WrestleMania 36 will see a major change as Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i) opted against doing the show with a report coming from Ryan Satin at Pro Wrestling Sheet.
Satin reported that Reigns did not film his match with Bill Goldberg, which was set to be one of the major matches at WrestleMania, which was being filmed this past week. Satin added that Reigns had ‘expressed to WWE that he didn’t feel comfortable doing any more of the Performance Center shows during the coronavirus pandemic because he’s immunocompromised from his battle with leukemia and didn’t want to risk his health.’
We spoke with one person in the company, who confirmed Reigns didn’t do the match and cited his concerns regarding his pre-existing condition as well as putting anyone else at risk.
Reigns has been replaced for the WrestleMania match, although we have yet to confirm who the replacement is.
It is believed that the new match and segments to explain the change would have been filmed on Thursday.
He was diagnosed with leukemia prior to his wrestling career and battled the disease before it returned in 2018. He announced it had returned in an emotional speech on Raw in October of that year where he relinquished the Universal championship. He returned in February 2019 and has been working on the SmackDown brand since the draft last October.
The next two editions of Friday Night SmackDown for March 27th and April 3rd were taped last weekend with WrestleMania taped on Wednesday and Thursday this week. WrestleMania 36 will air over two nights on Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 5th.
To be honest, I’m surprised that no one (that I heard) raised this as a possibility until now. It’s such an obvious risk when you step back and consider it. Major respect to Roman for having the guts to make the right decision: I can’t imagine what the internal pressure to go through with the match must have been like.
Actually Meltzer was talking about this for weeks now. He maybe even mentioned it when @Alex_Patel was on WOR.
Anyway, the decision has nothing to do with guts, more with common sense. Gutsy (and stupid) would be to have the match, especially when you have two guys (that we know of) from your roster under quarantine already.
Yeah I think what I said then applies - he’s higher risk than normal bc of his cancer even though he’s not on high dose chemo. He made the right choice for himself and his family and I applaud him. Standing up to WWE must have been hard with the pressure to go through with it
I don’t want that match now with Goldberg having the title unless they do it non-title. It is like Cain vs Brock with the title on the line. You know they aren’t putting the title on Riddle right now so the outcome is obvious, and it isn’t as if it would be a long high quality wrestling match.
You might be right. Without putting a complete job guy in a Mania world title match (if that even matters at this point), who else is there that can be on the losing end of a satisfying Goldberg squash? That is, unless they change direction completely and put the belt on someone else… and, perhaps more importantly, stop paying Goldberg’s appearance fee for pre-taped segments and pop-less entrances.