With WrestleMania fast approaching and most plans set in motion, it looks like the WWE UNIVERSE is once again going to be forced to witness an attempt at coronating Roman Reigns as WWE Universal Champion. Reigns is set to face Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania, a match he’ll certainly win. Despite fan rejection of Reigns’ babyface push, WWE and Vince McMahon seem determined to go through with it anyway, even going to far as to try to trade on Lesnar’s potential defection to the UFC in a desperate attempt to get fans to cheer Reigns over Lesnar.
But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? A new report from Dave Meltzer‘s Wrestling Observer Radio suggests that WWE could be preparing a backup plan in case they need to call off the match between Reigns and Lesnar. No, they wouldn’t call it off just because the fans have loudly expressed for several years that they don’t want it to happen. It could be called off because of a potential looming steroid scandal that, according to Meltzer, some WWE officials fear could bring down Roman Reigns before he can be crowned champion and “The Guy” at WrestleMania.
All of this stems from claims by jailed steroid dealer Richard Rodriguez back in January. Rodriguez claims that Roman Reigns, as well as Hollywood stars like Mark Wahlberg, were customers. Reigns denies knowing Rodriguez, and claims to have put performance-enhancing drug use behind him since his suspension for violating WWE’s wellness policy in June of 2016. However, filmmaker Johnny Bravo is making a documentary about Rodriguez and claims that he will present evidence linking Reigns and other WWE Superstars to Rodriguez, including reports that one wrestler spent more than $140,000 on steroids from the dealer.
Though WWE seemed to dismiss these claims initially, according to Wrestling Inc., Meltzer reports that the company canceled a planned WrestleMania bout between Bruan Strowman and The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship in order to hold Strowman in reserve in case he needs to replace Reigns as the winner of the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. The problem is, regardless of whether the steroid claims are true or complete fabrications, Strowman, who is beloved by the crowd, would make an objectively better winner and would completely change the tenor of WrestleMania, from a main where everyone expects to be disappointed as the crowd mercilessly boos Roman Reigns winning the championship in a storyline whose ending was predicted three years ago, to one in which a stadium full of fans screams out “BRAAAAUUUNNN” in celebration of their hero’s victory. WWE should probably just do that anyway, but past history has shown that only two things can stop the unstoppable push of Roman Reigns: a steroid scandal, and the mumps. Since the mumps aren’t going around right now, a steroid scandal seems to be fans’ only hope.
WrestleMania 34 takes place on Sunday, April 8th, so if Bravo is planning to produce evidence in time to change WrestleMania (and the build-up to the biggest wrestling show of the year would be the most optimal time to do so from the perspective of publicity for his movie), he’d better hurry.