Just when most wrestling fans thought he was focusing on his planned UFC match against Daniel Cormier, Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on Sunday night, interrupting Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman’s match for the Universal Championship and causing the match to be controversially called off. As it seems that the “Beast Incarnate” isn’t quite done with the WWE after all, veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer sought to answer the questions raised by Lesnar’s return as he discussed the issue on Monday’s episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.
As recapped by WrestlingNews.co, Meltzer explained that the no-contest finish at Hell in a Cell was not a booking decision that was made on the fly, as this had apparently been in the works for quite some time. Further backing this up, Meltzer also stressed that Lesnar was not included in the card as a last-minute decision.
Regarding the reason why Brock Lesnar came back at Hell in a Cell, Meltzer said that WWE will be paying him “a lot of money” to show up at a WWE Live event in Saudi Arabia on November 2. While he did not offer too many specifics on the event, Meltzer said that Lesnar might be facing defending champion Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman in a Triple Threat Match for the Universal Championship. He added in a separate report on MMA Fighting that the Saudi Arabia event is part of WWE’s 10-year contract with the Saudi government to hold more events in the country. This deal has reportedly earned about $45 million in additional revenue for WWE through the first Saudi show, the Greatest Royal Rumble, which took place in April.
“With that kind of revenue at stake, meaning these shows generate more actual dollars for the company than even its WrestleMania shows, they load up on outside talent and give them large paydays. In Lesnar’s case, it is believed to be well into the seven figures for the matches in Saudi Arabia,” Meltzer wrote.
While Brock Lesnar’s appearance at Hell in a Cell could re-establish him as a contender for the WWE Universal Championship after it was generally assumed he was done with the company for the meantime after his title loss at SummerSlam, he is still expected to face Daniel Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight Championship early next year. As noted by Meltzer on MMA Fighting, Lesnar has already reentered the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool but has yet to sign a new contract with UFC.