After reportedly walking out on SmackDown earlier in the day, Brock Lesnar made a shocking appearance to close out the show Friday night, arriving to decimate Money in the Bank briefcase-holder Theory.
Late Friday afternoon, news broke that Vince McMahon had retired as CEO from WWE. Shortly after, reports surfaced that Brock had angrily left the TD Garden in Boston in response to Vince's departure, with Fightful Select noting that he was "very pissed off." Fightful also reported that SmackDown was rewritten just hours before airtime to not feature Lesnar at all, despite previously being advertised.
Throughout the two-hour program, the announcers avoided mentioning Lesnar or the SummerSlam main event pitting Brock against Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship. The only two Brock namedrops came from Theory early in the show and Michael Cole as the show's main event began.
During the main event, the match broke down with Theory refusing to tag into the six-man match with the Usos against the Street Profits and Madcap Moss. After being laid out and forcibly tagged in, Theory fought for a bit before using his MITB briefcase for the DQ.
That quickly gave way to Lesnar's music, and the Beast stalked to the ring and pummeled Theory into a pulp, delivered an F-5, bludgeoned him repeatedly with the briefcase, then hit another F-5 on the case to close the show.
Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer was quick to respond to commenter who questioned the validity of the walkout:
He walked out this afternoon. Then they talked him into coming back. https://t.co/o4A9sq1qRSAdvertisement— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) July 23, 2022
Sean Ross Sapp noted that the most likely and obvious scenario is that after the show was rewritten, WWE smoothed things out with Brock and added him to the end of the show. More details of how and when things happened will likely surface in the coming days, but for now, it look like Brock is back in the fold for SummerSlam.