Could Roman Reigns Become The WWE's Next Successful Hollywood Star?

Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38
(Image credit: WWE)

Roman Reigns is one of the WWE’s current top stars. In fact, he’s currently the biggest star as the undisputed champion, with both the Universal and WWE titles to his name. Needless to say it was quite a surprise when rumors went out that Reigns reportedly worked out a deal to remove himself from a number of house shows in the near future, and that he may even miss a good chunk of the summer as well. What could the Head of the Table possibly want time away for at the peak of his career? According to reports, he wants to make some appearances in Hollywood movies. 

Could Roman Reigns become the WWE’s next successful Hollywood star? It’s a question worth considering now that things are allegedly in motion, so let’s dive in and talk about the things Reigns (real name Joe Anoa’i) has going for him in any effort he’d make to be a Hollywood star. 

Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38

(Image credit: WWE)

Roman Reigns' Cousin Is One Of The Biggest Movie Stars On The Planet

It’s possible that legacy doesn’t mean a lot in Hollywood, but there’s no denying a lot of Hollywood’s most elite stars just so happen to have another family member who has or is currently doing well in the industry. In the case of Roman Reigns, he’s “cousins” with one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. 

I use quotes around the parenthesis because the two are not biologically related, though in Samoan culture (via Sports Manor), their bond is arguably stronger. Due to a blood brother ritual between the Malvia and Anoa’i families, both are considered part of the same family. The specifics aren’t too important for this piece, but suffice it to say that both men refer to each other as cousins, and Samoan cultural customs confirm that. 

The two are close enough that The Rock showed up to hoist Roman Reigns' arm in the air at the end of the WWE’s 2015 Royal Rumble, and Reigns even appeared in Johnson's Fast and Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. Granted, Reigns made a point to note that nepotism had nothing to do with the Hobbs & Shaw casting, and that Dwayne Johnson wasn’t even aware his cousin was in contention for a role until he got further along in the process. I can certainly believe that Johnson had nothing directly to do with the role, but I also think their family connection could play to Reigns' advantage as he seeks out Hollywood roles. 

After all, if there’s even a chance that Roman Reigns' Hollywood career turns out half as successfully as The Rock’s so far, then that means great things for Hollywood and the wrestler. I’d have to think there will be at least one or two studios willing to take a chance and see what he can do, or at least one director who can find his niche as a character actor. Once that’s settled, it’ll be off to the races for Reigns.

Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman at Royal Rumble 2022

(Image credit: WWE)

Many Current Wrestlers-Turned-Actors Had Very Humble Beginnings

Dwayne Johnson might be one of the biggest names in Hollywood now, but that certainly wasn’t what the beginning of his acting career looked like. The Rock scored a few small roles on That '70s Show and Star Trek: Voyager, and once he was cast as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns, that began his ascent up the Hollywood ladder to more notable roles. 

The same is true of Dave Bautista, who took some very small roles in films, like the obscure, but star-studded Relative Strangers before slowly working his way into bigger projects. Obviously his leading roles are few and far between, but Bautista's has appeared in some Oscar-nominated movies lately, and it all came down to his continued efforts to try and find his niche in the genre. 

Even the former WWE talents who got starring roles from the start, like John Cena in 12 Rounds and The Marine, struggled to gain ground. Neither of those movies is well-regarded by critics and audiences, but they were what ultimately led Cena to bigger roles down the line like The Suicide Squad and F9: The Fast Saga

The point I’m trying to make here is if Roman Reigns takes this time away and appears in a movie that immediately flops, it’s not necessarily a sign he can’t cut it in Hollywood. Every actor, not just wrestlers, has to start somewhere, and luckily for Reigns, he’s had a few guys in his profession forge the path he can take to success. 

Roman Reigns ignores reporter after Seth Rollins Royal Rumble fight 2022.

(Image credit: WWE)

Roman Reigns Is A Special Kind Of Talent 

If you don’t follow wrestling or weren’t following it during the rise of Roman Reigns, it’s hard to fully appreciate the position he’s ended up in. The WWE more or less thrust Reigns into the limelight in spite of heavy pushback from fans, and with every victory, the boos at shows grew louder. Eventually Reigns’ run in WWE had to take a back seat as he exited the company to deal with the re-emergence of his leukemia

Roman Reigns not only battled back from illness to compete in the WWE again, but he also had a massive heel turn in 2020 that’s completely flipped the narrative on his career. Now he’s one of the most respected and beloved wrestlers on the roster and is rewarded as such with both major WWE titles in his possession. 

The point I’m making here is Roman Reigns had to fight a lot to gain all of that, and he eventually succeeded with flying colors. It’s fair to say his stint in Hollywood could face the same trials and tribulations, and we’ve already seen him thrive and persevere under pressure all the same. One thing the most famous WWE stars who became Hollywood actors have in common is the journey took time. Provided he’s in it and committed to the journey, I wouldn’t bet against him becoming one of the next major faces in Hollywood. 

Roman Reigns may soon be coming to a theater near you, but until then, anyone with a Peacock Premium subscription can check out his best matches in the WWE. If another team-up with his cousin isn’t in the cards, at least we have a potential rematch with his cousin reportedly slated for WrestleMania in 2023

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.