Brock Lesnar shocks fans with startling new look

Fans have taken to social media in shock over Brock Lesnar noticeably different look.

The WWE star appeared on Raw on Wednesday night, looking much skinnier than usual.

The 41-year-old is biding his time in WWE as he serves a doping ban from the UFC, which ends in January 2019.

Lesnar on Wednesday, compared to his bulkier frame. Image: WWE/Getty

Lesnar is required to continue proving he’s clean before he can return to the octagon, and fans think that’s why he appears to have shed some substantial muscle.

Fans have expressed similar sentiments in recent months.

Lesnar at centre of WWE’s Saudi Arabia controversy

WWE is set to hold its Crown Jewel event on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.

That’s a non-descript way to describe a spectacle – headlined by major stars including The Undertaker and Lesnar – that WWE would usually blitz fans with bombastic hype to promote.

Bigger! Badder! And usually with an event logo connecting the event to its host city, like the New York skyline or the fleur-de-lis for New Orleans incorporated into recent WrestleMania designs.

WWE instead has put Saudi Arabia on mute as backlash spreads against its lucrative long-term deal with a kingdom facing global uproar.

The financials are murky but WWE is expected to make between $20 million and $40 million US per event from two Saudi Arabian shows this year under a 10-year deal.

Criticism from fans and politicians started because women were excluded from competition in an April event, then shifted and spread after writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

WWE fans, traditionally as non-PC as the crotch-chopping wrestlers in the ring, have booed each time Crown Jewel is mentioned when a wrestler cuts a promo and the video feed hyping the event was abruptly shut off to the crowd at its first all-female event Sunday to squash unfavourable reaction.

WWE has tried to distance itself from the international outcry over the killing and downplayed its ties to Riyadh.

“We’re not going to talk a lot about that,” WWE chairman Vince McMahon said on a conference call. “It’s a very sensitive subject these days, naturally.”

The company’s announcers have refused to mention Saudi Arabia on recent live events and WWE’s website, as of Tuesday, only listed the date and time for the card.

The page for April’s Greatest Royal Rumble still listed King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under time/location .

“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizeable and dedicated fan base,” WWE said in a statement.

“Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul , the Company faced a very difficult decision as relates to its (Crown Jewel) event. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event.”

with AP