WrestleMania 38’s two-night event featured many memorable moments that will ultimately cement it as one of the best Manias in years, but not even Stone Cold’s impromptu retirement match nor Logan Paul’s surprising performance could overshadow some of the shortcomings that plagued Sunday night's matches. In particular, audiences felt underwhelmed by the main event between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, despite many being all-in on the match. Things ended rather immediately and anticlimatically via pinfall (an outcome we predicted) with time to spare during the pay-per-view and Peacock event, and now rampant speculation has surfaced suggesting that the wrestlers necessarily expedited the finish after Reigns suffered a potentially legitimate injury to his arm.
Not long after the match, photos and screenshots began to spread online which appeared to indicate why arguably the biggest billed match of WrestleMania 38 ended on a whimper instead of a bang. A compilation of photos from Wrestling News pointed out what looked to be some heavy swelling on Roman Reigns’ arm, and something does seem off about the champion’s tricep, though it's hard to tell how much the lights play into it.
Roman Reigns was legitimately hurt. This might explain the flat ending. #WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/N4VUW65gCJApril 4, 2022
Another indication of something being wrong came after the pin, as Roman Reigns quickly tugged on the rope in a way that made it look like he was popping a dislocated shoulder back into place. Michael Cole called the moment as it happened, and it does appear as though Reigns winced mightily when performing the action, while trying not to make it obvious to the in-house crowd or those watching at home.
popped his shoulder back in PLEASE pic.twitter.com/K6J3cHYTGfApril 4, 2022
The WWE has yet to reveal whether or not Roman Reigns suffered an injury of note. If he did, it's unclear if it’ll impact his status as the undisputed champion of WWE following the title-unification match. While the footage circulating so far seems like an injury is obvious in the moment, there are others who question whether anything is wrong at all. Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful noted that Reigns lifted both titles not long after all this and that the wrestler looked fine.
Shoulder looks fine to me https://t.co/S5RLqUVydL pic.twitter.com/z4PD05eon4April 4, 2022
There’s always the possibility that the WWE has some unknown storyline in the works that this could play into, and it’s definitely suspicious that Michael Cole was so quick to point out Roman Reigns’ injury during the match. At the same time, it seems odd that a scripted injury and not an actual one would lead to the abrupt end of a WrestleMania main event with time to spare. Reigns and Brock Lesnar’s match was supposed to be the biggest match of the two nights, so an abrupt and sudden end doesn’t feel like something that anyone on the creative side deliberately planned.
If Roman Reigns was legitimately hurt and is unable to perform, the WWE will have to figure out what to do with its unified championship titles. There’s no shortage of superstars hoping for a title shot, and with Cody Rhodes’ recent return, now might be as good a time as any to cycle in some fresh blood while Reigns takes time away to heal and shy away from the spotlight. We’ll have to wait and see, though, if the “Head of the Table” needs to be excused, or this is all fans worrying over nothing.
Monday Night Raw airs on USA on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. WrestleMania 38 is over, but it’ll live on forever for those able to access it with a Peacock premium subscription. Sign up for that, and maybe rewatch the match to see if you think Roman Reigns might’ve forced the main event to end early due to an injury.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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