Roman Reigns shares stories behind his body art

World champion wrestler, Roman Reigns, has shared the stories behind his body art, noting that the sleeve on his right arm represents his people, his family and highlights his Samoan culture.

Reigns, whose real name is Leati Joseph Anoa’i, shares his intricate tattoo stories in a 27 October, 2020 article published by All Sports Content and news website, Essentially Sports. The article is titled “Every Tattoo on Roman Reigns and the Stories Behind Them.”

“Some people hang art, I wear it,” the wrestler told Essentially Sports. 

Anoa’i wears the tattoos as symbolism to his roots. He is proud of his heritage and uses it as a mark on his body whenever he steps out in front of roaring crowds, reports Essentially Sports.

“To be able to really express ourselves and put it on a giant platform globally for everyone to see it – you couldn’t ask for more and to be that guy that’s wearing our culture and be able to share it through me – it’s really neat,” Anoa’i said.

He got his first tattoo as a teenager on his right shoulder. It has since been extended throughout his right arm from the shoulder, down his back and to the centre of his chest.

His preferred tattooist is Mike Fatutoa. 

“I really trust Mike [Fatutoa] for this. He knows what pattern should get connected to others. It’s a pattern which has a lot of significance in my Samoan culture. I am very proud to wear this tattoo. It has brought good luck to my life. It is part of my character,” says Anoa’i. 

In Samoan culture, “tattoos have great significance,” he said and goes into describing the art of Tatau, calling it pe’a.

“You know when I was young, as you know you do a lot of things before thinking about properly. So, I have done the tattoo game that has the shoulder piece till hands and it proved to be lucky, you know with it my WWE career progressed,” Anoa’i said.

“In Samoan culture, tattoos have a great significance. Starting with pe’a which is an important rite of passage for the men of Samoa. Pe’a is applied during an extremely lengthy process with tools handmade from bone, tusk, turtle shell, and wood, representing the high chief or leader in the family.”

For his generation, however, Anoa’i said the focus is sleeves and the chest.

“For our generation, the focus is more on sleeves and chest. Earlier the focus was on stomach, knees, and legs, basically the lower portion of the body,” he said.

“This tattoo of mine is related to my family, the unity among all of us.”

Anoa’i gets his ink done by artist Mike Fatutoa. The entire run of ink on his right arm took a total of 17 hours to complete and is a reflection on his progress not only as a wrestler but also a member of the legendary Anoa’i family and a representative of the Samoan culture, according to Essentially Sports.

The immense detail of the art on his hands each has different meanings. The fact that they grew out over the years shows his own development as a person and a wrestler.

His tattoos represent justice, strength, authority, and a true reflection of a competitor.

On his right wrist, there is a turtle hidden amongst the other art. This tattoo is of a small turtle.

Seemingly out of sync with the rest of the themes of the arm and chest tattoos, it has a deep meaning and represents his bond with his daughter, said Essentially Sports.

“This tattoo is for my daughter Joelle. It represents my daughter, she is with me but no one needs to know. I got this tattoo inked on my wrist so that everyone can see it,” Anoa’i said.

“For me, it’s just about representing my people, my family, and highlighting my culture. Whenever my family sees it, especially my father, he feels so proud and happy. I don’t have space on the front side but on my back, I have got a lot of space. So this process will stay continued.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is an honorary member of the Anoa’i family, has a similar area of ink to Reigns. The two are related and both love showing the world where they come from, Essentially Sports said.

Roman Reigns is the World Wrestling Entertainment (W.W.E.) Universal Champion.

After winning his ‘Hell in a Cell” match against a cousin Jey Uso, his uncle Afa Anoa’i and father Sika Anoa’i made an appearance earl this week to congratulate him and acknowledge him at the ‘Tribal Chief.’

Afa and Sika were tag team wrestling partners in the 1970s and 1980s, called the Wild Samoans. 

They dominated the tag divisions in the World Wrestling Federation and wrestled in several of America’s top promotions, reports Essentially Sports.

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