With the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, the conduct of sporting events has been a difficult challenge with so many factors and stakeholders involved. Although some events have gone ahead as scheduled, others have either been forced cancelled, postponed or have had to stop mid-way. The vaccination has however come as a relief for sportspersons to try and continue participating in competitive tournaments as even as the world continues to battle with newer variants and the mutating COVID-19.
And now the latest victim of the virus is the much-awaited Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. The fight would not take place on WWE Day 1. Reigns, who was set to defend the title against Lesnar for the 2nd time, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is ruled out of the tournament.
Reigns took to Twitter to mention that he had tested COVID-19 positive. “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.”
Here is his Tweet:
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
However, it is to be noted that Lesnar still competed at the event and challenged Big E for the WWE Championship. Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Bobby Lashley are three others participating in the five-man match. Despite not being in match just hours before, Lesnar ended the night winning the championship by putting Big E down with an F-5 to score the pin. It was a stunning finish on Day 1 which saw plenty of good action right throughout.
Reigns’ COVID-19 positive test meant that their championship match might now take place at Royal Rumble 2022 or at Wrestlemania 38. The storyline between the two superstars would surely continue and Paul Heyman will have his role going ahead.
Rollins, the former Universal Champion, had recently revealed that he has also tested positive for the infection. However, now he is clear to compete for the event and will be one of the strongest contenders to win the Championship.
Notably, Lesnar last held the WWE Championship before he took a break from April 2020 to August 2021. The WWE veteran had lost his title to Drew McIntyre in the main event of Wrestlemania 36. It remains to be seen if can regain the title after nearly 2 years.