Roman Reigns Tests Positive for COVID-19, WWE Changes Day 1 Main Event

Roman Reigns announced via Twitter on Saturday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, his WWE Universal Championship match with Brock Lesnar at tonight’s Day 1 pay-per-view has been canceled and “The Beast” will be added to the WWE Championship match. Reigns wrote, “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.”

The WWE Championship match will now see current champion Big E face Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Bobby Lashley in a five-way bout. Lesnar has not held WWE’s most prestigious title since dropping it to Drew McIntyre inside of an empty WWE Performance Center at WrestleMania 36.

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

BREAKING: @BrockLesnar to challenge for WWE Championship tonight in Fatal 5-Way Match at WWEDay1 following @WWERomanReigns testing positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/wXmr4kzcz5 pic.twitter.com/WrRFmDSRjR

— WWE (@WWE) January 1, 2022

Reigns, a leukemia survivor, famously opted to step away from WWE programming once the pandemic caused its initial shutdown in March 2020. He would not return to WWE programming until August of that year. Upon his return, he turned heel and debuted “The Tribal Chief” persona, making him the biggest star in the company as his Universal title reign easily eclipsed a full year. He stated in an interview with CBS Sports last year that he felt carrying the promotion through the ThunderDome Era will be the defining era of his career.

“The live crowd has always enhanced my presentation. My reactions have always been, if not the very best, certainly up there with the very best. I’ve now showcased the layers as a performer to be able to do it without a live audience. I’ve had a strong hold on SmackDown and SmackDown being the very best portion of WWE. It’s shown me as the number one guy.

“That’s my legacy coming out of the ThunderDome,” he continued. ” Hands down, without question, it can be debated for great content on social media and WWE.com to put these polls and try to make an argument. But there’s no argument. There’s been nobody to ever carry the WWE product like I have over the past year and I stand on that. You can throw anybody out. We can try and be nice and say, ‘Oh, Bayley! She just got hurt. She was the best.’ Come on, let’s not lie to ourselves. The Tribal Chief has carried the WWE for well over a year now and there’s no denying it.”

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Here’s the updated lineup for Day 1:

WWE Championship: Big E vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Usos vs. The New Day

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan

Raw Tag Team Championship: RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits
Edge vs. The Miz
Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss
(Kickoff) Cesaro & Ricochet vs. Ridge Holland & Sheamus