Brock Lesnar will be facing Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at next week's Fox premiere of SmackDown Live, and it's believed that the Beast Incarnate will no longer be part of the Raw brand going forward.
Lesnar is being advertised for numerous SmackDown events down the road, which has led to speculation that he'll join the roster - rather than perform as a "free agent" for both brands.
But according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Ringside News), Lesnar isn't "necessarily" going to join the SmackDown brand. Rather, the Observer suggests that he's being booked for numerous shows "because they are trying to sell more tickets for TV shoots."
Obviously, Lesnar will help enhance television ratings for Fox, and he promises to sell a lot more tickets as well. Perhaps WWE doesn't want to split Lesnar up from Paul Heyman, his long-time advocate who also serves as the Executive Director of Monday Night Raw.
For what it's worth, Lesnar is a giant betting favorite to defeat Kingston at next week's SmackDown show. So if Lesnar wins the WWE Championship, it's a pretty big sign that he'll be sticking around on the SmackDown roster for the long run.
Of course, the WWE draft takes place a week later (on Oct. 11 and 14). So even if Lesnar wins the title from Kingston, he could be moved back to Raw - and Seth Rollins or Bray Wyatt could bring the Universal Championship along with them to SmackDown.
Fox obviously wants as much star power as possible, and it's been reported that they want Bray Wyatt on SmackDown - though that seems like a pipe dream at this point. There's no doubting that Lesnar would help Fox's ratings in the early stages, so we'll see how much they manage to get him on the show.
Lesnar's Future Is Up In The Air
There have been ongoing rumors over the past year and a half about Lesnar possibly leaving WWE. That doesn't appear to be the case right now, but there doesn't seem to be a clear long-term plan for him - whether he'll move to Raw or SmackDown permanently or simply stick around as a performer for both brands. At either rate, Lesnar is here to stay for the long run. We just need to wait and see how it plays out.