WWE Rumors: Brock Lesnar Left SmackDown After Vince McMahon's Retirement

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2022

FILE - In this March 29, 2015, file photo, Brock Lesnar makes his entrance at Wrestlemania XXXI in Santa Clara, Calif. UFC 200 has grown so big that a single show can’t contain it. The mixed martial arts promotion is throwing an “International Fight Week” in Las Vegas with compelling shows on three consecutive nights, culminating in the star-studded pay-per-view event Saturday. Jon Jones meets light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main event of a card also featuring the return of former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. (AP Photo/Don Feria, File)
AP Photo/Don Feria, File

On the day longtime chairman and CEO Vince McMahon announced his retirement from WWE, a top star reportedly left SmackDown before the show.

According to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer, multiple sources said Brock Lesnar departed TD Garden in Boston hours before the scheduled start of Friday's episode of SmackDown.

Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp confirmed the report and noted that was told Lesnar was "pissed off."

Alvarez followed up with a report that Lesnar said something to the effect of, "If he's gone, I'm gone," in reference to McMahon.

Lesnar was advertised to appear on SmackDown, and he ultimately did make an appearance to confront Austin Theory:


THE BEAST IS HERE!<a href="https://twitter.com/BrockLesnar?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BrockLesnar</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/wpFyo0tI1s">pic.twitter.com/wpFyo0tI1s</a>

The report surfaced just minutes after McMahon announced he was permanently stepping down as WWE chairman and CEO amid an investigation into him paying four women to sign nondisclosure agreements in exchange for remaining silent about sexual relationships or encounters.

On July 30 at SummerSlam, which will emanate from Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Lesnar is slated to face Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing main event for the undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

It will be a rematch of the WrestleMania 38 main event in April, which saw Reigns beat Lesnar in a title vs. title match to retain the Universal Championship and win the WWE Championship.

The 45-year-old Lesnar took a couple of months off after WrestleMania before returning on the June 17 episode of SmackDown to confront Reigns.

After Reigns beat Riddle to retain the undisputed WWE Universal Championship, The Beast Incarnate hit him with an F-5, signaling his intention to challenge Reigns once again.

Lesnar is viewed as a relatively strong candidate to defeat Reigns at SummerSlam due to the notion that it wouldn't be wise for Lesnar to lose two major main-event matches in a row.

Assuming Lesnar and WWE can get back on the same page, a Lesnar win at SummerSlam would potentially set the stage for a huge Triple Threat at Clash at the Castle in September between Lesnar, Reigns and Drew McIntyre.

McIntyre, who is from Scotland, earned the right to challenge for the world title at Clash at the Castle in Wales, and facing and beating two of WWE's biggest stars in the same match on his home continent would be the crowning moment of his career.

Although Lesnar is a part-time wrestler, he is undoubtedly one of WWE's main attractions, and losing him would be a massive hit to the company, especially at such a pivotal time on the calendar.

WWE seemingly has big things lined up for Lesnar, but if he decides against following through with his SummerSlam match against Reigns, WWE will be forced to dig deep into its bag of tricks for a replacement opponent to take on Reigns.