The first-ever WWE SmackDown on FOX show closed with Cain Velasquez taking out Brock Lesnar.
The closing angle would lead to the two men battling at WWE Crown Jewel 2019 with Lesnar coming out on top in a WWE Championship match. Velasquez would wrestle at a live event in November 2019 before he was released by the company in April 2020.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Velasquez detailed his WWE experience.
"Primarily it was because of COVID. They had to just drop a lot of the roster in order to just keep their core guys in. I just wasn't developed enough. I really needed to sit down and practice that style of wrestling for a while and develop a lot more. That wasn't the case, it was more of...I just didn't get to develop in that way," he said. "They just didn't use me. I wasn't called to go in and have them use me. At one point they told me we were going to do something with the lucha guys and when that time came close, we were deep into COVID and they were like, 'We're just doing the shows this way, we just need these core guys.' They just needed me to develop a lot more and I wasn't there yet. They really couldn't use me in that way. They weren't using me enough and they were paying me too much, so they had to let me go. I understand. It's business."
When asked if he regretted going to WWE, Valesquez said, "I don't. I think it was meant for me to go there. I'm glad I got the experience of knowing what it's all about. Knowing how the company works, how the guys work, everything. It was a great learning experience. I learned a lot from it. All I can do is take that and make it better next time if they give me another chance or just know what that is and appreciate my time."
Velasquez said he had no ill will towards WWE and loved what they did for him.
The match with Lesnar at WWE Crown Jewel took on a MMA aspect, playing off their UFC 121 bout in October 2010, which was won by Cain.
When asked about the bout, Cain said, "It is what it is. That was just me going into it and trying to figure out what it was. It was all thrown at me at once, a new organization. I was there for whatever anybody needed to have me build into whatever they wanted to build into. That didn't happen on this turn, I'm sorry to everyone that got let down. That hurt me as well because I expect a lot out of myself. I expect more for myself. They wanted me to stay in the MMA zone and have that rivalry with Brock, but they weren't really willing to put the time in to have us work together to totally do that, they wanted us to do that."
Cain noted that the movements in wrestling and MMA are opposite as fighters are taught to hide movements and emotions while wrestlers must show movements and emotions.
Speaking about working with Brock, Cain said, "We didn't work much, but talking to him for a little bit, I just know where he comes from, just from that little time spent. Very little. I know what he's about and I respect him for that. What you see when he performs, that's him. That persona when he's out there, that's him. That's his true self. Close quarters, he's obviously more human, but that's him. I saw that. That's his whole being and talking to him, I could see it."
Cain said that there was always going to be friction between the two due to Cain's first round TKO victory over Lesnar in their UFC Heavyweight Title bout.
Cain first gained notoriety in the world of wrestling through his appearances in AAA Lucha Libre where he wrestled a lucha style. When asked if he wished he could have kept that style, he replied, "Of course. That's who I am. I felt good with that style, but, I don't know if they saw that it wouldn't work, but that, to me and everyone else was a clear path, but that's not what they chose."
It was reported that Cain had his knee scoped between his last WWE match in November 2019 and his return to training in February, but Cain said he never underwent surgery.
"I have just been wearing a brace with it. That's what I've been doing. I didn't get it fixed. I've been able to do a lot of stuff with it, still, I've been doing a lot of grappling, wrestling, and still wearing a brace, but I can do everything with it. I'm just holding off a little bit on doing that," he said.
Valesquez will team with Psycho Clown and Pagano to battle Rey Escorpion, Taurus, and a mystery opponent at AAA TripleMania Regia.
Vinnie Massaro, who helped train Cain, recently noted that the former UFC Heavyweight Champion was interested in taking Indie bookings. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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