Roman Reigns announced in October of last year that he had leukemia and had to relinquish the Universal Title and take some time off so that he could beat the disease. He made his return to RAW last week and announced that his leukemia is in remission.
Fan reception for Reigns changed during these few months as they are more sympathetic towards him and his character as he battled leukemia.
Eric Bischoff expects WWE to make a storyline out of this real-life situation on After 83 Weeks with Christy Olson, where he discussed how WWE will make use of Reigns’ new-found popularity.
“Are they going to go with what seems natural right now, because of the way the crowd did react, because of the inherent underdog? I mean if you talk about an underdog story there’s nothing more badass than cancer on the face of this earth,” said Bischoff.
“For a guy to come out of that, especially a guy like Roman Reigns, the way he went out and all the passion and the emotion that went with him when he went off and said, ‘Look, I’ve got to take care of this.’ They’ve got an abundance of great stuff there, just raw materials, right? Now what they do with those raw materials, we’ll find out.”
The most obvious route would be to push Reigns as a babyface who beat cancer, but Bischoff said they could turn him heel as well, though that would be a controversial decision. However, it would add depth to his character.
“If they decide to go another way with that it could be highly, highly controversial,” admitted Bischoff. “And you would have people probably losing their minds over it on social media.”