My own sources close to Lesnar and WWE confirm that Lesnar has signed a deal, but nobody truly knows specifics. I haven't been able to pin down an exact number of dates he'll be required to work, but I was told he'll probably appear in the wrestling promotion more often that you might think he would, and he's going to make a whole bunch of money for doing so.
I also haven't been told when he'll debut, but I would expect it to happen on tonight's Monday Night Raw television show.
Lesnar was a lock to return to pro wrestling once he finished up his months-long vacation after losing to Alistair Overeem at the tail end of 2011. The thing with Lesnar is that he doesn't really have to do professional wrestling—at least not in the way you see old veterans of the pseudo-sport constantly returning to have "one more match" because they're broke. Lesnar has money. He has a ton of money, actually, because he's a miser of sorts. He lives a very frugal lifestyle.
However, he also values security, both for himself and for his family, and so he'll do this wrestling thing to pad his bank account for his family's sake. He'll complete a very low amount of contracted dates, but he's not going to go above and beyond. WWE is notorious for demanding performers exceed their amount of requested dates, and Lesnar won't be talked into doing more than the minimum required by his contract.
Where does the UFC stand in all of this?
It's an interesting case. In reality, Lesnar left the UFC and is headed to its competitor, at least in terms of pay-per-view entertainment dollars. Dana White doesn't usually allow something like this to happen, as witnessed in the Randy Couture case a few years ago. And yet White has gone on record in saying Lesnar is free and clear to do professional wrestling for the WWE.
Why is Lesnar being treated differently than Couture?
Firstly, he's not going to a direct MMA competitor. White would be singing an entirely different tune if Lesnar "retired" from the UFC and then attempted to sign with Bellator.
Secondly, White is convinced—as am I—that Lesnar is never going to fight again. He's disbanded the DeathClutch gym near his home and moved it to Minneapolis. He has no plans to incorporate much in the way of MMA training into his workout regime. If Lesnar thought there was any chance of a return 12 months down the road, he would continue working and refining his MMA game.
Lesnar will never be considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. He started too late and his medical issues prevented him from truly reaching whatever potential he may have had. We'll never know what he could've been had he jumped into fighting straight out of college. Given what we know of his athletic history, it's apparent Lesnar may have been one of the best fighters of all time with 10 or more years of solid training.
What we do know, however, is that Lesnar is a pretty good pro wrestler. And kudos to him for making the decision to get off the farm and back into the spotlight where he can entertain millions. I don't know how long he'll be there, but I'm pretty sure it'll be awesome while it lasts.
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