Three months after he won the Universal Championship, rumors are now beginning to circulate that Brock Lesnar will leave the WWE in 2018. So how seriously should we take these reports? Might Lesnar really be done with the company next year?
Lesnar’s current contract ends in April 2018, taking him up to WrestleMania 34. According to the Wrestling Observer, the contract automatically renews if neither side ends the agreement.
This week, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Lesnar has re-entered the USADA testing pool; in December 2016, Lesnar was suspended by the USADA for one year after twice testing positive for clomiphene. Pro Wrestling Sheet also reported that the reason Brock Lesnar re-entered the testing pool is because he does not intended to re-sign his WWE contract.
UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky subsequently denied this report, telling MMA Fighting that Lesnar has not re-entered the USADA testing pool at all. Pro Wrestling Sheet followed this up by saying that their sources say that Lesnar is in the process of re-entering the pool, even if he’s not back in it yet. The Wrestling Observer on Thursday backed up Pro Wrestling Sheet’s reporting, saying that Lesnar is putting himself in the drug testing pool.
In February 2017, Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from MMA. His suspension was still active when he retired, meaning it is frozen and would resume if he re-entered the USADA testing pool. That means that even if Lesnar did announce a return to MMA today, he likely couldn’t compete until 2018 anyway.
So might Brock Lesnar leave the WWE after WrestleMania 34 and go back to UFC? It’s possible, but it’s worth keeping in mind that rumors of Lesnar’s departure also swirled the last time his contract was up in 2015. That year, there were reports heading into WrestleMania 31 that Lesnar was not going to re-sign and that the show could be it for him, but he ended up signing another three year contract. So this rumbling of Lesnar potentially leaving could just be a negotiating tactic, and right now, there’s not that much concrete evidence that his days in the WWE are numbered other than one report that he is considering his options.
Dave Meltzer on the most recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio said that we probably shouldn’t treat these Lesnar reports with that much weight.
“The stories that Brock is going to be done at WrestleMania, and he’s leaving to go back to UFC, I wouldn’t take that seriously at all,” Meltzer said. “I mean, it could happen, but as best as I can tell, he has not made that decision at all, and he’s probably not going to make that decision for a long time.”
Meltzer went on to say, “I certainly have heard that there’s nothing to the idea that he’s done at Mania.”
For months, it had been rumored that Brock Lesnar was going to face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34, and so if that were the case, and if Lesnar truly were retiring, this could mean that Reigns would retire Lesnar just like he did The Undertaker. However, there has since been reporting that the WWE changed its plans and that Lesnar will fight Reigns not at WrestleMania 34 but at SummerSlam.