Brock Lesnar is back in WWE for the first time since WrestleMania 36. He showed up at SummerSlam on Sat., Aug. 21 with a new look, and left it minus one advocate. It also appears The Beast Incarnate is a babyface.
How did we get here?
According to the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was recipe with three key ingredients...
- The end of John Cena’s current run with WWE
- CM Punk’s arrival in AEW
With Cena heading back to Hollywood for the foreseeable future, executives at FOX (who you might recall signed a billion dollar a couple years back so they’d have the U.S. rights to air SmackDown until 2024) weren’t happy Vince McMahon & team didn’t even make a play to sign Punk. During his brief run at FOX Sports on WWE Backstage, Punk apparently made quite an impression on the brass, who have a very positive view of him as a result.
Dave Meltzer says things are “always up and down” between FOX and WWE, since the SmackDown deal ends up meaning NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock is promoted on FOX during a time when FOX is rolling out its own streaming offerings. When WWE not trying to sign Punk to fill the Cena-sized hole in their Friday night line-up sent the relationship more down than usual, WWE “felt the need to get Lesnar and [Becky] Lynch to SmackDown right away.”
While it reportedly didn’t make Raw partner USA happy, it does seem to have made Brock happy. Meltzer wrote in the WON that “as always, Lesnar’s timing got him an even better deal.”
Maybe Brock should inherit “The Game” moniker from Triple H. Because no one plays it better than Lesnar.