If you have followed professional wrestling long enough, the phrase “plans change” is something you’ve heard over and over again. It appears that’s exactly what has happened when it comes to Brock Lesnar and his scheduled return to WWE television.
After losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31, Lesnar was originally scheduled to remain off television until the build-up for SummerSlam started, presumably in late July. However, as they say, plans have changed. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman have both been recalled by WWE earlier than intended, and they will be making their returns imminently for the build-up to the Battleground PPV show in July.
According to Dave Meltzer this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Lesnar has been informed that WWE wants him to to wrestle at the July 19 Battleground show in St. Louis. This is one month earlier than he was expected to make his in-ring return; Brock Lesnar was originally scheduled to face Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. The Lesnar-Rollins match at SummerSlam is still possible, but it is far from confirmed at this point.
As of this writing, Brock Lesnar is booked for the June 22 RAW show in Indianapolis, the July 6 RAW in Chicago, and the July 13 RAW in Atlanta. WWE’s Money in the Bank PPV takes place on June 14, so Lesnar will be coming back just over a week following that show. It’s possible that Paul Heyman will return on the June 15 RAW to build towards Brock’s return on June 22.
Outside of the United States, Lesnar is also booked for WWE’s big show at Tokyo’s Sumo Hall on July 4. While there is an entire WWE tour of Japan, Lesnar will only be appearing at the Tokyo show. Brock will be wrestling Kofi Kingston at Sumo Hall, which will also be Lesnar’s first non-PPV match for WWE since 2004.
According to Meltzer, Lesnar asked WWE to perform on the July 4 Tokyo show. This is because Lesnar and his friend, former wrestler Brad Rheingans, wanted to go to Japan to visit Japanese wrestling legend Masa Saito, who is in poor health. Brock figured if he’s going to be over there, he might as well work one show for WWE and get his transportation paid for.
When Lesnar was announced for the Tokyo show, it immediately sold out after days of what Meltzer called “so-so” ticket sales. The Tokyo show will be aired live on the WWE Network on July 4, starting at 6:30 a.m. EST.
[Image via WWE.com]