As noted, WWE officials recently issued an edict to not mention Roman Reigns on WWE TV right now. There was no solid reason given for the ruling, but Reigns hasn’t been seen since he backed out of the WrestleMania 36 match with WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg due to concerns he had over wrestling during the coronavirus pandemic as his battles with leukemia left him immunocompromised. While WWE employees were told they did not have to work during the COVID-19 outbreak if they didn’t want to, and that their decisions would not be held against them, there has been some speculation on the edict being related to Reigns’ decision.
It was reported this week by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the Reigns edict only said commentators were not to mention his name on TV, and that there was nothing in there about erasing Reigns out of archived footage.
This is interesting as Reigns was removed from a WrestleMania 31 replay that aired during a countdown of top Money In the Bank moments week during RAW on Monday. Seth Rollins’ briefcase cash-in during the Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar match, but Reigns, who took the pin, was not shown at all and it looked as if Rollins pinned Lesnar to win the title.
In another update, the Observer reports that the reaction by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon regarding Reigns and how to handle the situation “changes daily based on which way the wind is blowing,” according to a source close to the situation. This is why one day Reigns was shown pinning Triple H during a WrestleMania replay on SmackDown, then he was edited off the WrestleMania replay on RAW, and also left out of a Make-A-Wish video package, but then FS1 aired a one-hour “Best Of” special on him as they did last Tuesday night. It’s possible that WWE had nothing to do with FS1 airing the Reigns special in the lead-up to WWE Backstage, at least for the most part, or that they didn’t consider this to be company programming because it was aired by FOX on one of their networks.
It’s been speculated that Reigns will stay away from the ring for several months, based on COVID-19 trends and his health. The Observer points to Reigns having a wife and three kids, and how he would have to really put some thought into returning any time soon. It was also noted that there will be pressure from both sides, Reigns and WWE, that changes as the more time goes by.
Stay tuned for updates on Reigns’ WWE status and future.