Throughout Raw last night (May 4), WWE presented its top Money in the Bank moments from the 15 year history of the gimmick.
Their top moment wasn’t surprising. After all, Seth Rollins’ 2015 cash-in was the only one to occur on the Grandest Stage Of Them All. But the version of Rollins’ WWE championship win at WrestleMania 31 they showed did contain a surprise. Specifically, the way it completely edited out the man Seth pinned to win the belt.
Since Roman Reigns - a leukemia survivor with three kids and a pregnant wife at home - opted to pull out of WrestleMania 36 rather than perform during a pandemic, WWE’s been careful to not mention his name on television. That decision makes some sense. Why call attention to another big star who’s not around? Especially when it’s not clear when he’ll return?
But to scrub him from history like this is weird.
Reigns wasn’t just an extra in that scene. He was wrestling Brock Lesnar for the WWE title in the main event, and took the pinfall when Rollin’s cash-in made it a Triple Threat. The story of Seth’s win makes sense as presented in last night’s clip, but it’s missing whole chapters.
It does serve to enhance Rollins’ legend. This version makes it appear he slayed The Beast single-handedly, and implies he pinned Lesnar years before he actually did. Maybe that’s all there is to it?
The Big Dog isn’t being treated as persona non grata by WWE everywhere. Just yesterday they uploaded Roman and Seth’s singles match from 2016’s Money in the Bank PPV to their YouTube channel. He’s still prominent in much of Fox’s promotion of the company, including the “Best Of” marathon on FS1 tonight.
Company officials make sure to mention that talent are allowed to opt of wrestling during the COVID-19 crisis for any reason without fear of professional repercussions. But Triple H also promised Reigns removal from this year’s ‘Mania would be handled in a “unique manner” that would serve the story... and then Braun Strowman just took his spot.
We can, and probably will, hear repeatedly that there is no heat between Roman and company brass. But while Reigns’ only statement remains a somewhat defiant “you don’t know the whole story” and WWE is doing things like editing him out of historical moments... people are understandably going to keep questioning what they hear.