Day 1 Match Reportedly Went “Nowhere Near” Its Alloted Time, More Details On Changes To Show Plans

Brock Lesnar Day 1

The plans for WWE Day 1 changed drastically after Roman Reigns tested positive for COVID-19, including major changes to the main event.

Just hours before Day 1 was set to air on the WWE Network and Peacock, Roman Reigns tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be pulled from the show where he was scheduled to defend his Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar in the main event.

Shortly thereafter, WWE issued a statement that Brock Lesnar would instead be inserted into the WWE Championship match, making it a fatal-five-way.

According to a report from Fightful Select, Lesnar’s addition to the main event was far from the only change made to the show. Match times had to be adjusted, and both video packages and segments were added to compensate for the missing Universal Title Match.

By the time Brock Lesnar was added to the main event, the match times had been set, and every match other than the fatal five way went the time that was allotted, including entrances. However, the main event of Day 1 was reportedly budgeted to last 30 minutes and went nowhere near that time, instead lasting only just over 8 minutes. There is no reported reason for the match going so much shorter than planned.

Fightful Select also notes that talent was informed by mid-day that the WWE Championship match would be changing, but that they weren’t told the original plans of who was winning the match. Some sources believed Big E may have been set to retain, but that information was not confirmed.

Interestingly, the report also notes that Brock Lesnar was still listed internally as a SmackDown Superstar despite being called a free agent on television and winning a Raw championship at Day 1. There is no report as of this time as to whether that internal listing has changed, but Brock Lesnar did appear on Monday Night Raw, reuniting with Paul Heyman to open the show.

Elsewhere on Day 1, Becky Lynch retained her Raw Women’s Championship against Liv Morgan. Beth Phoenix also made her return to WWE alongside her husband Edge to set up a mixed tag between the WWE Hall of Famers and Miz and Maryse at the Royal Rumble.