Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, was diagnosed with COVID-19. Not only did this throw the Day 1 main event off the tracks, but it also made the road to WrestleMania a lot more windy. WWE had to change up a lot of things, including the WWE Title match as Brock Lesnar was inserted into the main event.
WWE confirmed Reigns’ positive test a few hours before the show and announced that he would not be defending his Universal Title. Lesnar was then added to the WWE Title match. That match was initially scheduled to include champion Big E and contenders Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Bobby Lashley.
This made the match a five-way bout, and it would also be the first time Lesnar and Lashley, two powerhouses who were national collegiate wrestling champions as well as MMA competitors, faced each other. The Beast Incarnate ultimately won the gold after pinning Big E.
Before late alterations to the contest, a now-deleted WWE graphic showed that Big E was slated to retain his title. It turns out that the initial plan for the WWE Championship was for Seth Rollins to win it, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer as he wrote in Sports Illustrated.
The original scripted plan for the show was for Big E to lose the championship, but to Seth Rollins, who had tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and the champion instead lost his title to Lesnar as the result of another positive test.
As a result, Lesnar is the champion and the Raw brand’s top star. On the SmackDown brand, Reigns holds the title of Universal Champion. Wrestlers in the WWE are only allowed to work for one brand and compete against wrestlers from that brand, however there is a lot of creative license there.
Ringside News exclusively reported that WWE’s plans for WrestleMania did not change with Brock Lesnar winning the gold. If anything, we were told the company said it will “enhance” the ongoing storyline.
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