All the recent talk about WWE’s issues with The Revival and their contract status has morphed into other conversations about similar situations in the past. One particular name that popped up recently was Brock Lesnar.
During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer discussed WWE’s current situation with The Revival and how they’re not being paid (they hit their yearly downside guarantee) but WWE won’t release them, even though it’s fairly clear they’re looking to take off and wrestle for another promotion.
Something similar happened with Brock Lesnar back after he left WWE for the first time. Lesnar left WWE to try out of the NFL. He was the final cut in training camp and since that NFL challenge didn’t work out, he’d decided he wanted to go wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. At the time, he still had a contract with WWE who hadn’t released him from his deal.
Vince McMahon didn’t want Lesnar wrestling for NJPW when he could wrestle for WWE, and Lesnar even said he’d come back for the $1 million per year he was to get paid. But, WWE decided that was too much money and figured he’d come back for less. He took WWE to court, claiming their worldwide non-compete clause was ridiculous.
Meltzer noted, there was no way WWE could have enforced the Lesnar case and they knew it, so they settled. Basically, it was a situation where Lesnar argued, WWE didn’t want him going anywhere, he was willing to return, but they didn’t want to pay him what he’d signed.
“They were like, ‘You’re not worth that money!’ So it’s like they don’t want him going anywhere because he’s got a contract, but they don’t wanna pay him on his contract because they don’t think he’s worth it anymore, but they don’t want him working for anyone else either. So anyway, that’s the deal on that.”