Roman Reigns announcing that his battle with leukemia had returned shocked the entire WWE Universe. Very few people knew that Reigns had been in remission since 2008. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Vince McMahon learned of the news on Thursday, October 18, and that is why Reigns did work on live events.
Despite typically being at RAW, Vince was not present and Triple H ran the show with some help. Vince continued to stay in contact with Triple H and probably a few of this closest employees throughout the entire day. While some people were aware that Reigns would have to vacate the title, the specifics were not disclosed.
As for the locker room, most of the talent were aware that Reigns ever battled leukemia. About an hour before the show began, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were told that Reigns would vacate the title but not told why. As for the RAW play by play team, Michael Cole is the only one who knew that Reigns would be forced to drop the title. Although, he did not know the reason until Reigns opened up to the fans about his illness.
Throughout Monday, Reigns requested to be spend his time on the bus and left as RAW was about to begin.
As seen on RAW, Ambrose & Rollins won the tag team titles in the main event. After the win, Ambrose turned heel by attacking Rollins. The heel turn was designed to happen down the road, but WWE made the call for Monday to be the day because they wanted to really sell Ambrose’s actions. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, WWE’s plan worked.
With Reigns out of the picture, it caused WWE to change several of their future storylines. Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar will battle at Crown Jewel on November 2 for the vacant Universal Championship.