When Brock Lesnar received word that he had failed not one, but two drug tests (from June 28th and July 9th) from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, there were many who wondered what the failed test might mean to his WWE contract.
The WWE made an exception to let Lesnar compete for the UFC under a special provision that it would be a one time sort of deal. In exchange, the UFC would agree to hype the organizations popular video game series and Summer Slam. However, the failed drug test and stringent wellness policy with the pro wrestling juggernaut had many wondering if he would face any repercussions for failing a drug test outside of the company.
Well, wonder no longer.
While TMZ reported that Lesnar would not be punished for any potential wrongdoing (many are speculating that Lesnar tested positive for an estrogen blocker), the WWE recently FOX Sports that Lesnar would not fall under the WWE's wellness policy because he was classified as "a part-time athlete."
We'll give you a moment to process that news...
Okay, now that we've had the time to get that out of the way...
That's really all it takes to get around the WWE's policy!!! If you put yourself as a part-time employee, you aren't governed by the exact same rules utilized by the same athletes who are considered independent contractors with the company themselves?
That's just weird.
With that in mind, allow me to map out the three major reactions I have to this:
1. How Pissed Is Roman Reigns?
I know what you're thinking, Roman Reigns gets popped for his own wellness violation and it's entirely different. The guy very likely got caught for using anti-depressants and that the wellness violation was to ensure his long term wellbeing. That still doesn't excuse the fact that the company has taken action against athletes in the past who have been caught for using steroids -- and that the company has a weird set of rules that somehow combines both sets of "offenders" in the same category. Either way, Reigns and Lesnar were still drafted to Monday Night RAW during a recent brand split in the current storyline -- the first major sign that neither would face long-term repercussions for their violations (that is, unless you count Regins losing to Finn Baylor as a major form of punishment).
2. Does This Ruin The Hopes For Future WWE Athletes Who Want To Go To The UFC?
We know, we know. CM Punk hasn't made his debut yet. But the UFC and WWE has gone out of their way to refer to Brock Lesnar as a once-in-a-lifetime athlete. That still doesn't convince me that there aren't more people in the WWE who have their eye on pulling the same kind of jump from one sport to another. At the current time, it doesn't seem that they would have anyone on their roster who would possibly be interest in making the jump, but never count out those who come from a legitimate wrestling background. It is more than likely they will have to take the CM Punk route and leave the company all together. Either way, Brock may have ruined Christmas for any of the guys in the locker room who were hoping a transition to the UFC or a conversation with Dana White to get the opportunity might be an easy path.
3. What Does This Mean For The UFC's Long-Term Future With Brock Lesnar?
Failing one drug test is bad. Failing two for the same fight is super bad. The UFC and Brock were professing up and down the path to UFC 200 that Brock was clean and that he had been tested no less than a million times. While we don't know the exact infraction and the result of it, it would seem that the UFC might be on icy terms with Brock... except for the fact that they're letting him keep all of the money he made. Yep, the UFC has recently said that Lesnar will not lose any of the money he made from UFC 200 (which reportedly came out to $2.5 million -- and that's just what they disclosed, it does not include PPV incentives or behind-the-scenes bonuses). Of course, that upset Lesnar's opponent Mark Hunt who went on a very violent tirade about the whole ordeal after it seemed the UFC would not oblige his request to take half of Lesnar's earnings from the fight. Mind you, the UFC probably doesn't want to burn a bridge with a PPV draw, and even if he does get popped, I still wouldn't be surprised to see the company turn his back on him. If Lesnar manages to avoid any charges, look for him and the UFC to quickly try to integrate him back into the roster. If he gets any ban, look for Lesnar to serve out his time while making some money with the WWE (who clearly can give a shit about the infraction) and then possibly even try to mount another run in the UFC (depending on how long it all goes).
4. But How Does The Undertaker Feel About This?
So... does this mean The Undertaker may have an asterisk next to his Wrestlemania record? If I were him I'd likely be waiting for that B-sample from his match against Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30. Just sayin.
If you enjoyed this discussion on Lesnar, be sure to listen in to my latest pro wrestling podcast spin-off HEEL SECTION where you can hear me map out this scenario and even imagine a conversation between Dana White, Vince McMahon, and Donald Trump. And be sure to let me know what you think.