WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns has tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, will not perform at tonight’s Day 1 pay-per-view in Atlanta. The news was first broken by MMAFighting.com reporter Ariel Helwani before Reigns himself took to social media to confirm it.
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
The Universal Champion was originally scheduled for a title match against Brock Lesnar that would’ve main evented the show. Per Helwani’s report, Lesnar will now be shifted to the Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE Championship between Big E, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Bobby Lashley, making it a Fatal Five-Way match in the main event.
This is an extension of the circumstances the WWE has had to deal with in regards to the rising numbers of COVID-19 over the last few weeks. Reigns and several other top superstars were pulled from various live events over Christmas weekend to avoid exposure to the virus with the express purpose of saving them for the ppv. He is reportedly vaccinated and there’s obvious special precaution they have to take with him considering that he has battled leukemia multiple times.