At WrestleMania 39, Brock Lesnar faced off against Omos in the opening match of night two, handing a quick defeat to the Nigerian giant.
Cody Rhodes, meanwhile, secured an Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match when he won the 2023 Royal Rumble and faced Roman Reigns in the main event. Despite setting the stage to win WWE’s top prize – a feat not accomplished by either his Hall of Fame father or his brother – Rhodes came up short thanks to Reigns getting help from Solo Sikoa at ringside.
An enraged Cody Rhodes confronted Reigns the next night on Raw, demanding a rematch right then and there. Reigns declined, but stated he and Sikoa would face off against Rhodes in tag team action, provided Rhodes could find a partner. Paul Heyman complicated matters when he declared that anyone stepping up to help Rhodes would be ineligible to face Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship as long as Reigns held the belt.
However, Brock Lesnar was unaffected by this declaration as he is already ineligible for another match with Reigns following their SummerSlam 2022 bout. He promised to team with Rhodes in the main event, and the match was hyped throughout the night.
Just before the match could start, however, Lesnar attacked his own partner, laying wasted to Rhodes in the middle of the ring. His brutal attack went on for nearly ten minutes, sending the show off the air with Rhodes down on the ground and Lesnar standing tall.
Brock Lesnar’s Heel Turn Was Planned Prior To Vince McMahon’s Return
Vince McMahon was reportedly back in charge on Monday Night Raw, the same day it was announced that WWE would be sold to Endeavor and merged with UFC to form a new $21+ billion entity. He made a number of last-minute changes just before and even during the show, and talent morale was said to be in a tailspin.
Fans were left wondering whether Lesnar’s attack on Rhodes was one of those last-minute changes, but according to a new report from Fightful Select, the feud between the two has been in the works for quite some time. In fact, not only was the feud planned prior to McMahon’s changes on Monday, it’s been planned well in advance.
According to Fightful’s sources close to the situation, Lesnar has been aware of his post-WrestleMania plans for nearly a month. While all members of the creative team might not have been filled in, Lesnar himself and those who needed to know were made aware of the plans well in advance.
In fact, Fightful notes that Lesnar hinted at a future heel turn during his WrestleMania match with Omos. Refusing to get back in the ring with the giant, avoiding contact, and backing down were all indications of an impending character shift.
Furthermore, the report notes that specific plans for Lesnar to stand side by side with Rhodes only to turn on him and deliver an F5 were laid out a month in advance.