Roman Reigns, WWE’s biggest star, tests positive for COVID-19, scratched from Atlanta event

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7:03 PM ET

  • Mike CoppingerESPN

Roman Reigns, WWE’s biggest star, was a late scratch from Saturday’s “Day 1” pay-per-view in Atlanta after he tested positive for COVID-19, the organization announced.

Reigns, the cousin of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, was set to defend his WWE Universal Championship defense against former UFC champion Brock Lesnar in the headline attraction.

Now, the long-awaited bout will have to wait until later in 2022 following a long build-up that featured manager Paul Heyman at the center of the storyline.

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

Reigns was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2007 before the disease returned in 2018. He announced in February 2019 that his cancer was in remission. A WWE spokesperson didn’t confirm whether or not Reigns is symptomatic with COVID-19.

With Reigns sidelined, Lesnar was inserted into the WWE Championship match that was originally a Fatal 4-Way. Big E will defend the title against Lesnar, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Bobby Lashley.

The matchup will mark the first time Lesnar and Lashley, who fought for Bellator and Strikeforce during his 17-bout MMA career, will share the ring.