Brock Lesnar will make his first public appearance tonight on Monday Night Raw since his alleged performance enhancement drug failure at UFC 200.
Will he address the drug scandal? So far the WWE isn't showing its hand, other than this promo paragraph on its Web site:
"Making his first WWE appearance since his victory over Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania 32, Brock Lesnar returns to Raw to wreak havoc on anyone in his way. Who or what will The Beast Incarnate destroy en route to his clash with Randy Orton at SummerSlam?"
If the WWE doesn't address the flagging by USADA, then the audience surely will. Monday Night Raw takes place from the Philips Arena in Atlanta. Atlanta has a rich history of professional wrestling and the crowd will be a "smart" one. They will know all about Lesnar's two test failures and won't be afraid to voice their opinions on the live show.
Lesnar failed two drug tests leading up to and the day of his fight with UFC powerhouse Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Lesnar won two of three rounds and won a unanimous decision over the veteran. But the alleged drug test failures have marred his victory and cast doubt on his UFC career and legacy.
Lesnar is the only man to hold the UFC and WWE heavyweight championship, and is widely regarded as the biggest attracting in both organizations. The WWE never mentioned Lesnar's UFC participation on its television, but did promote the UFC 200 on www.wwe.com.
The WWE typically only pushes angles that benefit its own storylines, but the Lesnar drug test failure is such a big deal in sports, in may be difficult for them to ignore it on television. Randy Orton at the WWE's most recent PPV Battleground said he could defeat Brock Lesnar "no enhancement needed," a seemingly off-the-cuff comment that made the crowd "oooh" with delight.
Orton is scheduled to wrestle Lesnar at WWE Summerslam on Aug. 20.
Tonight also makes the return of Paul Heyman, Lesnar's longtime real life friend and storyline manager. Heyman's contract had expired, but the WWE and Heyman, the former creator of ECW, reached a deal.
Lesnar rarely talks on WWE television, leaving the words to Heyman, who is arguably the WWE's greatest talker. It may be up to Heyman to quell the crowd and figure out a way to explain why Lesnar should still be seen as a supreme machine, even after allegedly taking estrogen blockers.
Here's an example of Heyman's ridiculous microphone work putting Lesnar over as a top WWE character.
Monday Night Raw begins at 5 p.m. PST, on the USA Network.
(image courtesy WWE).