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Examining the impact of Brock Lesnar's UFC return on WWE

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Editor's note: This is a guest post by Chris Todt. Follow him on Twitter here.

Brock Lesnar is going back to UFC. He said he didn't want to be sitting on his tractor in 20 years wondering what would have happened if he would've gone back for one more fight. WWE was quick to make a statement that this was a one off, and that Brock would be appearing at SummerSlam, his first appearance since his "I'm just here to collect a paycheck" snoozefest with Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania 32.

Quick aside: Frankly, Brock has been mailing it in for a while in WWE. When was the last time you remember a move besides a belly-to-back suplex or an F-5? The guy's not even really trying (we have seen this man do a Shooting Star Press). The Hell in a Cell match against Undertaker was pretty good, I guess, but that's about it. Anyway, this isn't about weighing the pros and cons of whether Vince McMahon should even be paying Lesnar -- we'll get to that topic another time. Let's take a minute and look at some of the downstream ramifications stemming from various results of Lesnar's fight against Mark Hunt on July 9 at UFC 200.

Lesnar wins (doesn't really matter how, but a KO would be nice)

You have to put the title on him at SummerSlam. The Beast Incarnate had a pretty lame program with Ambrose, and he's cooled off quite a bit. He was probably overexposed (WWE overexpose someone? Nooooo.) and he's lost a little bit of his shine. So he comes back all fired up after beating the shit out of Hunt. At SummerSlam, go three way with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, so Rollins can take the fall and keep Roman strong. Then you can build to Lesnar finally getting beat by Reigns, which I think has probably been the plan since he beat Undertaker at WrestleMania 30.

The other potential issue with Lesnar winning -- what if we wants to fight again? Why wouldn't he want to take a shot at the title? I guess Vince just says no (or, OH HELL NO). But that could be a problem for Lesnar's QWL (Quality of Work Life for you non corporate-types).

Lesnar loses (let's say he gets knocked out)

This is the scenario that makes me wonder why Vince is letting this happen. Even though we know the results in WWE are predetermined, he's not going to come back with the same luster. If he loses, he's going into SummerSlam as a guy the audience has already seen lose. It won't feel like as big a deal when someone (cough, Reigns) finally puts down The Beast.

Lesnar gets injured

This one is pretty self explanatory. If WWE actually has long term booking plans in place for Lesnar (which is doubtful, based on past history), a serious injury would obviously force them to change course. But since he's not currently in a program, an injury wouldn't necessarily effect current storyline or direction.

Lesnar fails the drug test

I seriously doubt this would happen, but you never know. I've read a couple of articles about how they're handling Lesnar's drug testing, but any kind of test fail would be a HUGE black eye for WWE. It would prove their Wellness Policy is a total joke -- something many have speculated on for some time now -- and make everyone look bad in general.

You have to wonder if Vince is getting a piece of the buyrate or something. Lesnar being added to UFC 200 will absolutely help sell that show in a way he has consistently failed to do for WWE. I don't think this will help the SummerSlam buyrate. UFC fans who don't like WWE now likely won't start liking it because Lesnar appears at UFC 200. Maybe some will take the free month on the WWE Network and watch out of curiosity, but is it worth the risk involved?

Will Lesnar win? It's hard to say, but it seems obvious it's a major risk for everyone other than the UFC. Either way, we'll all be watching.

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