WWE universal champion Brock Lesnar reportedly wasn't mentioned on this week's edition of Monday Night Raw because of chairman Vince McMahon.
On Thursday, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported (via Dominic DeAngelo of Wrestle Zone) that McMahon made the decision to ensure Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view the "sole focus" of the company's flagship weekly show.
McMahon said during a production meeting that Lesnar shouldn't be mentioned again until "he's being offered to our audience and we can capitalize on it," per Meltzer.
The situation is starting to cause a noticeable problem for WWE.
Raw is suffering without having its top champion available on a regular basis. Not only is Lesnar often absent from the broadcast, but when he does show up, it's often for a short promo segment featuring manager Paul Heyman or quick altercation with a potential opponent.
He hasn't wrestled an official match on Raw during his current run with the company, according to the Internet Wrestling Database. He took part in a dark match against the Big Show in March 2017 for the live audience and has attended some marquee house shows.
His most recent WWE match was a victory over Roman Reigns in a cage match at the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia on April 27.
Meanwhile, Lesnar showed up to UFC 226 on Saturday night and confronted Daniel Cormier after he knocked out Stipe Miocic to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
UFC president Dana White said he's expecting to schedule a bout between Lesnar and Cormier.
"Yeah, we are definitely going to make that fight," White told reporters. "So, Lesnar hit me up a couple of days ago and said 'sorry I went dark on you but I had some stuff I had to take care of and I am going to come to the fight this weekend.' I said 'OK, see you Saturday.'"
Although a date for the fight hasn't been announced, Lesnar's preparations could further hinder his ability to make an impact in the WWE.
Meltzer noted whenever the universal champ does return to the squared circle, McMahon is going to portray him "as a champion that has abandoned the fans" with hope of generating support for his opponent, who could once again be the polarizing Reigns.