The Big Dog Roman Reigns was set to Fight with Goldberg and this was one of the big opportunities he got in his career but unfortunately, the current situation forced him to withdraw and Braun Strowman replaced him in the match.
Around 10 days before WrestleMania 36 broadcast, Roman Reigns pulled out of his headliner against Goldberg, where he was relied upon to win the Blue brand’s top Championship, scrapping the conclusion to their epic feud that had been building for at least three weeks.
WWE had advised its roster it was dependent upon the stars to pick whether they needed to work the recordings in this Global emergency, and, very understandably considering his two fights with leukemia, putting him at a higher risk of reacting more severely to the disease, Reigns choose his health and family over one of the biggest matches of his career.
Most wouldn’t know Reigns wasn’t wrestling until the night before the show, though, because despite it being reported a week before he’d pulled out, along with both Roman himself and COO Triple H confirming that several days later, WWE wouldn’t announce the change until the last episode before Wrestlemania of SmackDown with a tweet.
And since then, Roman’s name – one of the biggest star in the whole company – hasn’t been mentioned once.
WrestlingNews.co have already reported that the commentary team were told to not reference Reigns over the whole of WrestleMania weekend.
Triple H initially teased to ESPN that Braun replacing Reigns would unfold in a big spectacle of an angle on the Friday night.
But Goldberg has since revealed in an interview that WWE were trying to tape him vs Roman Reigns up until the few days before WrestleMania was set to air – suggesting that really why WWE made such a last-minute public confirmation of the change.
Whatever the backstage chain of events was, Vince McMahon has reportedly banned all mention of Big Dog’s name on WWE shows.
And one person who is close to Roman apparently told the site it’ll be months before he returns – which is evident with SmackDown setting up Bray Wyatt as Braun Strowman’s first title challenger.
The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has revealed that the ban on Roman’s name is still in place, with Dave Meltzer writing:
“Right now the instructions on television are to not ever mention Reigns.”
It’s unknown whether this is just because Vince McMahon has just decided to ignore the whole situation rather than explain his absence to fans.