted Roman. I liked Roman. I wanted Roman only and they were like, 'no, you need a last name'. And there's actually another guy in FCW by the name of Calvin Raines. He spelled it like 'rain', like a 'raindrop'. And they, I believe, released him and sorry, brother. He's a good man, a real nice brother. Sorry. Roman Raines sounded good to me, so they were like, 'alright, give me four or five different names' and they were like, 'okay, we'll go with like'… I was going through it and Corey Graves, he was down in FCW, still working at that time, he's actually one of my good buddies and our families are like really good friends. He told me, he was like, 'hey, I heard you saying 'Roman Raines'. What if you spelled it like, 'reigns', like a king reigns.' And I was like, 'whoa, I like that.' And there you go. And total heel name too!"
Sorry, Calvin, but Roman Reigns has a much better ring to it.
Many fans would agree with the Heel name assumption as the WWE Universe has been begging for The Guy to make a full fledged turn to the dark side for the past three years.
Many wrestling careers have been made or broken by the choice of a ring name. Had WWE gone with their original concept, Kane The Undertaker would have never had an evil brother to feud with. Stone Cold Steve Austin would have likely been Steve Williams had Dr. Death not already been using the name. Macho Man Randy Poffo would have never sounded quite as Savage, and Husky Harris would have likely never had his own Wyatt Family.
The WWE couldn't have picked a better star to take on the Roman Reigns moniker. You can tell even from is NXT debut that they were determined to turn the former college football star into WWE's next big thing.