The WWE Universe was sent into a tailspin on Tuesday night when it was revealed Roman Reigns had been suspended after violating the company's Wellness Policy.
Coming just two days after he lost his World Heavyweight Title at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, the 30-day suspension compounds what has been a difficult few days for The Big Dog.
And although the ban would come to an end on July 21, there has already been speculation amongst some sections of the WWE Universe that Reigns would be pulled from his triple-threat title match at the July 24 Battleground PPV as further punishment. Judging by events at last night's SmackDown tapings, however, that doesn't appear to be the case.
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As reported by Wrestling Inc., citing photo evidence from fans in attendance at Tuesday's SD taping, the WWE are still emphatically advertising Reigns as being involved in the Battleground match:
As noted in the report, had Reigns been dropped from the match, the taping took place long enough after his suspension had been confirmed for those in charge to have changed the poster to include just Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
At this stage at least, it doesn't look like Reigns' punishment as a first-time Wellness Policy offender will extend beyond the 30-day suspension.
Obviously, things could change moving forward, but, considering the triple-threat match between the former Shield allies has been something the WWE have been building towards for some time now, kicking Reigns out of the match would mean some major creative changes.
So long as The Big Dog's discipline isn't for any serious violation of the policy - a poor choice of supplement, rather than any intentional use of a banned substance - then it makes sense to carry on with the original plan.
Change of plans
Nevertheless, Reigns' absence for the next month or so of WWE broadcasting will mean a different build up to the late July pay-per-view.
It will be left to Rollins and the newly crowned Heavyweight Champion Dean Ambrose to generate the interest in the match, with Reigns presumably only turning up for the PPV itself.
It'll certainly be interesting to see just who the WWE decides should walk out of Battleground as the champion. Given Reigns' recent fall from grace, however, his chances of getting the belt for a fourth time appear to be slim, even if he will be there to compete.
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