Brock Lesnar was added to the WWE Championship match at WWE’s Day 1 pay-per-view hours before the show began after Roman Reigns announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. Lesnar wound up winning the match by pinning Big E, though between initial reports and an incorrect graphic from @WWEonFOX it seemed like E was supposed to retain the title had it remained a four-way with himself, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Bobby Lashley. However, Dave Meltzer then reported on Tuesday via Sports Illustrated that, had Lesnar not gotten involved, Rollins was supposed to become champion.
“The original scripted plan for the show was for Big E to lose the championship, but to Seth Rollins, who had tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and the champion instead lost his title to Lesnar as the result of another positive test,” Meltzer wrote.
The win would have given Rollins his fifth career world championship in WWE and his first title reign of any kind since his brief tag title run with Buddy Murphy ended in March 2020.
This is far from the first time Rollins has seen plans for his character undergo major changes. Last September, while on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions, he described how The Shield breakup almost looked completely different.
“What happened was, they wanted to break us up back in January , maybe December,” Rollins said. “They wanted to go to Ambrose and Roman and at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. I was left out. Maybe a special referee or something. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ They wanted to break us up and we had just turned the corner into being babyfaces. Over time, it was like, ‘they’re too cool, we can’t boo them anymore.’ We were like, ‘No. What are you doing? We’re not ready for that yet, we have a whole run as babyfaces. There’s a lot of merch money on the table.’ We went to Hunter, we talked about it, we ended up hashing it out and worked with The Outlaws [Road Dogg & Billy Gunn] and Kane at WrestleMania, which was a truncated match, a glorified squash because you guys [Austin, The Rock, and Hulk Hogan] talked for 35 minutes and the Daniel Bryan and Hunter went out and did 35 minutes [laughs]. You know how it goes, sh– falls downhill. We had about 90 seconds and we went out and did our thing.
“Then, we did two matches with Evolution, no peep of a turn, no peep for a breakup, no one said anything,” he continued. “We wiped the floor with Evolution, it was a clean sweep in the elimination match. They pull us into the office and say, ‘tonight is the night.'”