Roman Reigns Talks Decision to Skip WWE WrestleMania 36 Amid COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2020

Roman Reigns presents the best coach award at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Nearly six months after making the decision to sit out WrestleMania 36 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Roman Reigns explained Thursday why he made that choice.

The reigning Universal champion discussed the matter during an appearance on WWE After the Bell with SmackDown announcer Corey Graves:

Reigns made it clear that the decision to skip WrestleMania had everything to do with his family:

"For me, it was about putting my family first. And right there, if I had to retire and that's what was gonna be asked of me, I was willing to do it. For one of the first times in a long time, I put my family—they were 1A. There was nothing that was gonna change my mind. I needed to go away and wait 'til we were in a place of better understanding of the process and knowing exactly what this virus has done and how it's affected everybody. And I just feel far more comfortable the way WWE has taken care of me to make me feel safe, make my family feel safe, make my wife feel safe that I'm going out and then coming back in, that's been huge and critical to get me back in the ring."

Reigns and his wife, Galina, have been married since 2014. They have a daughter who was born in 2014 and a pair of twins, including twin boys who were born this year.

While Reigns remains confident he made the right decision for himself and his family, he admitted that watching WrestleMania from home "sucked."

Reigns had competed at each of the previous seven WrestleManias and main evented four of them. He was scheduled to be part of a huge match at WrestleMania 36, as he was set to challenge Goldberg for the Universal Championship.

Braun Strowman replaced Reigns and won the title, but Reigns made his long-awaited return at SummerSlam last month by spearing both Strowman and "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt.

One week later at Payback, after shockingly aligning himself with Paul Heyman, Reigns beat Strowman and The Fiend in a Triple Threat match to win the Universal Championship.

The pairing of Reigns and Heyman has been one of the most compelling storylines in wrestling over the past month, and his match against his cousin, Jey Uso, at Clash of Champions on Sunday has piqued the interest of many wrestling fans.

Being without Reigns at WrestleMania was likely a tough pill to swallow for WWE and Reigns' fans, but the time away and change in attitude has seemingly re-energized Roman, so it may have been a blessing in disguise for all involved.

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