WWE Rumors: Brock Lesnar Won't Defend Universal Title at SummerSlam

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2018

FILE - In this March 29, 2015, file photo, Brock Lesnar makes his entrance at Wrestlemania XXXI in Santa Clara, Calif. Lesnar, the former WWE and UFC heavyweight champion, was selected Monday, June 27, 2016, as the cover superstar for the WWE 2K17 video game that is set for an Oct. 11 release.  (AP Photo/Don Feria, File)
Don Feria/Associated Press

WWE universal champion Brock Lesnar reportedly won't take part in SummerSlam 2018 on Aug. 19 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

"I'm hearing that Brock isn't working SummerSlam," Mike Johnson of PWInsider Elite reported (via Wrestle Zone's Michael McClead). "We may not see him again until later in the year, which is madness if you think about the belt."

Questions surrounding Lesnar's status extend to whether he's eyeing another return to UFC.

Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live (via Ringside News) noted the 40-year-old former UFC heavyweight champion must enter the USADA testing pool by Friday in order to become eligible to fight sometime in 2018. It's unclear whether that's occurred.

"Now USADA to the best of my knowledge will not reveal when a fighter has entered the testing pool," Alvarez said. "The fighter himself must make the announcement himself and I don’t think Brock is going to be going around saying he’s in the USADA pool."

Lesnar won the universal title with a victory over Goldberg at WrestleMania 33 in April 2017.

Lesnar has defended the belt just six times in high-profile matches in the 453 days since that victory on WWE's grandest stage, according to the Internet Wrestling Database. He's also put it on the line on four occasions at house shows, where title changes are extraordinarily rare.

Lesnar most recently defeated Roman Reigns during April's Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia.

His lack of appearances, especially on WWE's weekly flagship Raw broadcast, is starting to become a concerning issue for the company. It's hard to build a consistently successful show when the top champion rarely appears, and it's had a noticeable negative impact in recent months.

It's fair to wonder whether the diehard fanbase will start to turn against Lesnar when he does appear in favor of Superstars working a full schedule like Braun Strowman and Finn Balor.

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