COVID-19 positives have caused plenty of cancellations and postponements, including of entire tournaments, and the latest notable one comes in World Wrestling Entertainment. Hours ahead of the WWE Day 1 pay-per-view event Saturday night, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported that WWE universal champion Roman Reigns (seen above at a Nov. 21 WWE Survivor Series event) tested positive for COVID-19, removing him from the event and leading his scheduled opponent (Brock Lesnar) to instead join a five-way match:
Reigns is the WWE universal champion. He is vaccinated, sources say.
Brock Lesnar, his scheduled opponent for tonight’s card, will now compete for the WWE championship in what has turned into a fatal five way with champ Big E, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 1, 2022
WWE later confirmed this:
BREAKING: @BrockLesnar to challenge for WWE Championship tonight in Fatal 5-Way Match at #WWEDay1 following @WWERomanReigns testing positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/wXmr4kzcz5 pic.twitter.com/WrRFmDSRjR
— WWE (@WWE) January 1, 2022
And Reigns tweeted about it as well:
I yearn to perform tonight at #WWEDay1 to defend my Universal Championship. However, unfortunately, earlier today I tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the proper protocols I am unable to compete as originally scheduled. I look forward to returning to action as soon as possible.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) January 1, 2022
That is unfortunate for Reigns. In addition to him missing out on a big event, there are other concerns for him, as he’s a cancer survivor who’s battled two separate bouts of leukemia. Beyond that, it’s also unfortunate for WWE to have to change the schedule of one of their big PPV events so late in the game. We’ll see how this shift goes for them.
[Ariel Helwani on Twitter; photo from Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports]