We don’t know who the next challenger for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship will be, but we do know his upcoming opponent — UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.
Cameras caught Lesnar cageside for the main event of UFC 226 between UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Daniel Cormier.
Brock Lesnar is at UFC 226 pic.twitter.com/Nz1tjGnsQT
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 8, 2018
After Cormier knocked Miocic out in the first round to become both the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC Heavyweight Champion, he called out Lesnar and invited him into the Octagon. Brock immediately shoved the new champ across the cage before delivering a profanity-laden tirade on the microphone.
DC calls out Brock Lesnar!
— UFC (@ufc) July 8, 2018
During the post-show press conference, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Cormier vs. Lesnar would be happening in the future. He added that no date had been set.
According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Lesnar put himself back in the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) drug-testing pool on July 3, making him eligible to fight again for the UFC after January 8, 2019. So the earliest Lesnar vs. Cormier can happen will be on a pay-per-view event that would probably take place on either January 19, January 26 or February 2. Meltzer believes it’ll likely be Cormier’s retirement fight.
With Lesnar all over the sports world, it’s surprising that the altercation, nor Lesnar at all, were mentioned on Raw this week. That was, as everything is, a directive straight from Vince McMahon.
According to Meltzer, McMahon told everyone at the production meeting before Raw in Boston, Massachusetts to completely focus on building WWE Extreme Rules. Since Lesnar won’t be appearing at Extreme Rules, his name wasn’t to be mentioned on Raw. Roman Reigns cut a promo with Renee Young late in the show where he went in a direction where Lesnar’s name should have been mentioned but wasn’t. Reigns said that he will beat Bobby Lashley at Extreme Rules and then he’s moving on to bigger things.
McMahon said that they will start talking about Lesnar “when he’s being offered to our audience and we can capitalize on it.”
Two weeks ago, Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman revealed that “The Beast”‘s next Universal Championship defense was facing contractual issues due to a lack of confidence in WWE to find a suitable challenger. Lesnar last appeared on WWE television at the Greatest Royal Rumble on April 27, where he retained the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns.
This is all just a storyline.
“It appears McMahon is adamant in creating the idea that Lesnar has walked out, is going to UFC, turned his back on the WWE fans, and isn’t coming back to drop the title and holding up the belt. The idea would seem to be to create a storyline that gets Reigns cheered at the Barclays Center,” Meltzer wrote.
“This storyline has, in fact, gotten Lesnar more hate, but also made him less over. Perhaps being big in UFC plans and in the mainstream news again will reverse that a little. It also hasn’t gotten Reigns cheered. But everything that is taking place as far as the pro wrestling end is being dictated by McMahon and not Lesnar.”
Meltzer said that Lesnar is contractually obligated to wrestle one more match for WWE and that his contract will expire at the end of August. This means he has to wrestle at SummerSlam on Sunday, August 19, most likely against either Lashley or Reigns. Lesnar would almost certainly have to drop the Universal Championship at the pay-per-view event, which raises the possibility of Braun Strowman cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.
Lesnar is currently not advertised for SummerSlam at the Barclays Center by either the venue or WWE, but as of today, he is internally scheduled for the show.
Bryan Alvarez of F4WOnline revealed today on Twitter that Lesnar will be defending the Universal Championship at SummerSlam.
Brock is defending the title at SummerSlam.
— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) July 12, 2018
Television advertising in the New York area is advertising Lesnar for Raw the night after SummerSlam at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.