Two-time former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez made his surprise WWE debut in the closing moments of Friday Night SmackDown last week, forcing Brock Lesnar to retreat mere moments after he won the WWE Championship. Reports of what WWE intends to do with Velasquez are varied, and the former champ even confirmed with ESPN after the show that he has yet to sign an actual contract with the company. On the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer added another wrinkle to the story by noting that Velasquez needs surgery on his left knee, which explains the giant knee brace he was wearing during his run-in.
"They could do Cain [vs. Lesar at WrestleMania]," Meltzer said. "You know, do a one and one, you do Saudi Arabia, Cain gets the surgery, comes back. But if Cain gets the surgery I'm not sure he's back, if he gets full reconstructive surgery on that knee. Let's say he gets it in November, he's missing Mania for sure, not even a chance. Maybe he can get minor surgery and be back, maybe."
Velasquez's last UFC fight took place back in February against Francis Ngannou, which he lost via first-round TKO. However Velasquez revealed in a post-fight interview that his knee gave out moments before the knockout.
"Taking that one step I did with my left foot, I just felt something pop," he said at the time. "And then when I tried to take another step, it just gave out on me. My knee gave out on me, I can't even believe that happened."
Velasquez first competed in a wrestling match at the TripleMania XXVIII event for Lucha Libre AAA in early August. In recent interviews he hinted that he was speaking to both WWE and AEW about wrestling here in the United States, but his recent interview with ESPN made it seem like WWE was the more likely route.
"It's probably WWE," Velasquez said. "Again, it's just me and the guys, the camaraderie. Working with Cody and AEW, I love what they're doing, Tony Khan. It's awesome, it's competition. And that always drives everything to be its best. And to me, working tonight with WWE, it's just from the get go when I first got to work at the WWE training center, to be there for a week, they welcomed me with open arms and everyone was such a team player."