What The Return of Brock Lesnar Means to WWE
A look at why the signing of Brock Lesnar such a big deal for WWE.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week you’ll know that on the most recent episode of RAW Brock Lesnar made his long awaited return to the WWE. Silent and focused Lesnar made his way to the ring, circled it and then destroyed the man who stood in the middle of it. That man was John Cena.
It’s been an interesting time of late for wrestling fans with a host of former competitors making comebacks, the most prominent being Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who re debuted last year in anticipation of his Icon vs Icon Wrestlemania 29 main event match. For many fans Cena/Rock was a real coupe for the WWE, especially since Rock has a pretty successful acting career these days and no real need to put himself or his body through the rigorous schedule of a professional wrestler. However, there are many fans – myself included – that believe the resigning of former WWE, IWGP and UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Edward Lesnar is an even bigger story, especially when you consider what Brock has been through since his final, somewhat disastrous match with Bill Goldberg at Wrestlemania 20.
Lesnar, a former amateur champion and all-American athlete, made his debut in the WWE back in 2002 and quickly rose through the ranks to become world champion within a matter of months. Heel Lesnar was as dominant a champion as everyone expected, but it wasn’t until a feud with the Undertaker that he really came into his own. Over the next two years Brock feuded with some of the biggest names the WWE could throw at him, but will likely be best remembered for his matches with Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle who he faced at Wrestlemania 19 – a match in which he very nearly broke his neck following a mistimed Shooting Star Press.
So why is the signing of Lesnar such a big deal?
Well, cast your mind back a few years to when he actually quit the WWE to become a pro-footballer. As part of the agreement to allow Lesnar to break his deal with the WWE he signed a no compete clause that meant he was unable to perform for any other wrestling company or mixed martial arts group until 2010. Pretty standard fare we’re sure you’ll agree? When Lesnar’s ‘sure thing’ football career fell flat he argued that his no compete clause would leave him unable to earn a living and so made his way to Japan, wrestled some shows and found himself slapped with a law suit. Despite their best efforts to resign Brock to a contract talks broke down and things remained in court with any mention of the former youngest WWE champion in history written out of the history books by Vince. Meanwhile Brock Lesnar went on to become a world champion in both Japan and in the very real world of UFC – a sport many believed he would dominate but actually retired with a pretty average win/loss record of 8 fights, 5 wins, 3 losses.
Cut to UFC 121, October 2010. Lesnar is defeated by Cain Velasquez. A ringside confrontation with The Undertaker takes place that sparks all kinds of rumours. Nothing happens. The rumours persist. Then, on the very day of Wrestlemania 28 Lesnar signs a 1 year deal with his old employers. Surprisingly he fails to appear on the actual card. The return of Brock Lesnar is saved for the very next night on RAW. The crowd pop is massive – way bigger than just a nostalgia pop. Bigger than the pop The Rock received? Maybe. He attacks the number 1 babyface in the company, the crowd come unglued. The question is though; will this reaction last? Where will he be positioned in his feuds? Is Lesnar a badass babyface or a well recognised, long missed mega heel?
So where do we see Brock Lesnar’s second coming heading? The destruction of John Cena will obviously lead to something somewhere down the line, probably Summerslam but is this just a filler feud to reestablish himself? Will Lesnar fight Rock? What about CM Punk? A match between Punk and Lesnar would be huge. Or is this all just leading Lesnar towards the bright lights of the biggest stage in WWE history – Wrestlemania 29 – and the Deadman’s streak?
We at Whatculture will be watching on just like the rest of you to see how this story unfolds over the coming weeks and months. One thing is for sure however, the pain is back in the WWE . Forget Y2J’s promos back in January, the real end of the world is here and nothing will ever be the same again.