As it was noted earlier, FOX was not happy about WWE not making a big offer to bring back CM Punk. Punk’s appearance on AEW Rampage delivered big numbers on TNT last Friday night.
According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a last-minute deal was made by WWE to get Lesnar back for SummerSlam and the deal was made, in part, because they wanted to appease FOX.
Meltzer noted that Punk had a positive relationship with FOX dating back to his days on WWE Backstage and the network was upset that big money was not offered to get him on SmackDown. Meltzer said that WWE “felt the need to get Lesnar and (Becky) Lynch to SmackDown right away.”
He also wrote, “The situation with Fox and WWE is always up and down with the key being that Fox’s SmackDown is used to promote Peacock, the streaming service of NBCU, particularly since Fox has its own streaming services they are rolling out.”
Lynch was already scheduled to return but her storyline plans changed when Sasha Banks was not cleared. On Lesnar, Meltzer said that “as always, Lesnar’s timing got him an even better deal.”
Lesnar made his return at the end of SummerSlam after Roman Reigns defeated John Cena to retain the Universal Championship. The show ended with Lesnar walking in the ring to stare down Reigns and fans were left wondering what Paul Heyman will do now that Lesnar is back.