We’ve had a lot of questions from readers over the last few days, and it seems to be a big topic of discussion on social media that Brock Lesnar was not mentioned a single time on this week’s edition of WWE Raw.
In case you missed it, the “Beast Incarnate” sat ringside last Saturday night at UFC 226 for Daniel Cormier’s heavyweight title victory over Stipe Miocic, and later stormed the ring to set up his return fight for the championship. The incident dominated news headlines in the sports and entertainment world for the entire weekend, so on the surface it was a bit strange that it wasn’t at least touched on by the Raw commentary team, and in fact there were times that it appeared that they went out of their way not to mention Lesnar at all.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the decision to keep Lesnar’s name off television was a directive straight from Vince McMahon himself. The idea is that the go-home show should be completely focused on Extreme Rules, and since the champion wasn’t a part of the show, it was better not to remind the fans of that fact. There was a point where Roman Reigns said in a promo that he would defeat Bobby Lashley at the pay-per-view, and then go on to “bigger things”, obviously making reference to Brock and the title without actually saying it.
The Observer further speculated that Mr. McMahon is likely crafting a narrative that Lesnar has “walked out” on the company, and that his return to the UFC was further proof that he’d turned his back on the fans and might not even be returning to defend the belt. Of course, this would be to set up a major contender – most likely Roman Reigns – to take the title off him. But then again, they did a version of this story heading into WrestleMania where Reigns had said the exact same kinds of things about him, some of the fans actually turned on the champion, but when it came time for the actual match the babyface ended up getting booed out of the building.
Right now, Lesnar is under contract with WWE “at least through the end of August”, according to the Observer, and is currently being advertised for the episode of Raw at the Barclays Center immediately after SummerSlam.