Roman Reigns Out Of WrestleMania Over Coronavirus Health Concerns
WWE superstar Roman Reigns has reportedly pulled out of Wrestlemania 36 — and it’s all over serious health concerns connected to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, Roman Reigns will not be wrestling Bill Goldberg for the Universal Championship. Due to Reigns’ battle with leukemia, he opted to not compete over health concerns. While Reigns is not sick with the virus, he is vulnerable due his health.
The 34-year-old was supposed to wrestle Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship during the April 4 and 5th event — but due to his recent cancer battle, he ultimately decided it was too risky.
Reigns told WWE he’s immunocompromised from the cancer fight — and didn’t feel comfortable performing with the looming threat of COVID-19.
FYI, Reigns — real name Leati “Joe” Anoaʻi — was first diagnosed with leukemia back in 2007 and beat it. But it reared its ugly head again in 2018.
Reigns returned to WWE in early 2019 and he’s been on fire ever since.
The Big Dog is BACK! #RomanReigns announces that he is in remission and back on #Raw! @WWERomanReignspic.twitter.com/yHQdiFH2Ty
— WWE (@WWE) February 26, 2019 @WWE
WWE has taken drastic measures to protect the wrestlers at Wrestlemania — which will take place April 4 and 5 at the WWE Performance Center in Florida without fans in the building.
Goldberg vs. Reigns was one of the marquee matches for WrestleMania 36. As of now, WWE is seeking a replacement for Goldberg.
As for the title match with Goldberg, PreWrestlingSheet says Reigns will be replaced by another superstar … but it’s unclear who will get the call right now.
WrestleMania is about 10 days out we will have to see what WWE puts together. Moments like this, make you wonder if WWE should have postponed the event.
WrestleMania has been taping matches for the event this week at their Performance Center to air over two nights on April 4 and 5.
5 Major consequences of Roman Reigns allegedly pulling out of WrestleMania 36
#5 A domino effect on the creative plans of RAW and SmackDown
As we know, WrestleMania is essentially WWE’s season finale, with the RAW after WrestleMania being the season premiere. It’s post-WrestleMania where there’s a complete creative shake-up, with superstars normally changing brands.
Normally, the two World title feuds in each brand play the biggest role and although we don’t realize it, there’s a big role played in the future of each brand.
It has a domino effect on the overall creative direction and with Roman Reigns out of WrestleMania and a new opponent for Goldberg, creative plans on both brands post-WrestleMania could be completely jumbled up.
#4 Brock Lesnar’s plans could be changed in a big way
Brock Lesnar is set to face Drew McIntyrein the first night’s main event at WrestleMania 36 this year.
While he would normally be expected to lose had it taken place at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the fact that it’s going to be in front of an empty WWE Performance Center would probably mean that McIntyre’s coronation would have to be delayed until a later date when there’s an actual live audience.
We’ve switched back and we believe that there’s a possibility now that McIntyre can walk out victorious. If that happens, there’s another scenario that fans may not like.
Remember last year when Brock Lesnar lost the Universal Championship to Seth Rollins clean at SummerSlam and took a ‘hiatus’, only to return over a month later and become WWE Champion after beating Kofi Kingston in 10 seconds on SmackDown?
Imagine the same scenario but within one night of each other. WWE may use this as an opportunity to run back Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar, though we hope that doesn’t happen. That chapter has been closed for good.
#3 John Cena and Bray Wyatt to get involved in the Universal title picture?
Another thing that we hate about this situation is the fact that it only further affirms that WWE should not have had Goldberg defeat ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt at Super ShowDown 2020 and become Universal Champion.
While we liked the original plan for The Fiend vs Roman Reigns, facing John Cenaisn’t a bad consolation prize. However, this should have been the original Universal title match, to begin with, as Goldberg vs Roman Reigns never needed a title to be a big deal.
Cena vs Wyatt is perhaps the second-most personal feud at WrestleMania this year (well behind Edge vs Randy Orton), but it’s one of the more exciting match-ups on the card.
With Roman Reigns out of the picture, we can easily see a scenario where WWE decides to group Cena and Wyatt against Goldberg and make it a Triple Threat match. It would be an unexpected WrestleMania match but as of now, it’s perhaps the best option.
#2 Bray Wyatt gets another World title push?
Whether we like to admit it or not, when such issues come up, there are always superstars ready to take a certain spot.
When Roman Reigns was out of action from October 2018 to February 2019, Seth Rollins took his spot and became the top babyface of WWE, a role that didn’t suit him too well in the long run.
Bray Wyatt could somehow be the beneficiary of this unfortunate situation. He was already in that spot, to begin with, as he was the Universal Champion from late October 2019 till late February 2020.
However, even if he doesn’t outright get a Universal title match at WrestleMania 36, there’s little to no doubt that he’ll be challenging for it after.
As we know, Goldberg won’t be sticking around for too long, which is why it would make perfect sense to run back the match at a later date and have Goldberg drop the Universal Championship to The Fiend.
It would be back to its rightful holder then.
#1 Goldberg forced to stick around for longer
With superstars like Goldberg, it’s clear that they only stick around for the biggest shows and the biggest paydays, never being a long-term character or never being one to appear on weekly television.
At Goldberg’s age, that makes perfect sense and if one is paid a hefty amount to work lesser dates and wrestle short matches, who wouldn’t take it? While Roman Reigns would undoubtedly have beaten Goldberg clean in their ‘spear vs spear’ match, this could force a major change in plans.
For the first time, we might see Goldberg sticking around for longer than expected. While we’re aware that he isn’t the most popular babyface on the roster or the most popular part-timer, WWE will likely have to take out their checkbook and pay Goldberg extra to stick around.
All that depends on who he ends up facing at WrestleMania 36, but we imagine that there’s a high chance he retains. We don’t see him sticking around for more than a month, however.