Don Feria/Associated Press
Johnson called Lesnar a «free agent,» positing he could sign with another wrestling promotion or resume his MMA career with UFC. Johnson noted the two sides had been in ongoing discussions but have «paused» negotiations after coming to «an impasse.»
It’s unclear whether the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the situation.
WWE released some personnel in the spring when it became clear the company would face a decline in revenues with no live events for the foreseeable future. Forbes’ David Bixenspan reported in April that Lesnar was WWE’s highest-paid wrestler at $10 million, so it would make sense if officials balked at carrying that kind of number into his next deal.
While Lesnar is one of the biggest stars in wrestling, some in the WWE Universe may not be that sad to see him go. His appearances have been limited in recent years, and they’ve increasingly followed the same blueprint. Diminishing returns are inevitable when fans watch the same thing over and over again.
WWE seems to have already pivoted in a new direction with Lesnar’s advocate.
Paul Heyman showed up alongside Roman Reigns on the most recent edition of SmackDown, and he accompanied Reigns to the ring prior to his universal title win at Payback on Sunday.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Of course, all of this could be posturing by one or both of Lesnar and WWE.
UFC president Dana White said in April 2019 that Lesnar had indicated he’s retired from MMA, and his inevitable contract demands might price him out of a move to a different wrestling promotion, most notably New Japan Pro-Wrestling or All Elite Wrestling.
Returning to WWE is Lesnar’s most logical move in the event he wants to continue wrestling, but this could be WWE’s way of saying it’s perfectly content to move forward without the former world champion.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe