Roman Reigns was edited out of WrestleMania 31 footage this past Monday on Raw.
Monday on Raw, WWE continued to stir up speculation as to its current standing with top star Roman Reigns after censoring him out of a clip from WrestleMania 31, where Seth Rollins memorably pinned The Big Dog to capture his first WWE Championship.
Reigns has not been mentioned by name on WWE programming since his admirable, albeit controversial, decision to skip the WrestleMania 36 tapings due to being immunocompromised. Reigns suffers from a form of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), and his preexisting condition placed him at a higher risk for severe infection from the spread of COVID-19.
Reigns recently addressed backlash he has received online from senseless fans during an IG Live session:
“You don’t know the whole story,” said Reigns to his detractors.
“All you know is what you think. ‘Oh well, his health and this and that.’ But you don’t know what else is going on in my life. You don’t know if I have newborns, you don’t know if I have family in my household, older family. So, yeah, like the old saying…go and flip that cover open and read a few pages. “
Flipping the cover open on a recent edition of Muscle & Fitness (h/t Metro.uk) later revealed Reigns is now the expectant father of a second set of twins. Reigns appeared to be hinting as much during his aforementioned chat on IG Live as he is wisely prioritizing his family—now a family of seven along with his wife Galina and daughter Joelle—over high-risk wrestling.
Given WWE’s apparent gag order on Reigns, there appears to be friction between the two sides. Though protecting an immunocompromised Superstar during the spread of a global pandemic seems like a no-brainer, this was reportedly not a decision made on WWE’s behalf but rather one that had to come from Reigns himself.
“Sometimes things are more important, and I had to make a choice for me and my family,” said Reigns about his decision.
Reigns’ embattled WWE career has seen numerous start and stops for one reason or another, whether it was injury, suspension, his bizarre loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 (when a win seemed all but guaranteed) or the unfortunate return of his leukemia, a battle which he thankfully recovered from.
Reigns has been the subject of reports that Hollywood is interested in the WWE top star. Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch’s name surfaced in a similar reports, which went on to reveal she has landed a role in an upcoming film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
WWE is historically territorial of its top stars when it comes to the threat of crossing over to Hollywood. The Rock’s own flirtations with Hollywood led to a falling out of sorts when his contract was not renewed by WWE in 2004 in what was believed to be an act of pettiness.
Of course, The Rock is Reigns’ cousin with the two sharing ties to the legendary Anoa’i family. Reigns made his big-screen debut when he appeared alongside The Rock in Hobbs and Shaw, a movie that received limited promotion from WWE.
As Roman Reigns continues his growth as a human, a family man and a potential crossover star, this growth may come in direct conflict with his career as a wrester, especially in WWE.