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5 Times WWE Changed Their WrestleMania World Title Match Plans

Goldberg's proposed Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns wasn't the first to be changed...

WrestleMania 36 will go down in history for all kinds of reasons, most of them owing to the times we presently live in. It now marks the rare WrestleMania in which a challenger to one of the World titles backed out of the event in the eleventh hour, although Roman Reigns has perfectly understandable reasons for doing so. 

Instead of vying for Goldberg's Universal Championship, Reigns is bowing out of the event due to concerns regarding his previous battles with leukaemia, which increase his potential vulnerability to the coronavirus. This is an unprecedented turn of events as far as WrestleManias are concerned, but again, it's wholly understandable - safety above all else, and hopefully Reigns continues to remain in good health going forward.

While Reigns' case is a unique one, it's not the first time that a planned world title match for WrestleMania underwent a drastic change, for one reason or another. And while these cases are certainly far different than Reigns' scenario, they each boast their own historic notability.


5. The WrestleMania 4 Tournament Final

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While it wasn't the most exciting of WrestleManias, most fans would not change the finish, in which Macho Man Randy Savage grinds his way through four matches in one night to win the vacated WWF world title, the crowning moment of his legendary career. 

The original plans, however, were not for Savage to win the tournament, but rather eventual runner-up, Ted DiBiase. When the brackets for the tournament were first configured, it was set up so that DiBiase would defeat Hulk Hogan in the finals via countout (with the aid of Andre the Giant) to steal the belt. 

Plans changed when IC champion The Honky Tonk Man refused to drop the gold to Savage earlier that year, and the WWF, needing one babyface champion, altered the brackets and set it up so that Savage won it all.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.