11:33 PM ET
Marc RaimondiESPN Staff Writer
One of WWE’s biggest stars is out of WrestleMania.
Roman Reigns will not perform on the promotion’s big annual card, sources confirmed with ESPN on Thursday night.
Reigns, whose real name is Joe Anoa’i, is a leukemia survivor and is immunocompromised, potentially putting him at greater risk if he is infected with COVID-19.
WWE declined comment on the matter. Reigns’ withdrawal was first reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet.
Reigns was supposed to meet Goldberg for the WWE Universal title in one of WrestleMania’s featured matches. Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that WWE will seek a new opponent for Goldberg, the current champion.
The 34-year-old Reigns was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 22. He announced in October 2018 that he’d be stepping away from WWE temporarily because the disease had returned. In February 2019, Reigns announced that he was in remission and would be returning to his WWE schedule.
WWE has been running its television shows out of its training facility in Orlando, Florida, in front of no fans for two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. The promotion has been taping WrestleMania matches this week. The spectacle will air over two nights, on April 4 and 5, on WWE Network.
WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon told Variety this week that there is “extensive testing and screening” for anyone entering the WWE Performance Center and all must have their temperatures taken. No milling about the backstage area is allowed. McMahon said anyone who has been out of the country or has been in contact with anyone who has been out of the country is not allowed at the facility.
“We’re taking every precaution we can,” she said. “It’s also why you don’t see talent or anyone else in the audience. We really are adhering to all the guidelines that we can to maintain the health and safety of our crew and our performers.”