WWE Rumors: Daniel Bryan vs Brock Lesnar could happen in 2018
As things stand, both Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar could become free agents and be free to face each other in another organisation.
What’s the story?
In a very strange twist of fate, it is being rumoured that the future of Daniel Bryan could dictate the WWE future of Brock Lesnar.
The two could even face off in the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion in 2018, in a match that the WWE had planned for SummerSlam 2014 but were forced to cancel.
In case you didn’t know
Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE the night after WrestleMania 28. He initially signed for a one year contract, to the tune of $5 million, but extended his deal for two more years, taking him up to WrestleMania 31.
He ended up taking a $2 million pay-cut, staying for $3.1m per year. In 2015, Brock was torn between WWE and UFC, eventually committing to the WWE for three more years and even more dates, while maintaining his $3.1 million USD per year salary.
At the time, the Associated Press published an article on Brock Lesnar’s decision to re-sign with WWE, turning down an offer to return to UFC/MMA. In the article, Brock Lesnar confirmed that he was offered a new WWE deal at the Raw just 6 days before WrestleMania 31, and it was one he could not refuse.
Brock’s deal runs out next year, with his final match currently slated to take place at WrestleMania 34. Brock is rumoured to be set to win the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 33 in 2 weeks.
Daniel Bryan, on the other hand, was forced to retire from wrestling back in January 2016, after he acknowledged that he had suffered several serious concussions from his time in the ring.
During his retirement speech, Bryan admitted that his brain 'wasn't as OK' as he thought it was. During the emotional statement on WWE Raw, he admitted he had been forced to abandon his plan to return to the ring.
However, despite outlining several issues during his retirement speech, Bryan has made a U-turn over the last six months, indicating in several interviews that it is the WWE that “won’t let him wrestle.”
Bryan stunned fans two weeks ago during an appearance on WWE Talking Smack when he teased an in-ring return after his WWE contract expires in 2018. The comment came after The Miz continued to taunt Bryan about not being able to wrestle anymore because of his head injuries.
However, Bryan responded with “I can’t or they won’t let me?”
The heart of the matter
Over the weekend, a reliable source revealed to me that “there is no way Vince lets Brock go if Bryan goes to New Japan.” The WWE currently don’t have any serious competition, and it appears that that’s how they want to keep it.
Brock Lesnar is said to very happy with the WWE and what they pay him and is likely to accept a new WWE deal if offered one, which is NOT currently the plan. However, WWE will not want Bryan and Lesnar being in New Japan Pro Wrestling at the same time.
This would provide the WWE with real competition for the first time in nearly two decades.
The original plan for Brock was for the WWE to use his final months in the company to get other guys over. Brock was set to take two significant losses to elevate long-term WWE talent and for the company to not renew his $3.1 million a year salary.
However, due to a strange set of circumstances, plans may have changed.
Brock Lesnar’s deal will actually finish 4 months before Daniel Bryan’s current WWE deal. However, he will be unable to return to MMA unless he comes out of retirement and serves the final 5 months of his current suspension, whilst being under strict USADA testing.
Daniel is likely to remain as the SmackDown GM, however, he has requested and been granted time off after WrestleMania 33, due to the birth of his daughter.
Bryan is likely to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year in New Orleans, a fitting city for Bryan’s induction given that it’s where the “Bourbon Street Miracle” occurred at WrestleMania XXX.
It has been 18 years since Vince McMahon has had any real competition. Although WCW lasted until 2001, it really never competed with the WWE from 1999 until it’s demise in 2001.
While TNA has had some good periods of popularity, the bad has generally outweighed the good, and with the company losing money for 13 years of its 15-year existence, it never emerged as any kind of competition for the WWE. However, New Japan is different.
New Japan is a profitable company. While the WWE were able to lure the likes of Nakamura and AJ Styles away from them, they won’t be able to stop Daniel Bryan going there to fulfil his goal to wrestle.
And whilst paying Brock Lesnar $3.1 million a year isn’t in New Japan’s budget, paying Lesnar $500,000 for a match is something the company would be willing to do to take themselves to a different level. Bryan and Lesnar would draw millions of new fans to the New Japan brand.
In order to not make this a viable option for Brock Lesnar, the WWE may be forced to extend their deal with him. The WWE will need to decide what they are doing with Brock sooner rather than later before they damage his aura by booking him to lose at SummerSlam and then again at WrestleMania 34.
If the WWE decide to keep Brock, it’s highly possible he could hold the WWE Universal Championship for the entire year.
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