Roman Reigns was scheduled to face Bill Goldberg for the Universal Championship at WWE’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, WrestleMania 36. However, owing to his compromised immune system, The Big Dog was reportedly pulled from the card and Braun Strowman stepped in as the ideal challenger to The Myth’s title.
During a recent appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Paul “Triple H” Levesque addressed the report of Goldberg vs. Reigns being “altered” owing to the former Shield member not willing to risk his health during the coronavirus pandemic.
“You know, there are various talents, and I don’t wanna get into the specifics of WrestleMania because that’s a must-see event, but we don’t like to take precautions with our talent, any more so than we need to, and all of our talents are in this in a voluntary capacity. If they don’t want to be a part of this, they feel there’s a risk, for whatever reasons, be it themselves or somebody around them, they don’t have to be here. Nothing is held against them for that. Same with our crew and everybody else.”
In October 2018, Reigns relinquished the Universal Championship to take a medical hiatus in order to battle returning leukemia. After making a grand-return just 4 months later on the February 25th episode of Monday Night RAW, The Big Dog went on to defeat Drew McIntyre in a highly personal rivalry at WrestleMania 35. Despite the major comeback, WWE didn’t shove Reigns into the world title picture until Royal Rumble 2020.
“We don’t want to take chances on that, and with Roman having a pre-existing condition, that would make him more susceptible to something, it’s understandable.”
At this point, there are equal chances of Goldberg retaining the championship and dropping the same to Strowman at WrestleMania, but what’s more important is whether Reigns will be granted a direct title shot once he returns to WWE programming.