Tonight on Monday Night Raw, Paul Heyman announced that Brock Lesnar would be leaving the WWE if he loses the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. So is Lesnar going to lose the title at the August pay-per-view and leave the WWE? Will he win the title and stay around? Or will he lose but still stick around?
Well, there has been some indication lately that Brock Lesnar is interested in making a return to UFC and potentially leaving the WWE, and so this stipulation could set that in motion. Pro Wrestling Sheet reported earlier this month that Lesnar had re-entered the USADA testing pool, which he would do if he wanted to get back into UFC. Part of this report was that Brock Lesnar does not intend to re-sign with the WWE when his contract ends in April 2018. The Wrestling Observer subsequently confirmed that Lesnar had indeed re-entered the testing pool.
Since then, there has been a lot of hype surrounding a potential UFC match between Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones. When Jones recently won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, he called out Brock Lesnar. Lesnar subsequently said, “Be careful what you wish for, young man. Fans have been buzzing about these two going head-to-head ever since. Almost immediately afterwards, the WWE adds this stipulation to the SummerSlam match, which certainly sounds like they’re getting ready for Lesnar’s departure and UFC return.
Brock Lesnar’s contract with the WWE extends through April 2018, and so it was previously thought that he might be leaving after WrestleMania 34. However, no one knew how seriously to take the rumors that he wouldn’t re-sign. After all, there were rumors that Brock Lesnar would not re-sign his WWE contract leading up to WrestleMania 31, the last time his contract was up. Despite reports that Lesnar would likely be leaving the company after that pay-per-view, he did not end up doing so.
But even if Brock Lesnar wanted to leave the WWE to fight Jon Jones, that match couldn’t happen for a while. After all, Lesnar still has six months remaining in his USADA suspension; he was suspended in December 2016 after twice testing positive for clomiphene. Any match between Lesnar and Jones therefore couldn’t happen until December 2017 at the earliest.
One possibility here is that this SummerSlam stipulation is just the WWE’s way of capitalizing on the Brock Lesnar vs. Jon Jones drama. Without mentioning Jones’ name, they have made SummerSlam‘s main event significant to UFC fans, and now there can be weeks of questions about whether Lesnar will leave the company. Then, he can either retain at SummerSlam and continue his reign for a few more months, or he can lose and “leave” the WWE, only to end up having one last match at WrestleMania 34 to close out his current contract.
“He’s playing on the idea that people are thinking that [he’s going to leave to fight Jon Jones],” Dave Meltzer recently noted on Wrestling Observer Radio.