WWE EVP Triple H visited ESPN this past Sunday to not only confirm that a pretty big name will be missing this weekend's WrestleMania shows, but also share his thoughts on that decision as well as the decision to move forward with the annual event.
The company had taken the unprecedented step of having RAW, SmackDown, and NXT film at the WWE Performance Center in Florida – and now their biggest show of the year will also be housed there (with filming also taking place in other locations). During that time, Triple H (aka Paul Michael Levesque) has been down there doing a little bit of just about everything, from producing and cutting promos to running commentary – whatever was needed.
We avoided putting the name of the wrestler in the headline in case you still have not heard the news and were looking to remain "spoiler free." WrestleMania was taped last week, so there are spoilers are out there. Consider this your last chance – in case you want to remain surprised heading into this weekend.
Ok- Triple H had this to say about Roman Reigns opting out of his match at this year's "show of shows" over health concerns connected with Reigns' Leukemia diagnosis:
"All of our talent are in this in a voluntary capacity. So right at the get go, if they don't want to be a part of this, if they feel there's a risk for whatever reason, be it themselves or somebody around them, they don't have to be here and there will… nothing is held against them for that. Same with our crew and everybody else. But we don't want to take chances on that, and with Roman having a pre-existing condition that would make him more susceptible to something, it's understandable.
"We've had very few talent that have had issues or chosen to not be here… I can tell you that, you know for us – at least for me – an amazing process to be able to go to these events, everybody's under immense pressure, obviously there's a ton of work going into these and trying to do them. Even the talent. Performing in front of no one is not the easiest thing in the world. And yet everybody is here, they feel like – I think they just feel a sense of purpose.
They're all laughing, they're smiling, they're having a blast. These have been some of the most fun days of television, of everybody just staying within the rules and trying to do it, but happily going out there and trying to perform a service. And I don't think people should look at it as anything more than that. We're trying to put a smile on your face. If you enjoy it, hopefully you do, and that's great."
WWE's annual wrestling extravaganza has had a bumpy road the past few weeks, as the growing coronavirus pandemic forced the wrestling company to make some major changes. For the first time, WrestleMania will be spread out over two nights – starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. Both nights will air on the WWE Network, with former New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski set to host.