SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Roman Reigns has confirmed his decision to pull out of his WrestleMania 36 match against Goldberg, challenging him for the Universal Title.
In an Instagram video, he said he made the decision based on his family’s health, seeming to lash out at people critical of his decision. “All you know is what you think… 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, man, go and flip that cover over and read a few pages, get into a few chapters before you go running your mouth and just take this time to better yourself.”
WWE hasn’t officially acknowledged this yet, but Reigns cited outside sources. “For me, you already know what’s going on. It’s all over the news, the dirt sheets, whatever you want to call them, that I pulled out of WrestleMania,” he said. “And it’s funny because for years now, man, for years, people have been like, ‘Don’t show up to WrestleMania, we don’t want you in it.’ You know what I mean? There’s like a nice handful of dudes and haters that didn’t want me there, but the moment I make a choice for me and my family I’m a coward, I’m a sissy… a lot of different things that I am now. But you don’t know the whole story.” (Transcript courtesy of ProWrestling.net who also have embedded the video of Reigns from Instagram.)
WWE.com continues to promote the match. The latest post regarding this match on their news page says:
The stage is set for the Spear vs. Spear, WrestleMania Dream Match between Roman Reigns and Goldberg. Before heading into the epic battle, the two larger than life Superstars will meet face to face one last time on Smackdown. After a fiery exchange of words, The Big Dog and the Universal Champion signed on the dotted line to make their showdown on The Grandest Stage of Them All official. Will one man leave with the upper hand heading into WrestleMania? Tune in to Friday Night Smackdown at 8/7 C to see what fireworks are in store.
The WWE.com WrestleMania page still lists this match, too.
(Keller’s Analysis: Why would Roman Reigns make his first public statement about this with that tone, responding to people who frankly don’t deserve his attention? I suspect the vast majority of people think his decision is entirely reasonable, and I cannot fathom why someone of his stature would choose to address the minority of idiots who are critical of him for a sound, rational, deeply personal decision. And why is he ahead of WWE on this in terms of making it official? The person who reported the news works for WWE, Ryan Satin of ProWrestlingSheet.)