WWE’s made their Universal Champion’s infrequent appearances, contractual status and desire to return to UFC part of their storylines. As a result, even more than everything else in the ‘Reality’ Era of 2018, it can be difficult to tell what’s real and what Vince McMahon and team want us to believe is real about Brock Lesnar.
The online work Paul Heyman did last weekend, and the on-screen rebooking of Extreme Rules it led to on the June 25 episode of Raw, make it clear the fictional story is that Lesnar is holding the company hostage. Is that because he’s really out of dates and wants a bigger payday for one more to drop the belt? Because Vince is still trying to get Roman Reigns cheered? A wave of indecisiveness in creative after they allegedly changed plans away from having Reigns win at WrestleMania 34?
That much is unclear. But as our Rumor Roundup feature covered in its Friday edition, there’s real doubt about whether the red brand’s top titleholder will work the second/third biggest show of the year, August’s SummerSlam.
Another report is now backing that up, and suggesting it might be even longer before we see The Beast Incarnate and the championship he holds. On a recent PWInsider Elite Audio show (subscription required; transcription here via WrestleZone), Mike Johnson said:
“I’m hearing that Brock isn’t working SummerSlam. We may not see him again until later in the year which is madness, if you think about the belt.”
With WWE Network, The E’s shown a willingness to make big matches on non-Big 4 shows, so it’s possible a major moment like a Universal Title change could happen somewhere like Hell in a Cell. With the television shows being the most valuable thing in Vince’s toy box these days, it’s even conceivable they could put a Lesnar match on Raw - although the fact Brock’s not wrestled on TV in years makes that seem unlikely.
No matter, since signs keep pointing to it being a long time before we see him again. We could have plenty of time to think about his next appearance, and the fate of the red belt.