Braun Strowman defeated Goldberg to win the Universal Championship this past Saturday at WrestleMania 36. The victory earned The Monster Among Men his first singles world title in WWE.
However, as we all know, Roman Reigns was the man WWE had planned for dethroning The Myth at ‘Mania. Since his return from leukemia, Reigns had been kept outside of every title picture but this WrestleMania season finally saw The Big Dog stepping into the championship territory once again. However, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and his compromised immune system, Reigns pulled out of his Universal Title match at the very last minute and the huge career-defining opportunity went to Strowman.
Wrestle Talk reports that WWE had initially considered crowning Jeff Hardy the new Universal Champion at the Show Of Shows. It is to be noted that The Charismatic Enigma hasn’t won a single WWE world title since 2009.
“The decision to have Strowman in the match instead of Reigns was made when it was clear whoever replaced Roman would be winning the title. There were reportedly talks of giving Jeff Hardy the role, but WWE ultimately went with the “Monster Among Men”.”
Hardy recently returned to action and defeated King Corbin on his very first night since being sidelined with an injury last April. It’s interesting to see WWE considering the decorated veteran as a potential world champion especially at a time when fans believe a beat-up Hardy no longer has what it takes to be a top singles Superstar in the company.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that nobody in WWE holds any animosity towards Reigns for pulling out of WrestleMania. The company’s higher-ups including Vince McMahon himself have been “very accepting” of The Big Dog’s decision to skip the show due to his long-drawn history with leukemia.
“WWE higher-ups, including Vince McMahon himself, was very accepting of Roman Reigns’ decision to miss the show, especially given his history with leukemia”