Former WWE Champion Big E is counting the cost of having to face Brock Lesnar as part of his title match at Day 1, but a new report says The New Day star was originally going to lose to someone else.
WWE presented Day 1 on New Year’s Day 2022 and a stacked card was set to see Big E defend his WWE Championship in a Fatal Four-Way bout against Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Bobby Lashley. On the SmackDown side of things, Roman Reigns was set for a rematch with his Universal Title on the line against Brock Lesnar. But then fate intervened.
Reigns tested positive for COVID-19 before the show so his bout was scrapped with Lesnar being added as a fifth combatant in the WWE Championship match instead. While The Beast Incarnate was surely not happy at missing out at getting his hands on Roman Reigns, he was all smiles by the night’s end as he captured his sixth WWE Title.
It has now been revealed that Big E was always supposed to lose the WWE Championship before being pinned by Lesnar. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, via Sports Illustrated, the original plan was for Seth Rollins to end the night as champion:
“The original plan to build for WrestleMania, whatever it was, changed greatly when Lesnar pinned Big E to win the WWE title to end Saturday’s show. The original scripted plan for the show was for Big E to lose the championship, but to Seth Rollins, who had tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and the champion instead lost his title to Lesnar as the result of another positive test.”
Lesnar has only been the WWE Champion for a few days, but his first challenger has already been revealed.
Brock Lesnar reunited with his advocate, Paul Heyman, on Monday Night Raw on January 3rd. Lesnar told the audience to “acknowledge him” before Heyman ran down the pros and cons of his potential challengers, including a jab at Roman Reigns.
Later that night, Bobby Lashley defeated Seth Rollins, Big E, and Kevin Owens to earn a spot in the Royal Rumble against Lesnar.