How Brock Lesnar’s absence caused WWE to change WrestleMania match winner
Paul Wight (f.k.a. The Big Show) believes Brock Lesnar’s WWE absence ultimately prevented him from winning the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
In 2014, WWE introduced the multi-man match as an annual tradition at WrestleMania. Cesaro won the first Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30 after he produced an incredible feat of strength to slam Wight over the top rope.
Speaking on Talk Is Jericho, Wight said he was originally supposed to win the Battle Royal. However, on the day of the show, it was decided that Cesaro would win before aligning with Lesnar’s advocate, Paul Heyman.
According to Wight, the outcome changed because WWE wanted Heyman on television so he could boast about Lesnar’s win over The Undertaker:
“He [Cesaro] slammed me over the top, I shook his hand at the end. That’s what you do in this business – you wanna make guys. Then I watched Cesaro wither on the vine because they didn’t do nothing with him. And basically he was a piece to give a chance for Paul Heyman to be on TV until Brock came back. You know what I mean? So that was the stack of the cards, the stack of the pieces to get to the talent they really wanted to market, they really wanted to use, and they really wanted to depend on for everything.”
Wight said he had no problem putting Cesaro over at WrestleMania 30. He described the current WWE SmackDown Superstar as a “great dude” and an “incredible talent.”
Brock Lesnar’s 2014 absence also impacted Cesaro
Throughout his 2012-2020 WWE run, it was not uncommon for Brock Lesnar to remain away from television for several months. This often happened after his high-profile matches at WrestleMania and SummerSlam.
Lesnar recorded one of the most unexpected victories in WWE history in 2014 when he broke The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. As Paul Wight alluded to, Paul Heyman repeatedly bragged about his client’s famous victory in the months that followed the event.
Despite being aligned with Heyman for three months, Cesaro’s career did not take off after WrestleMania in the way that many people expected. Heyman focused on Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania triumph during the majority of his promos, meaning the spotlight was not always on Cesaro.