The story of Roman Reigns’ rumored removal from the WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 36 is a major headline. In fact, it’s the major headline of the moment for pro wrestling fans. The man known as The Big Dog has enjoyed a phenomenal run in Vince McMahon’s company over the past few years and he appeared to be on his way back to the top thanks to his Mania match with Goldberg.
But now that match is apparently not happening and evidently, it’s thanks to the Coronavirus. The pandemic has changed the way people are living, as social distancing has become the new norm. It’s all about trying to prevent the spread of the virus. In Roman’s case, it’s also about peace of mind, as he attempts to maintain his already compromised immune system.
Roman’s leukemia is in remission and he’s healthy. But the more contact he has with the WWE roster, the more at risk he becomes. If he contracts the virus, things could potentially get very bad very quickly. But many fans are already searching for other explanations.
Pro Wrestling Sheet has learned Roman Reigns will not be part of the WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 36 as planned. https://t.co/VLE8V2me3T
— Pro Wrestling Sheet (@WrestlingSheet) March 27, 2020
Those fans believe there’s more to this story than meets the eye. It’s not enough that Roman Reigns is concerned for his own personal welfare. It’s also not enough that Reigns has a family at home, which means he has more to worry about than just himself. Roman’s request to be left off the Mania card must come from an issue with creative. Right?
That’s precisely what some fans are saying right now. They believe that Reigns is unhappy with how WrestleMania has been handled, as WWE refused to postpone the event. Mania will be taped, not live. There will be no audience. The Showcase of the Immortals will be boiled down to its bare essence, stripped down to the bones for the whole world to see. It’s not exactly the epic main event stage that Roman is accustomed to.
Then there’s the fact that Roman has had no issue working in the WWE Performance Center since the empty arena run began. Reigns hasn’t publicly said anything about the situation to this point, so why start now? Isn’t that proof positive that this has nothing to do with his health?
Relive Roman’s challenge to Goldberg!
But conspiracy theories run rampant in the online world of professional wrestling. Every alternative explanation must be met with caution from fans. No one truly knows what has been said between Roman Reigns and WWE. Roman’s reasons for pulling out of WrestleMania are his own and the WWE faithful should keep that in mind.
The most important part of this story is the human factor and that’s been the case for every star working in the pro wrestling industry. As those stars continued to perform for worldwide audiences in empty arenas, the issue of their own personal safety has perhaps been lost in the conversation.
Fans debate the positive and negative of WWE and AEW running live broadcasts with no crowd. They scrutinize the differences between both companies and they either level hate, or heap praise, on one side or the other. The health and well-being of every fan has obviously been of paramount importance since the escalation of the virus. But now the time to address the talent has come.
Roman and Goldberg sign the contract!
Who better than Roman Reigns to bring this issue to the forefront? The Big Dog, despite all of his criticisms, has been a locker room leader and standard bearer, for Vince McMahon’s company. He’s never run from that responsibility and in fact, he’s embraced it. Roman sets the example for every Superstar around him and he’s doing that right now as well.
WrestleMania 36 will not be the typical WrestleMania. It may go down as one of the worst shows in WWE history despite what happens, if only because of the circumstances surrounding it. Or it could become an instant classic due to the uniqueness of the event, as well as the performances of the Superstars on the card.
But for Roman Reigns, it’s not about WrestleMania. It’s about doing what’s best for him and his family. In the end, it’s the right thing for him to do and the same is true of everyone.
Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live