Roman Reigns broke the news hours before the Day 1 pay-per-view on Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, his Universal Championship match with Brock Lesnar needed to be ditched, requiring WWE to quickly change plans and include "The Beast" to the four-way WWE Championship match (which he won). 

Lesnar's had his first challenger for his ninth world championship reign-- Bobby Lashley-- determined in the main event of this week's Raw, however Lesnar still had his sights set on antagonizing Reigns on today's SmackDown. WWE then verified on Thursday that "The Tribal Chief" was cleared to return and would be back on SmackDown this week..

Reigns vs. Lesnar, regardless of the wrinkle of the extra world champion being included, is still reportedly the plan for the centerpiece of WrestleMania 38 in April. The pair have previously main evented the show at WrestleMania 31 and 34.. -- WWE 

Reigns, having battled leukemia and having a number of small children back home, opted to step far from the WWE just before WrestleMania 36 back in March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic was getting underway. He would not return up until SummerSlam that August, and within a week he had presented "The Tribal Chief" persona, aligned himself with Paul Heyman and began a Universal Championship reign that is still ongoing.

Nevertheless, before Christmas Reigns decided to fire Heyman after repeatedly questioning where the "Special Counsel's" loyalties were. Heyman opened today's Raw by officially reuniting with Lesnar as his "Advocate," then joked about how within weeks of firing Heyman Reigns had actually gotten sick.Heyman offered a variety of interviews in 2015 reflecting on his partnership, consisting of one with Sports Illustrated where he admitted he was reluctant to work with anyone else besides Lesnar.

" I can not start to convey how unwilling I was to ever do anything in this industry after the eight years, not to mention the 18 years, that I create with Brock Lesnar," Heyman stated. "Look at our accomplishments: a 500-day run as champ, multiple world championships, the single biggest, most historic success in sports home entertainment history in the conquering of 'The Streak.' There was very little chance of me ever returning on-screen.".

" For me to pursue, in front of the camera, life after Brock Lesnar, the only lure that might seduce me to even trying such an impossible goal was to do it with somebody that would live their life in the pursuit of accomplishing that impossibility, which's Roman Reigns," he later added. "And that's why someone, that's why anybody which's why everyone must watch Roman Reigns. Every micromoment he's in the frame, you are seeing the pursuit of the all-time greatest career in the annals of sport, in the annals of entertainment and in the annals of sports entertainment.".