WWE star Nikki Bella opens up on Roman Reigns' leukemia reveal and the locker room reaction

Emotional shockwaves were sent throughout the WWE Universe this past Monday. Roman Reigns, real name Leati Joseph Anoa'i, opened up this week's edition of Raw with the stunning announcement that he would be relinquishing the universal championship as he enters his second battle with leukemia, a disease he has been fighting off since he was diagnosed at the age of 22 when he entered it into remission.

Since the announcement, the amount of love and support from Reigns' peers inside the WWE locker room has been monumental, and former Divas champion Nikki Bella recently shared her positive thoughts of support for her Raw co-worker during an extensive interview with CBS Sports' "In This Corner" Podcast.

Ahead of Sunday's historic all-women's Evolution event, Bella recalled what it was like being backstage this past Monday listening to Reigns make the revealing announcement, while offering up all the prayers and support for her friend as he begins this difficult journey. 

"You know, I get, like, the deepest chills when you bring that up," Bella told CBS Sports. "I think everyone is still in a lot of shock, but it's extremely sad, it's extremely unexpected. You don't think you'll hear those words from your living-day Superman.

"But if anyone can fight through this, it's Joe. Joe is just so beyond brave to go out there, and to speak the way he did, I just ... to me, he is so inspiring and so motivating to never give up. I'm just going to keep him so much in my prayers and thoughts, as all of us should, because we all want our 'Big Dog' back. The show is definitely going to feel so different without him. His presence is just strong, and he's just ... he's an amazing, very beautiful man, and he's beautiful inside and out, and I'm just praying so hard for him." 

Bella's comments continue to shed light on just how crushing of a blow the loss of Reigns from the WWE locker room truly is. But to echo one of her sentiments -- hopefully Reigns dominates this disease as much as he did the top of the card, so that we can all get our "Big Dog" back.

Check out our complete interview with Bella, in which she also defends her sister Brie against recent criticism, explains why "diva" is not a dirty word and previews her huge bout with Raw women's champion Ronda Rousey at WWE Evolution on Sunday.

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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