In the same moment Roman Reigns revealed his leukemia diagnosis, he announced that he would be vacating his Universal Championship. And WWE has already determined how the next Universal Champion will be crowned.
WWE announced that Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar will go one-on-one at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia on November 2 for the big red belt. originally this was supposed to be a triple threat involving Reigns, but given the heartbreak news, Reigns is leaving the company immediately.
Until Raw, Reigns was expected to hold the Universal Championship for the rest of 2018 and possibly through WrestleMania 35. But this heartbreaking development forces WWE to pick their next top guy under duress. Regardless of who wins, both Strowman and Lesnar would be suitable fill-in champions.
It feels weird trying to prognosticate Crown Jewel in the wake of Reigns news. WWE Superstars flooded social media with best wishes for the Bug Dog and WWE itself actually issued a statement:
"Tonight on Monday Night Raw, Roman Reigns (aka Joe Anao'i) announced that he is relinquishing the WWE Universal Championship and taking a leave of absence from WWE as he once again fights leukemia, which had been in remission since late 2008," the statement read. "Reigns is taking his battle with leukemia public in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research in order to advance cures for the disease."
Reigns address has already become hallowed footage, but here's a snippet of his promo that opened Raw and crushed the WWE Universe.
"You know the deal, you know how life is. Life is not fair, it's not all peaches and cream. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. And right now the best thing for me to do is to go home, to focus on my family and my health.
"But I want to make one thing clear, by no means is this a retirement speech," he continued. "Because after I'm done whooping leukemia's ass once again I'm coming back home. And when I do, it's not just going to be about titles and being on top, no it's about a purpose. I am coming back because I want to show all of you, the whole world, I want to show my family, my friends, my children