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Rene Dupree Claims Roman Reigns Almost Joined A Japanese Promotion

Roman Reigns

Former WWE Superstar Rene Dupree has revealed why Roman Reigns turned down a move to a Japanese wrestling company.

Roman Reigns may well be the biggest star in all of wrestling given his dominant reign over SmackDown as the Universal Champion for over eighteen months. But things weren’t always that way.

Prior to signing a developmental deal with WWE, Roman Reigns almost followed in his brother’s footsteps and headed to Japan. Reigns’ brother is the late Matthew Anoa’i, better known to wrestling fans for his spell in WWE as Rosey. After his time in the company came to an end, Rosey wrestled on several tours for All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Speaking on his Cafe de Rene podcast, former WWE star Rene Dupree claims that Rosey advised his brother to get some experience in the ring before signing with WWE and head out to AJPW himself. Dupree says that Reigns didn’t want to go due to the living arrangements he’d be faced with:

“Rosey, which was Big Matty, was Roman’s brother. So before he debuted with WWE, his brother suggested he come to Japan for a few tours. The All Japan office wanted him to live in the dojo for three months and he didn’t wanna do that. He just wanted to go over and tour for three tours and then sign with WWF [WWE].”

As it was, Reigns debuted in then-WWE developmental territory FCW in 2010 as Leakee. He then debuted on the main roster with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose in 2012 as The Shield and the rest is history.

h/t Sportskeeda