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Massive Premium News: Brock Lesnar's Future In WWE and WWE's Possible Future with Fox Could Mean Enormous, Radical Changes to WWE Shows


--One of the most talked about stories this week is Brock Lesnar supposedly walking out on WWE before Raw. It is true that WWE and Lesnar's contract negotiations are at a standstill and WWE believes Lesnar will be leaving after WrestleMania. We're still hearing that Lesnar walked out, but was technically within his right because of the situation with how many dates he has. Vince didn't put up much of a fight because of how limited his dates are at this point leading into WrestleMania. Spreading the story of him not appearing on Raw was McMahon's idea and Vince is now saying Lesnar left with permission. There was a similar situation three years ago, which was a shoot, which inspired the idea to try to work the internet that Lesnar had walked out again.

Vince believed he could turn things into a worked shoot to help position Roman Reigns as a babyface while simultaneously helping turn Brock heel. It's no secret the company is concerned about what the crowd reactions will be like at WrestleMania and Vince is hoping this stunt will help turn the crowd in the direction he wants.

WWE itself leaked the story about Lesnar leaving, a story which was believable because the contract negotiations have been so contentious.

There is a recent development, however, that has helped ease some of the tension. WWE is in the middle of very important TV contract negotiations, as is the UFC. Brock Lesnar is a huge star and in theory whichever TV network WWE ends up with, or UFC ends up with, they would greatly prefer to have Brock Lesnar as a part of the company.

Fox was already the favorite to retain UFC, but in the last week, Fox also became the favorite to gain the rights to WWE as well. While USA's interest in WWE might slightly diminish without Brock Lesnar in the picture, Fox on the other is less concerned about WWE losing Lesnar because it would mean UFC is gaining Lesnar. If Fox is successful in landing both the WWE TV deal and the UFC TV deal, they benefit regardless of who Brock ends up signing with.

Fox emerging as the favorite to land WWE has eased some of the tension between Vince and Lesnar as Vince doesn't feel the same pressure now to retain him, feeling he'd likely return after a few fights with the UFC anyway. With Lesnar leaving remaining the most likely outcome unless Vince has a change of heart about demanding Lesnar take a pay cut, Vince came up with the idea of turning the situation into an angle in hopes of turning the people against Lesnar at WrestleMania like they did the last time he left.

--As for what a WWE TV deal on Fox would look like, the package they're discussing is approximately the same amount of hours as the current deal with USA, but would be structured quite differently.

Fox wants Raw reduced to two hours and wants it airing on the main Fox channel, not FS1 or FS2. Fox also wants Smackdown to be eliminated. In addition to two hours on Mondays on Fox, there would be a one hour weekly show on FS1 and a one hour weekly show on FS2. It hasn't been determined yet what those shows would be. Also, and this may be the biggest change of all, but there would be a live three hour show on FS1 once a month on either Saturday or Sunday night depending on FS1's other sports commitments.

WWE would be going from two major TV shows per week to one, but they'd also be going from one PPV per month to the equivalent of two, except one would air on WWE Network while the other would air on FS1.

These would be radical changes to WWE's TV scheduling, but would significantly cut costs for WWE. If USA and Fox end up offering essentially the same amount of money in the end, WWE prefers what Fox is proposing, feeling that the mainstream exposure having Raw on broadcast TV, combined with the monthly specials on FS1 instead of having Smackdown, would be too good to pass up.

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