Advancing the Samoan wrestling tradition, Roman Reigns' power, athleticism and looks will make him one of the most successful Samoan-American WWE stars ever.
What the Dominican Republic is to baseball, American Samoa has been to WWE.
The small group of islands east of Australia only has a population of around 57,000 yet has produced a disproportionate amount of pro wrestlers.
Roman Reigns' real name is Leati Joseph Anoa'i. He is a member of a family who has made a major impact in WWE.
The Anoa'i family tree reads like its own wrestling museum.
Brothers Afa and Sika wrestled for WWE as The Wild Samoans. They won the tag titles three times and WWE inducted them into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
The next generation of Anoa'is gave us WWE stars Rikishi, Umaga, Rosey, Yokozuna and The Tonga Kid. Rikishi's sons currently compete for WWE as The Usos.
Reigns' family history will afford him the added opportunities that second- and third-generation superstars often get. Growing up in a family so loaded with wrestlers means there's a lot of advice and know-how Reigns can utilize.
Outside of that famed family, other stars with Samoan heritage include Samoa Joe, Peter Maivia, The Rock and Coco Samoa.
The Anoa'i family—and Samoan wrestling tradition as a whole—is certainly a lofty lineage to live up to for Reigns, but he has all the physical tools to be among the best on that list.
Power Plus Athleticism
At 6'3'' and 265 lbs, Reigns is the same size as Brock Lesnar.
He brings a similar intensity and level of power that Lesnar brought to the ring. WWE fans have only seen in it glimpses, but Reigns' body is a weapon to be reckoned with.
Watch him in this NXT match vs. Ricardo Rodriguez.
Not only does Reigns steamroll over Ricardo, but he does so in slick, fluid fashion. He is no lumbering monster, but a true athlete. Seeing him wrestle, it's no surprise he was a standout football player in college.
His toolbox is far more varied than that of Big E Langston or Ryback. While those guys are deciding between a sledgehammer and a different sledgehammer, Reigns can toss in a smaller man's moves.
WWE success is about more than moves and strength, though. The theater elements of the business demand a compelling look and the ability to entertain.
Intensity, Energy, Handsomeness
As talented as Ricardo Rodriguez may become in the ring, he'll likely always be someone's valet because he simply doesn't look intimidating.
Reigns, on the other hand, looks like one of the Spartans from 300.
His handsome but dangerous look should help him get higher up the card as he gains experience. When the ladies start buying his T-shirts, good things will happen to him.
Beyond that, Reigns brings a bubbling intensity to the ring. He may be the least emotive member of The Shield during its promos, but not so once he steps in the ring.
Check out this screenshot of Reigns in mid-roar.
This kind of intensity is sure to get him noticed by fans as well as WWE itself. His infectious passion is impossible to ignore.
Eventually The Shield will be involved in more and more matches. Eventually Roman Reigns will flourish in the spotlight.
Championships, rivalries, bruises, blood and evolution are coming for him. After he's lived his WWE story, Reigns should rank near the top of the great Samoan stars.
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