Brock Lesnar on March 18, 2022 WWE SmackDown

The Beast has left the building.

According to Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez, “Brock Lesnar has left Smackdown.”

The news comes as “mass confusion” has broken out backstage at “WWE Smackdown,” after Vince McMahon announced his retirement from WWE just hours before. Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp confirmed Alvarez’s report, saying he “was told Brock was ‘pissed off.’” WWE held an “all hands” meeting at 5pm to address the announcement.

Despite stepping down from corporate duties in the wake of an investigation by WWE’s board of directors into hush money payments that McMahon made to former female employees, McMahon had been firmly at the helm of WWE’s creative direction before the announcement of his retirement. A WWE spokesperson has confirmed that McMahon is stepping away from all duties in WWE, including creative, which leaves tonight’s “WWE Smackdown” in limbo in regards to its creative direction.

Earlier today it was announced that Paul Levesque (fka Triple H) would be resuming his duties as the EVP of Talent Relations, freeing up the interim Head of Talent Relations Bruce Prichard to focus solely on creative. Prichard had been handling both talent relations and creative duties after former EVP of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis was removed from his position due to also being allegedly involved in the non-disclosure agreements the WWE board of directors were investigating.

While there’s no word on what plans WWE had for Lesnar tonight, he is a key figure in the plans for WWE Summerslam on July 30th. While Lesnar’s schedule has been limited in the past, WWE likely still needs Lesnar around over the course of the next week to forward his rivalry with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, as the two are set to face for the last time ever in a Last Man Standing Match for Roman’s titles.

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