Brock Lesnar is a lucky man! The WWE world champion is about to become combat sports’ hottest free agent. Vince McMahon is up against the clock as he hopes to mitigate a potential public relations disaster.
[adinserter block=”1″]We all saw it coming…well everyone but Vince McMahon. When Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE in 2012 with a contract that would come due after WrestleMania, most predicted that this would blow up in Vince’s face at some point. Yet for some reason Vince ignored the warnings and did the unthinkable, booked Brock as an unbeatable champion going into Mania without a contract renewal.
This is much different than the Montreal Screw Job. Vince had Bret under contract and allowed Bret to go negotiate a new deal. The WWE was involved in a ratings war with WCW and the business was just much different. Bret wanted to stay but Vince wanted him to go. Vince wants Brock to stay and Brock wants to test the waters. Again, how did nobody see this coming?
Brock’s unstoppable reign as WWE champion is one year too late. Brock renewed his contract in 2013 and signed a two-year extension. This storyline could have been booked going into WrestleMania 30 with none of the ramifications that Vince faces in 2015. Was the timing right? Probably not with the Daniel Bryan explosion, but Brock was locked up for another year. This is bad for business and great for Brock.
Dave Meltzer on his latest F4Wonline.com podcast reported that Vince is working feverishly to re-sign Brock before Mania. Meltzer speculates that Brock will probably play it out and hit free agency. With the UFC and Bellator salivating at the chance of bringing Lesnar back to MMA, the WWE champion has several options. The only leverage Vince has in enticing Brock to re-sign is to keep the title on him post-Mania. However, most reports indicate that Brock isn’t the kind of guy to get excited about an extended WWE title reign.
[adinserter block=”2″]In an incredible twist of irony all roads lead back to CM Punk. Yes that CM Punk. If it were not for CM Punk walking out of the company last year and signing with the UFC, there would be less of an urgency to keep Brock. In today’s WWE economic model it may not necessarily make sense to keep him from a dollars and cents standpoint. However, thank to Punk, Vince does not want to give investors the impression that he is losing his big stars to the UFC. Vince, Triple H, and many WWE executives have told their shareholders for years that the UFC is not a competitor. That can’t be said anymore if he loses two of his biggest stars to the rival organization in less than a year.
My gut feeling is that Brock walks out of WrestleMania a free agent. No matter what Vince offers him, it makes no sense for Lesnar to re-sign before talking to the MMA groups. Even if he doesn’t want to fight, the negotiations will only earn him leverage for a new WWE deal. Unless Brock is really enticed by a path which includes retaining the WWE title at 31, it makes no sense for him to re-sign.