In a shocking turn of events, Brock Lesnar put Braun Strowman down with five F-5s at WWE Crown Jewel to begin his second Universal Championship reign.
However, the match was not without controversy. Before the bell, Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin smashed “The Monster Among Men” with the title that had been made vacant weeks earlier after Roman Reigns needed to relinquish it due to illness. This allowed Lesnar to hit his first F-5. Strowman kicked out of that one, sending “The Beast” into a rage.
Lesnar would deliver three more F-5s to his titanic opponent, one of which sent Strowman crashing to the arena floor. Strowman kicked out of all of those, as well. It was a fifth F-5, however, that proved to be Strowman’s undoing, as “The Beast” put him down for the three-count to once again claim the Universal Championship as his own.
Lesnar’s latest short-term contract was to expire at Crown Jewel. According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE officials planned on having Reigns win the originally scheduled Triple Threat Match with Lesnar and Strowman, presumably pinning Lesnar, and Lesnar was to leave WWE for the UFC.
In probably the first of several major changes after Vince McMahon found out that Reigns was suffering from leukemia, he signed Lesnar to a new deal worth a lot of money and made the decision for him to beat Strowman and regain the Universal Championship.
“It is believed that deal went down around October 18. Terms of the deal have been kept secret. What is known is that this is another short-term deal. The deal does go through WrestleMania,” Meltzer wrote.
“How often Lesnar will be working on the new deal is unknown. He will be at Survivor Series facing AJ Styles. He won’t be at TLC. It is not clear if he will be at Royal Rumble, but given they are doing a stadium show, he will probably be, and he has a planned match at WrestleMania.”
The deal allows him to accept a UFC fight, but whether Lesnar will do that while contracted to WWE is unknown. UFC officials want him to fight UFC Heavyweight Championship Daniel Cormier on March 2 at UFC 235 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Is that advisable to work the Rumble in what would be the middle of a training camp?” Meltzer wrote. “There is a clear risk of an injury, including a concussion, in a UFC fight that would be five weeks before Mania, where his match, just by the fact of his paycheck, would have to be considered one of the biggest events on the show.”
While most fans saw Lesnar vs. Strowman as a shocking squash match that took the monster aura from Strowman, that was not WWE’s intent.
The idea, which the announcers failed to get over, was that it wasn’t Lesnar destroying him, but Lesnar giving an already knocked out Strowman one F-5 after another, including one over the top rope to the floor, and Strowman kept kicking out. The idea was to get you to want to see the rematch where Strowman finally gets his hands on Lesnar.