Brock Lesnar made quick work of Cain Velasquez at Thursday’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, but “The Beast Incarnate” almost fought a different opponent at the show. Citing the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer, Sportskeeda reports that the company toyed with pairing the current WWE Champion against Tyson Fury, who also competed at the event against Braun Strowman.
“According to those internally, Lesnar versus Fury was discussed but never got past early discussions, likely due to Velasquez having the storyline from the past and being the bigger star in the U.S. market, which is WWE’s primary market. And for Saudi Arabia, it wasn’t the matchups that were important as much as delivering matches with Fury and Velasquez.”
Velasquez made his WWE debut on Friday Night SmackDown‘s premiere on FOX. During his segment, he appeared with Rey Mysterio Jr. and attacked Lesnar. The storyline reason for the attack was to get payback for “The Beast” manhandling Mysterio and his son, Dominick, on the previous episode of Monday Night Raw. According to Mysterio, Velasquez is his son’s godfather.
The storyline also made sense from another perspective, as Lesnar and Velasquez are long-time rivals in the world of combat sports. They have a history dating back to their time together in mixed martial arts, as Velasquez conquered “The Beast” at UFC 121 and gave him a facial scar in the process.
Fury, meanwhile, also debuted on the same Friday Night SmackDown show, getting into a seemingly random confrontation with Strowman. Subsequent reports have stated that the boxer’s introduction to the WWE Universe was based on the events of that show, but Meltzer’s report suggests that the company had it planned for a while.
The match between Fury and Lesnar could still happen, however. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the boxer wants to fight the WWE Champion if he returns to the squared circle. Fury has also expressed interest in taking on Velasquez.
During his post-match interview following his victory over Strowman, “The Gypsy King” reiterated that he’s open to returning to pro wrestling. Fury’s performance has received positive reviews from fans and pundits, and WWE may be keen on bringing a sports star of his stature back.
For the time being, though, Fury is returning to his day job, focusing on next year’s rematch with Deontay Wilder. However, he stated his intention to retire from boxing in 2020, so WWE could be a permanent destination for Fury, afterward.