Sunday night’s SummerSlam ended in a disturbing bloodbath as Brock Lesnar stood over a beaten-down Randy Orton to close out the night. Referees and WWE medical personnel stopped the match, awarding a TKO victory to Lesnar as they tended to Orton, who was bleeding profusely from the head. On Monday, we reported that Vince McMahon and Triple H were at odds over the finish to the evening’s main event.
Vince wanted Lesnar to go over while Triple H was campaigning for Orton to come out victorious. Vince ultimately got his way, though a compromise was made to book the finish in the TKO fashion that transpired. The elbow to the head that opened up a large gash was not planned, but Vince had given the OK for Orton to bleed to necessitate the stoppage. The ending resembled more of a fight that would take place inside an octagon rather than the squared circle.
Throughout the build-up to SummerSlam, we were made aware that Lesnar’s schedule was limited to the big pay-per-view at Barclays and the few appearances he made leading up to Sunday. The plan was always for him to take another extended leave in the aftermath, but after the unorthodox finish to his match with Randy Orton, it seemed odd not to book him on Monday’s RAW the following night.
Decisions are constantly changing backstage in the WWE, and the booking of Brock Lesnar appears no different. For the last several weeks, reports circulated the idea that upon his return in December, 2016, or January, 2017, Lesnar would immediately be inserted into the title picture and challenge for the WWE Universal Championship. That title match, presumably, would have taken place at the Royal Rumble.
Now, however, a match between Lesnar and Shane McMahon would supersede the title match and go down at the Rumble instead. A subtle nod to Shane’s in-ring abilities was made during SummerSlam when Jon Stewart commended him on his match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania, as a reminder to fans that he can still wrestle. Originally, Shane wasn’t even supposed to remain in the WWE past April. But now here he is, Commissioner of Smackdown Live, destined for a marquee showdown with Brock Lesnar at a major pay-per-view. Apparently, his commitment to the company and his father has strengthened since his return.
Jericho was irate backstage thinking the Lesnar Orton finish was a shoot and confronted Brock when he came through the curtain. A heated exchange ensued, resulting in Lesnar calling Jericho a “p***y” and a “b***h” before things got a bit physical. Triple H, and eventually Vince himself, had to separate the two, with McMahon assuring Jericho that it was all a work, which Orton then confirmed to Jericho when he arrived shortly after.
Lesnar and Jericho have never worked a program together, and this situation would certainly add even more intrigue to a potential angle. We’ll have to wait and see if this changes anything, but the new plan was for The Beast to battle Shane McMahon at the beginning of 2017. That might be an indication that Vince wants to keep Lesnar away from the championship picture, or set him up to challenge for it on the grand stage of WrestleMania.
[Image via WWE]