WrestleMania is known for its occasional matches featuring celebrity competitors or athletes who first became famous in other combat sports. However, WWE has reportedly ruled out two such individuals as prospective opponents for Brock Lesnar at next year's edition of the annual pay-per-view.
In a report published Thursday, WrestlingNews.co wrote that WWE has been keeping things quieter than usual regarding Lesnar's opponent at WrestleMania 36, which will be held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on April 5. Citing the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the publication added that the only detail that's apparently been confirmed so far is that the reigning WWE Champion won't be facing British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury or recently retired MMA standout Cain Velasquez. This is despite the former's recent comments about wanting a match with Lesnar and the fact that the latter had an on-air feud with his former UFC rival for most of October.
While the plans for Lesnar at WrestleMania 36 remain unclear at the moment, the Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer added that the 42-year-old grappler is scheduled to appear at next month's Royal Rumble pay-per-view. However, it is likewise unsure whether he will be defending his WWE Championship or taking part in the men's Royal Rumble match, the latter of which is quite rare as the event's titular 30-man battle royal usually determines the No. 1 contender for a main-event title match at WrestleMania.Speculating on the possible opponents Lesnar could face at next year's WrestleMania, WrestlingNews.co suggested two mid-card talents from Monday Night Raw — Drew McIntyre and Aleister Black — who have reportedly been getting improved pushes thanks to the red brand's executive director, Paul Heyman. The publication, however, stressed that McIntyre is a more likely candidate than Black, considering how "things seem to be back on track" after his rise up the card was derailed earlier this year due to injuries.
Aside from McIntyre and Black, other more established names have been rumored as Lesnar's WrestleMania 36 opponent, including his WrestleMania 34 rival Roman Reigns, as predicted in September by the WrestleVotes Twitter account. However, such a match might not be possible in the meantime, as Reigns is still representing the SmackDown brand while Lesnar is on Raw. Per Cageside Seats, two of the red brand's top babyfaces — Kevin Owens and Randy Orton — are also among those who may be in the running for a match against "The Beast Incarnate" at WWE's biggest event of the year.