Brock Lesnar cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase at last month’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view event to defeat Seth Rollins and capture the Universal Championship.
Now in this third reign with the red strap, Lesnar has been confirmed for an appearance on Monday’s Raw ahead of his title defence six days later against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam.
Lesnar’s long-time advocate Paul Heyman recently spoke with Inside The Ropes about a variety of topics, including how his partnership with “The Beast” came to fruition, and what the original planned gimmick was for Brock.
Heyman revealed that despite being American, Lesnar was originally supposed to play the role of a foreign heel upon his arrival to WWE’s main roster:
“[Brock Lesnar] is in the ring [in OVW] as an NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion and people are saying to him, ‘You should be a Russian’ [and] ‘You should just stand there.’ Like he’s the Warlord or something. Come on! Are you kidding me?”
“Here’s Taz. He goes, ‘They’re giving you the wrong advice, brother.’ Taz brings him to me. I look at Brock and say, ‘You realize that if you do what they’re telling you, you’ll leave here in six months. You want me to talk to Vince about this?'”
Paul Heyman revealed that he spoke to Vince McMahon about being paired with Brock Lesnar, but this meant that his previously scheduled return with Chris Benoit had to be scrapped:
“I was scheduled to come back at WrestleMania X-8 with Chris Benoit. That was set. I went to Vince, two or three weeks before WrestleMania, and I said, ‘I’d like to produce Brock Lesnar’s matches.’ He said, ‘Go ahead. Let’s see what you can do with him”.
The night before WrestleMania, we’re going over the show. We get to the Benoit match, and Vince mentions nothing. I wait until after the meeting, I look at him and say, ‘This thing with Benoit is off?n He goes, ‘I think I’m gonna put you with Brock Lesnar.’ I said, ‘Sure. Give us a little time”.
Paul Heyman revealed that he even let Brock Lesnar chose his first opponents:
“I went to Brock and said, ‘Pick an opponent.’ He picked Funaki and Spike Dudley. He knows what he’s doing. He tossed them around and beat the living crap out of them. I went back to Vince and asked, ‘What did you think?’ [He said], ‘Damn this guy is money.'”
Thanks to Fightful for the transcription.