Bengaluru, April 10: Roman Reigns was originally gearing up to achieve a rare feat at WrestleMania 36 by main-eventing the show of shows for a record fifth occasion. But just like WWE's previous failed attempts to get him over with the fans, this one also drowned, due to some unavoidable circumstances. Reigns himself pulled out of the show as he was immunocompromised due to earlier battle with leukaemia.
The surprising fact is that WWE never addressed why Roman Reigns was absent from WrestleMania 36 TV tapings, at all. They just announced his replacement name Braun Strowman who ended up winning the Universal Championship by defeating Goldberg in a match with a predictable outcome. Rumours are doing round that WWE must be disappointed with his decision.
According to the Wrestling Observer, there’s a possibility that Vince McMahon is 'mad' at Roman Reigns as he decided to back out of WrestleMania 36. The fact that he wasn’t mentioned at all on SmackDown or the two nights of WrestleMania 36, indicates that he was either furious with the franchise player or tried to ignore the situation, totally,
“Maybe they’re mad at him and they have no right to be. It’s either they’re mad at him or they’re just trying to hide it as much as they can and they don’t want to deal with it.”
The source added this could have a long-term effect on the WWE as there’s a major backstage concern over the status of the franchise player of the company. The coronavirus effect is not going to end anytime, soon and Reigns won't be showing up on work either until the pandemic comes under control,
"Realistically, he probably shouldn’t be doing this for a long time. This is not about WrestleMania, this is about long after WrestleMania. We have until this thing is way under control, and I’m not talking about where we’re going to restaurants again, but way under control or there is a vaccine, hopefully, that soon.”
Roman Reigns was off WWE TV for four months in late 2018 which caused a massive decline in TV ratings and viewerships. Hopefully, the same situation won't be occurring, this time around. With him being absent on SmackDown, now Braun Strowman is probably going to be the top babyface guy since he has the Universal Championship.
As reported prior to WrestleMania 36, Vince McMahon firstly booked Goldberg to defeat The Fiend to win the Universal Championship at Super ShowDown.
Then he put Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg at WrestleMania 36 card to ensure Reigns gets a positive reaction when he wins the Universal Championship pinning the Hall of Famer. This wouldn’t be the case if Reigns would have defeated The Fiend to win the title.
The whole plan backfired as Roman Reigns denied to feature in the scheduled WrestleMania match. WWE even tried to let Goldberg retain the championship so that the big moment for Reigns eventually happen at a later date.
But with the deteriorating COVID-19 situation, he is not coming back anytime soon and the creative team had no second choice but to make Braun Strowman the new title-holder.