Report: Here’s How WWE Changed Its Plans By Having Brock Lesnar Win the WWE Championship at WWE Day 1

Roman Reigns announced on Saturday afternoon that he had tested positive for COVID-19. This caused an immediate domino effect for WWE‘s Day 1 pay-per-view later in the evening, resulting in Brock Lesnar (Reigns’ challenger for the Universal Championship had he not been pulled from the show) getting added to the WWE Championship match and eventually winning by pinning current champion Big E. Multiple reports have since popped up indicating Lesnar’s title win was a last-minute decision.

The first clue came from the @WWEonFOX Twitter account, which accidentally had E listed as retaining the WWE Championship even though Lesnar’s photo was included among the show’s winners. The photo was quickly taken down.

Looks like someone made an error. This was tweeted and deleted by the WWE on FOX account. Look under the photo of Brock. pic.twitter.com/sZqCfm8fqq

— Wrestling News (@WrestlingNewsCo) January 2, 2022

Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer then noted that E was initially supposed to walk out still WWE Champion. He said (h/t WrestlingNews.co), “…Big E losing the title was a direct result of Roman getting COVID and having to scramble to come up with a new idea.”

He also speculated that a Reigns vs. Lesnar title unification match is now the plan for WrestleMania 38 in April, but couldn’t officially confirm it. Reports of Reigns vs. Lesnar taking place at Mania have been spreading for months. Paul Heyman has even argued in recent interviews that the matchup is a bigger draw than the heavily-rumored Reigns vs. The Rock match.

“Number one, I would want to spend a lot more time on that storyline instead of rushing it,” Heyman told Ariel Helwani regarding Reigns vs. Rock. “Five months. For something that enormous, I would want more time in it. Number two, I think Dwayne’s schedule for next year is in place and he’s not available. Even if he was, I don’t think it would be bigger box office at the moment, if you look at the trajectory right now, isn’t it Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns?

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“Did it end the storyline (Reigns vs. Lesnar at Crown Jewel) or did it make it more compelling and more intriguing? Or Big E? Or Drew McIntyre? I can certainly make the case for Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre as well,” Heyman later added. “Is there a time and a place for Roman Reigns vs. The Rock? Absolutely. Is Hollywood the place to do it? Seems like a natural place for The Rock to main event his final main event at WrestleMania. I don’t think this coming April is the place for Roman Reigns vs. Dwayne Johnson.”