It has today been reported that former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez, has been released by WWE. The news comes from Dave Meltzer, on Wrestling Observer Radio.
You may remember Cain made his WWE debut on SmackDown‘s FOX debut, in October of last year. In addition, it was SmackDown’s 20th anniversary show. In that debut, he came to the aid of Rey Mysterio; who had been tormented by Brock Lesnar in recent weeks. This reignited Cain and Brock’s near decade old UFC rivalry. The initial feud led to a fight for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, which Velasquez won.
In debuting for the WWE, it became clear that this was an attempt by FOX to present SmackDown as more of a sports TV show. Velasquez was signed to help legitimize the blue brand. However, this didn’t quite go as expected. Cain was a rookie and was therefore still pretty “green” in the ring.
Velasquez had his WWE debut match on October 31, 2019, against Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the Saudi Crown Jewel event. The Californian would lose the match against Brock; tapping to the Kimura in just 130 seconds. After the match, he was attacked by Lesnar. Many felt this was an attempt to prolong the feud and eventually have Cain defeat Brock. Sadly, this never worked out.
It is never nice to see talent released from the WWE. Especially when the scenario is likely a factor of COVID-inflicted budget cuts. However, Cain is a very wealthy man and should be fine. Maybe we will see him in the ring again. Maybe a future MMA fight awaits? Who knows. However, one must think whether we have seen the last of Cain Velasquez in a WWE ring.
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