The mystery opponent to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the Madison Square Garden Live Event was revealed at the show to be Austin Theory.
Lesnar headlined the house show at the world’s most famous arena on Saturday, March 5th with the title on the line at the show. On February 21st, it was announced by Lesnar’s former advocate Paul Heyman that the opponent would be Bobby Lashley. However, Lashley is reportedly out of action for a number of months due to a shoulder injury, so would be unable to compete in the match.
The opponent was not announced ahead of time and was instead revealed shortly before the match took place. As reported by PWInsider, Paul Heyman cut a promo for the live crowd before the mystery opponent made their entrance. Heyman said that “this wasn’t the house that Vince McMahon Sr or Bruno or Backlund or Hogan or The Rock or Vincent Kennedy McMahon built….but the house Roman built.” Shortly afterwards, Theory made a surprise entrance and was revealed to be the mystery challenger for the WWE Championship.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN🤳🏼
🤳🏼FOR THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
AUSTIN THEORY VS BROCK LESNAR🤳🏼 pic.twitter.com/u169V4Bzav
— Austin Theory (@austintheory1) March 6, 2022
Theory’s motivation for the match was in response to Brock Lesnar’s actions at the Elimination Chamber Premium Live Event. At the Saudi Arabia show, Lesnar hit Theory with an F5 off the top of a chamber pod to win the WWE Championship for the 7th time. Brock responded by doing his own version of the Paul Heyman introduction. The match itself has been reported as Brock taking early control of Theory and hitting an F5 to win and retain the WWE Championship, setting up the title unification match at WrestleMania 38 against Universal Champion Roman Reigns. The report from PWInsider also states that multiple cameras were present to film the main event segment.
After the match, Reigns launched a surprise attack on Lesnar. The Tribal Chief would blindside The Beast with a Superman Punch. Brock would gain the upper hand and hit a series of German suplexes onto Reigns, which brought out The Usos. Lesnar would quickly dispatch the SmackDown Tag Team Champions and turned his attention back to Reigns but was then hit with a steel chair by Paul Heyman. As Lesnar looked to attack Heyman, Reigns would work over the WWE Champion with a series of chair attacks, busting Lesnar open in the process.
Reigns would finish off Lesnar by hitting a Rock Bottom onto the steel steps, which were brought into the ring by The Usos. As posted to WWE’s social media page, the closing shot for the live crowd saw Reigns standing over a bloody Lesnar holding both the WWE and Universal Championships:
"BROCK LESNAR … ACKNOWLEDGE ME!"#UniversalChampion@WWERomanReigns shocked the @WWEUniverse on The Road to #WrestleMania at @TheGarden by standing tall over #WWEChampion@BrockLesnar following a vicious attack at #WWEMSG!@HeymanHustle@WWEUsospic.twitter.com/139BzXOJps
— WWE (@WWE) March 6, 2022