Roman Reigns' return to WWE took everyone by surprise. It was one of the rare moments where most fans weren't aware of it nor were there rumors the night before SummerSlam.
It was Roman Reigns' first appearance in WWE after five months. As you may know, Roman Reigns was set to challenge Goldberg for the Universal title at WrestleMania 36. Instead, he pulled out with little time left and was replaced by Braun Strowman.
While it was no secret that Roman Reigns was away to take care of his family, he told Corey Graves on the After The Bell podcast about his decision to step away from WWE during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and also about how he's willing to quit WWE and retire if he has to:
A lot of things, to be honest. The most defined thought I had was that I made a lot of sacrifices on behalf of my family and this is one area where I'm not going to make that sacrifice. I will sacrifice my career, sacrifice a performance, I'll sacrifice the audience if I have to. To protect my family, I will quit. I'll hang up my boots. I've done everything that I needed to do in this business within sports entertainment/professional wrestling. There isn't a moment or accolade that I haven't had. Whether it was a WrestleMania moment all the way to a house show. I've experienced everything I could possibly experience. For me, it was about putting my family first and right there if I had to retire and that was what was going to be asked of me, I would do it. For one of the first times in a long time, I put my family first. They were 1A.
Roman Reigns admitted that there wasn't much that was going to change his mind, but WWE managed to convince him and his wife that it would be safe to return:
There was nothing that was going to change my mind that I needed to go away and wait until we're in a place where we have a better understanding, knowing what this virus has done and how it has affected everybody and I just felt far more comfortable with the way has taken care of me to make me feel like my family is safe, make my wife feel safe that I can go out and come back in. That's been critical in getting me back in the ring."
Would Roman Reigns have been a difference-maker in the pandemic era?
It's not often that we see a star of Roman Reigns' caliber out of action for so long. However, after multiple positive COVID-19 reports, Roman Reigns made the best decision in hindsight.
It was all about his health and family and anyone would prioritize that over-performing and entertaining. With that said, one can't help but wonder if Roman Reigns would have been a difference-maker in the pandemic era. However, if he were there, we likely wouldn't get the heel turn.