WWE’s Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon has commented on Roman Reigns’ decision to pull out of WrestleMania 36 which airs this weekend.
Reigns, who successfully battled Leukaemia for the second time from October 2018 to February 2019, was scheduled to challenge Goldberg for the Universal Championship, but was replaced at the tapings last week. WWE has not addressed this either on TV or on its website yet.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, McMahon said:
“With all of our superstars, it really is a voluntary basis. It’s not my place to give his personal situation, but we support our superstars. We support their personal opinions and concerns, and again, this is all voluntary. Especially when you have a talent or a performer with pre-existing conditions, or whatever the reason might be. If someone is uncomfortable, we will absolutely honor that.
“We want our talent to perform at WrestleMania, but only if they’re comfortable. Regardless of their reasons, they have to be comfortable. It has to be something they want to do. We absolutely support all of our superstars and their decision of whether or not to perform, especially at this time.”
McMahon also revealed that there was a point in time that it seemed doubtful that WrestleMania would even happen. She added:
“We all have been day-to-day really looking at all of this. Ultimately, as brands and leagues and companies are reinventing themselves, it’s important to stay true to your mission. And our mission is to put smiles on people’s faces. We’re a fan-first company, we always want to provide an experience that is worthy of our fans’ passion. We’re constantly looking at what other leagues are doing, what other providers are doing, assessing the landscape–can we make it as safe as possible? Where can we shoot the content? All of these different factors have come into play. We’re working with local, regional, and global agencies, we’re putting in the best possible testing measures that we can [and] all of the safety precautions that we’re taking to take this very seriously.
“This is not something where we’re just being bullheaded and moving forward. This is a concerted, very thought-through effort to entertain our fans with our biggest show of the year. It won’t feel and look like our biggest show of the year, but certainly from a content standpoint and a match standpoint, we’re trying to deliver.”
McMahon missed WrestleMania for the first time ever this year as she was not considered “essential personnel” so couldn’t be present at the tapings.
WrestleTalk.com will have live coverage of both nights of WrestleMania this Saturday and Sunday.