Universal champion Roman Reigns is out of his planned match at Saturday’s WWE Day 1 pay-per-view after testing positive for COVID-19, Reigns himself announced just before the show. Reigns’ originally scheduled opponent, Brock Lesnar, has now been moved to the WWE championship match, which is now a fatal five-way featuring champion Big E and challengers Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley, the promotion announced.
“I yearn to perform tonight at #WWEDay1 to defend my Universal Championship,” Reigns tweeted. “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.”
Reigns is a cancer survivor, having battled two separate bouts of leukemia. He stepped away from WWE at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and skipped WrestleMania 36 in 2020 out of interest for the safety of himself and his family. He returned at SummerSlam that August.
WWE spent much of the pandemic operating out of buildings with no crowds, first in their own Performance Center in Orlando before the “virtual fan experience” of the ThunderDome, which moved between a handful of arenas. Fans first returned at WrestleMania 37 and WWE returned to live touring in July 2021.