Thursday, April 18

Why Roman Reigns Works A Part-Time WWE Schedule, Explained


  • Roman Reigns battled leukemia and COVID-19, leading to time off from WWE.
  • Reigns signed a new contract with a reduced schedule to prioritize family and control over his life.
  • Despite the reduced schedule, Reigns remains WWE’s biggest draw and continues to dominate in the ring.

The “Tribal Chief”, Roman Reigns, has been the reigning and undisputed WWE Universal Champion for over 1,000 days. In the early days of Reigns’ championship reign, he was a fighting champion and defended the title at every premiere live event and select live events.

Since early 2022, Reigns began working on a reduced schedule that saw the Tribal Chief working on select dates and making limited appearances. This seemed to have alienated some wrestling fans and potentially hurt his championship reign as a whole. However, there is a reason as to why Roman Reigns is working on a reduced schedule.


Misc. Accomplishments

WWE Champion (4x)

Triple Crown Champion (28th in WWE history)

WWE Universal Champion (2x)

Grand Slam Champion (9th in WWE history)

WWE Undisputed Universal Champion (1x – Current)

Royal Rumble Winner (2015)

WWE United States Champion (1x)

Slammy Award Winner (7x)

WWE Tag Team Champion (1x)

Wrestling Observer Best Box Office Draw (2022)

WWE Intercontinental Champion (1x)

Wrestling Observer Best Gimmick (2021)

Wrestling Observer Most Improved (2013)

PWI Comeback of the Year (2019)

PWI 500 #1 Ranked (2016 and 2022)

Roman Reigns’ Battle With Leukemia And COVID-19 Took A Toll On His Health

Took Time Off From WWE Due To Illness

Several years ago, Roman Reigns had to take a leave of absence from WWE after announcing to the world that he was diagnosed with his second bout of Leukemia. Reigns at the time was the reigning WWE Universal Champion and had been scheduled to defend his title at WWE Crown Jewel 2018 against Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar but had to vacate the championship. Reigns had originally been diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2007 during his career in the NFL as part of the Minnesota Vikings. He was able to recover and went into remission in 2009. Reigns was out of action from WWE until February 2019, when he would make an appearance on Monday Night Raw to announce that he was once again in remission.


How Leukemia Almost Ended Roman Reigns’ WWE Career, Explained

In 2018, Roman Reigns shocked WWE fans when he revealed that he had to step away to fight leukemia for the second time in his life.

Over a year later, the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread like wildfire across the world. At the time, Reigns was the WWE Universal Champion and was originally scheduled to defend the title against Braun Strowman at WrestleMania 36. Reigns removed himself from the event and decided to go on hiatus due to being immunocompromised from his leukemia. Reigns returned to WWE in August 2020, turning heel by attacking Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman at SummerSlam. This bold move marked the beginning of his Tribal Chief gimmick.

Roman Reigns Signed A New WWE Contract In 2022

The New Deal Has A Reduced Schedule

Roman Reigns

When Roman Reigns signed a new contract with WWE beginning in 2022, as part of the stipulations, he elected to work on a reduced schedule. The reason behind this decision by Reigns is so that he can have more time with his family and his needs to be more “in control” of his life, inside and outside the ring.


Roman Reigns Will End 2023 Having Wrestled 11 Matches, The Lowest Of His Career

The Undisputed Champion has had the quietest year of his career.

The following is an excerpt taken from his interview with Sports Illustrated Media podcast, as he spoke about the terms of his WWE contract:

“The main thing is, when you’ve been on the road for almost ten years straight, and someone who has been at the highest level, the main event level, I’ve ran a full schedule for a long time. Even before we went to FOX, it changed to where it was SmackDown on Friday, two live events on Saturday and Sunday, and the occasional Monday Night Raw. That’s a four-night schedule, which isn’t as bad as it used to be. We used to do Friday, Saturday, Sunday live events, Monday Night Raw, tape SmackDown on Tuesday. We were only getting a day and a half. This is before private travel, buses, and all that. Fly out Wednesday morning, get half of Wednesday, you get home and you’re tired. Half of Wednesday, then you have Thursday and are trying to handle personal life and family and everything that comes with that. Then you’re back out on Friday. For me, it was trying to balance everything. Someone who has five children, we’re in a critical portion of their lives where they are so young and this is where we build these relationships and bonds and they get to know who their dad is. For me, it was extremely important that I can build my fatherhood as the priority and the number one hat that I wear. In WWE, Vince (McMahon) and everybody was very good about accommodating that and making sure to keep me in the WWE family (H/T: Fightful).”

As expected, Reigns worked an even lighter schedule in 2023.

Roman Reigns Is WWE’s Biggest Draw Despite The Reduced Schedule

WWE Future Heading Into 2024

Roman Reigns Universal Champion Elimination Chamber 2022 Cropped

Roman Reigns has continued to show his worth in WWE, whether he works a full-time or part-time schedule, respectively. The Tribal Chief continues to showcase his dominance throughout WWE by taking on anyone who stands in his way, having high profile matches with Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, and LA Knight over the past year.

While fans would love to see Reigns wrestle more often, it’s fair to say that his reasons for having a lighter schedule are justified and will be intact for the foreseeable future as we head into 2024.

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