John Cena praised Roman Reigns' strength after his fellow WWE Superstar announced he is battling leukemia and was forfeiting his WWE Universal Championship.
"‘Courage - strength in the face of pain or grief.’ You have given us your everything including a courageously vulnerable moment. We, your WWE family, give you all of our love and support," Cena wrote.
He added the hashtags "Thank You Roman" and "Never Give Up."
‘Courage - strength in the face of pain or grief.’ You have given us your everything including a courageously vulnerable moment. We, your WWE family, give you all of our love and support. #ThankYouRoman #NeverGiveUp— John Cena (@JohnCena) October 23, 2018
Reigns and Cena have not always been friendly, but Reigns told CBS Sports last year he respects Cena professionally before an event.
"I'll be completely honest: Me and John have always been cordial, but I would not say we are close friends by any means," Reigns said in September 2017. "There is a business respect, but I think that's what makes this so special that we're truly competing against each other and I think people see that."
Cena was not the only member of the WWE family to urge Reigns to continue fighting on. "Fight on to victory my courageous brother," WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart wrote, alongside a photo of himself with Reigns.
Fight on to victory my courageous brother! pic.twitter.com/wuYAoxa48p— Bret Hart (@BretHart) October 23, 2018
The Usos brothers, who are a member of the same Anoa'i wrestling family as Reigns, shared a photo of themselves as children with Reigns. "We been here for u, and will stay here for u. Day one uce. We love you," they wrote.
The WWE also issued a formal statement, praising Reigns for coming forward to raise awareness of leukemia.
"Tonight on Monday Night Raw, Roman Reigns (aka Joe Anao'i) announced that he is relinquishing the WWE Universal Championship and taking a leave of absence from WWE as he once again fights leukemia, which had been in remission since late 2008," the organization said in a statement. "Reigns is taking his battle with leukemia public in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research in order to advance cures for the disease."
The 33-year-old Reigns, whose real name is Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, announced his leukemia returned during his introduction at Monday Night Raw in Providence, Rhode Island. He apologized to fans for having to step out of the ring, but insisted he was not retiring for good.
"My real name is Joe, and I've been living with leukemia for 11 years," the superstar said.
"You know the deal, you know how life is. Life is not fair, it's not all peaches and cream," Reigns continued. "Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. And right now the best thing for me to do is to go home, to focus on my family and my health. But I want to make one thing clear, by no means is this a retirement speech."
Reigns promised to come back as strong as ever, and was determined to take every chance he could to make sure he returns.
"I am coming back because I want to show all of you, the whole world, I want to show my family, my friends, my children and my wife, that when life throws a curve ball 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," Reigns said. "Because I will beat this and I will be back and you will see me very, very soon."0comments
Reigns was originally scheduled to defend his WWE Universal Championship at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 2. He won the title during August's SummerSlam.
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