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Brock Lesnar’s surprise opponent at MSG was... Austin Theory

After Theory was quickly dispatched, the New York crowd was treated to Roman Reigns’ bloody beatdown of The Beast.

WWE’s trips to Madison Square Garden are always a bigger deal than the average house show. The way the company made a point of talking up their Mar. 5 trip to their “home court” as the last big stop on the road to WrestleMania 38, expectations were higher than ever.

And that was before the rumor mill got going. When a couple prominent voices like Fightful and WrestleVotes reported hearing big things could happen tonight...

...fans’ imaginations started to run wild. Cody Rhodes debut! Stone Cold starting his program with Kevin Owens! Brock Lesnar dropping the WWE title!

The company was playing into the last one. Lesnar was going to face a mystery opponent selected by Roman Reigns & Paul Heyman in the main event. People tweeting from the venue said WWE camera were rolling as the Beast Incarnate entered. Surely, this was what all the fuss was about, right?!?!

Yep. Austin Theory.

Welp.

There was a reason it was filmed. After Brock made short work of Pat McAfee’s WrestleMania opponent, his showed up. Reigns (who successfully defended his Universal title by choking out Seth Rollins before the intermission) rolled back out with The Usos (who earlier beat The New Day to keep their SmackDown Tag Team championship). Lesnar fought them off initially, but Heyman distracted his former client, which allowed the Tribal Chief to bash him with a chair.

Brock was busted open — gory self-mutilation! Jimmy & Jey brought the steps into the ring, The Universal champ dropped the WWE champ onto those with a Rock Bottom(!) and closed the show standing over him with both belts.

Not a big surprise, but if you were there and didn’t work yourself into a shoot on Twitter, it seems like everyone had a good time. Brock did!

Here are all the results from Manhattan:

- Alpha Academy def. RK-Bro to retain the Raw Tag titles. Riddle and a not-injured Randy Orton his stereo RKOs after Otis pinned Riddle.

- Finn Bálor def. Damian Priest by DQ (low blow) to retain the United States championship

- The Usos def. The New Day to retain the SmackDown Tag belts. Kofi was pinned after 1D

- Becky Lynch def. Rhea Ripley & Bianca Belair to retain the Raw Women’s championship. Belair hit Ripley with KOD, but Lynch through her out of the ring and stole the pin.

- Roman Reigns def. Seth Rollins in approximately five minutes to retain the Universal title

- Miz TV with Kevin Owens featured KO playing babyface as Miz ranted about how he treated his WrestleMania partner Logan Paul at last year’s ‘Mania. It ended with Owens hitting Miz with a stunner.

- Drew McIntyre def. Sami Zayn via pinfall with a Claymore

- Ronda Rousey & Naomi def. Charlotte Flair & Sonya Deville. Flair tapped to a Rousey armbar

- Brock Lesnar def. Austin Theory to retain the WWE title; then got beaten down by Reigns