Don't expect to see Brock Lesnar back in the Octagon again until the summer of 2013 at the earliest, if ever. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Last night on Raw, WWE unsurprisingly failed to mention Brock Lesnar's shocking appearance at UFC 146 to watch the main event between Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir, even though it would play into their current storyline of Lesnar quitting the company after Triple H refused his contractual demands and he broke Hunter's arm over the snub. This seemed to confirm that Vince McMahon was completely blindsided by Lesnar showing up in Las Vegas for his pay-per-view rival's latest extravaganza. Indeed, Dave Meltzer on his subscriber only radio show today said that all his sources have told him that "this was all Brock's idea", though I'm sure he had some help from his confidante and political mastermind Paul Heyman. So what was Brock up to then?
Given that Lesnar's business meeting with Dana White went badly, he obviously wasn't serious about fighting for UFC while working for WWE at the same time, a scenario that White, currently struggling to make his new FOX television deal a success and finding enough marketable matches to fill up a bloated PPV schedule, seemed very willing to consider. According to Meltzer, despite rumours to the contrary, Lesnar's WWE contract is an exclusive one, so without Vince McMahon onboard it was impossible for a deal to have been struck.
Though Lesnar working for both companies at the same time could be mutually beneficial, it would carry big risks for WWE. If Lesnar lost again, then it would hurt their portrayal of Brock as a virtually unstoppable monster and a legitimate ass kicker. Moreover, if he was seriously injured in UFC competition, then that would jeopardise his appearance at WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey, where Lesnar must pull in at least close to record business to cover his $5 million contract. Simply put, that's a gamble McMahon would be reckless to take.
So what was the game being played by Lesnar then? My colleague Geno Mrosko was on the right track when he suggested the possibility that "Lesnar is just in business for himself and he's doing whatever he feels will make him the most money". He's sent a message loud and clear that he doesn't have to be dealing with WWE's shit and he has other options if they don't keep him sweet, something WWE may have had second thoughts about after the Extreme Rules buy rate came in. It could also be a power play to ensure that WWE doesn't think about having Triple H win their planned match at SummerSlam, after already losing to John Cena in his return bout.
Of course, I'm sure Vince McMahon doesn't like being toyed with in such a public fashion, so his usual instincts would be to show Brock whose boss, but he has so much riding on this investment that I can't see any other option than to begrudgingly do whatever it takes to appease the disgruntled star. For the time being at least.