According to a tweet by WrestleVotes, Brock Lesnar will not appear at this year’s SummerSlam. The reason for his absence is there will not be any fans in attendance at the pay-per-view, and WWE doesn’t want to waste any of his limited appearances on an event that won’t have an audience. You can view WrestleVotes’ tweet here.
Lesnar is regarded as one of WWE’s top box-office attractions. While SummerSlam is considered the company’s biggest show of the year, the current circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic mean that it’s unlikely to be as profitable as previous events. Lesnar’s appearances might be more suited for shows in which WWE can fully capitalize on having him around.
The superstar was reportedly slated to face Bobby Lashley at the show. A fight between the former MMA stars has been Lashley’s dream for years, and his recent push suggested that he was being built strongly for a showdown with Lesnar at the pay-per-view.
Those plans will reportedly be put on hold for the time being, though the match was purely speculation in the first place. Lesnar has been absent from WWE television since WrestleMania 36, and there’s no telling when he’ll return to action. As such, there has been no indication as to what the company’s storyline plans for the superstar are.
Lesnar’s appearance may have been reliant on fans showing up, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying on the company’s part. As documented by Sportskeeda, WWE officials planned on holding the event live from the TD Garden arena in Boston.
However, the recent rise of positive COVID-19 cases in the company — coupled with the social distancing measures that are still in place — has made this an impossibility for now. Several WWE superstars and employees have contracted the virus, and holding a live show might bring some unwanted negative publicity to WWE. The pay-per-view will instead be held in the company’s Performance Center.
WrestleVotes also notes that other factors have caused WWE’s original SummerSlam plans to change. Edge was reportedly scheduled to appear at the show as well, but that all changed when he got injured in his match with Randy Orton at this year’s Backlash. SummerSlam would have presumably seen the pair have their rubber match to crown a definitive winner to their ongoing rivalry.
Extreme Rules is WWE’s next show on the calendar. While plans for SummerSlam appear to be in the works, the company must get through that pay-per-view before they set anything in stone for the August extravaganza.