It’s the most shocking of the large spate of blows to roster stability that have happened recently. Not only is the diagnosis shocking, but it’s shocking that he’s been in remission for the better part of a decade and the WWE didn’t use it to promote his character.
If he does recover again, and return to the ring again, if nothing else, the issue of people not cheering him goes out the window. I mean, it won’t change some things, but it should at least change the “let’s boo Roman Reigns because it’s cool to boo Roman Reigns” thing. We aren’t quite at the point where the majority of even the worst smarks will see his leukemia as a work.
On top of that, we have Kevin Owens out (both knees), Bobby Lashley (unknown) and Samoa Joe (unknown) all recently on the shelf. Reigns’ exit led to a quick heel turn for Dean Ambrose, and the void left by Ambrose and Reigns led to turning Braun Strowman and Elias face.
Typically, when WWE is behind the eight ball with injured top stars, they react almost instinctively and badly. That’s not why they’re (allegedly) going forward with Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia despite the heaps of bad press, but it’ll probably lead to a lot of rushed storytelling and even weirder moves than usual. They may call some dudes up in a panic and then throw them away when they’re in better shape. It’s happened before.
We’ll see. It’s another month or so before we have to worry about anything in the men’s division, since, you know. Fuck Crown Jewel. Shame I won’t see a face Braun Strowman finally getting the belt, but them’s the breaks.