On Saturday, I noted that the WWE announcers were told not to mention Roman Reigns during the WrestleMania tapings.
Dave Meltzer confirmed in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the instructions extended to the weekly television shows to not ever mention Reigns. There was no mention of Reigns on SmackDown and no mention of why he was replaced by Braun Strowman at WrestleMania.
It’s unclear exactly why the decision was made but it is interesting that just days before the go-home episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Triple H told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that things would play out in a unique way on SmackDown to explain why Reigns would not be wrestling at WrestleMania. Whatever the plan was must have changed and/or edited off the show because there was no storyline to explain Reigns’ absence and it was quietly announced that it would be Strowman challenging Goldberg for the Universal Championship.
Reigns’ return status is unknown and people close to him don’t think he will be back anytime soon due to coronavirus concerns. The reason why Reigns opted not to wrestle at WrestleMania is that he got word that The Miz showed up at the Performance Center while sick (not with coronavirus).
Reigns later indicated on Instagram that he had reasons for pulling out of WrestleMania and he indicated that he has kids and an older person in his life that he needs to worry about. This week he told Muscle and Fitness that his wife is pregnant with another set of twins.