Just a few months ago, if you asked me who Brock Lesnar was going to compete against at WrestleMania 39 in Hollywood on Apr. 1 or Apr. 2, without hesitation I would have answered Bobby Lashley. After all, these two guys had unfinished business when Bob laid out Brock in a post-match angle at Crown Jewel 2022.
The two stars did indeed wrestle again, but the match happened in Montreal at Elimination Chamber 2023, roughly six weeks before WrestleMania.
WWE moved on from their feud after that match, and both guys suddenly needed new opponents for the biggest pro wrestling show of the year. Lashley entered into Bray Wyatt’s fun house of puppets, while Brock was paired up with the worst worker on the main roster, Omos.
Reports and rumors started to spread about WWE’s original WrestleMania plan for Brock changing, which is easy to believe because Omos wasn’t featured much on WWE television in recent months.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso, the pieces all moved because WWE really thought they could book Lesnar vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin:
Initially, Lesnar was slated to fight Bobby Lashley at [WrestleMania 39], Sports Illustrated learned, but that was moved to February (in a finish that protected both men) at Elimination Chamber so Lesnar could then prepare for a program against Steve Austin. Yet WWE and Austin never came to terms. Whether that happens with Austin and a different opponent is yet to be determined.
Bray Wyatt was also briefly discussed as an option for Lesnar, but that was quickly discarded…no one seems to leave a Wyatt program better than they entered it, a fact not lost on the business-savvy Lesnar. Wyatt is now dealing with an undisclosed health issue, and time will tell whether that prevents him from appearing at WrestleMania.
The rumor of a Lesnar vs. Austin match has been around for a while. It always seemed unrealistic because more than 50% of Brock’s offense involves the German suplex, which is an ill-advised bump for Austin to take given his neck issues that caused him to retire in the first place. It sounds like WWE didn’t offer Steve enough money to get him on board for that trip to Suplex City.
Austin famously refused to do the job for Brock 20+ years ago on Raw, and it looks like his more recent decision to decline a match with Brock screwed up WWE’s plans yet again. Instead, Brock will now be giving Omos an F5 at WrestleMania, while Lashley is in limbo until Bray Wyatt’s status is cleared up.
Do you think there’s a way to make a match work between Brock Lesnar and Steve Austin at this stage in their careers, or was this idea always impractical? Let us know in the comments below, Cagesiders.
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