While WWE was clever and did not reveal the identity of Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent to fans at the Smackdown tapings on Tuesday, it was inevitable that the information would be revealed before the show airs on Thursday in the United States. And indeed, due to the fact that Canada currently airs Smackdown on Wednesday nights, during their Aftermath post-show, the hosts openly discussed the fact that at SummerSlam, just one month after he faces Mark Hunt in what is now the main event of UFC 200 this Saturday (after Jon Jones failed a drug test and was suspended today), Brock will be facing a returning Randy Orton, who has been absent from WWE programming since late 2015.
Orton and Lesnar have fought on WWE TV once before, way back in 2002, well before either was the level of star they are today. In fact, Orton took the record of youngest WWE World Champion from Lesnar at SummerSlam in 2004, in a move many saw as a deliberate slight to Lesnar for leaving the company earlier that year. Could that play into the build for this match? We’ll find out, assuming Lesnar survives UFC 200!