Brock Lesnar’s future in WWE remains undecided as rumours of a UFC return refuse to go away. This would be catastrophic for WWE. Vince McMahon simply has to make him an offer he cannot refuse and Brock has to retain the title at WrestleMania.
“The Beast Incarnate” is on course for the most memorable Championship run in WWE history if his reign continues for the next 12 months. Nothing devalues a title more than it changing hands regularly and Lesnar’s dominance is giving the title more value than ever. Despite efforts to make fans dislike him with the “mercenary” tag he is getting over due, in part, to his Paul Heyman association and chemistry but mostly his emphatic in-ring displays.
Winning the title now has become more special, more unattainable, an almost impossible dream, an achievement a contender will have to have the best match of their life to achieve. It is a mountain to conquer in more ways than one. The UFC association is a benefit for WWE in this instance as Lesnar brings credibility to the title like no champion before him. This is not just a benefit for “the Beast” himself in fans buying into him as a legitimate champion, but will serve to benefit the next generation of wannabe headliners as he pushes them to their limits.
Paul Heyman is known for being something of an eccentric and people in the WWE hierarchy, such as Michael Hayes, have openly admitted to taking some of what he says with a pinch of salt as they know he is a fantastic salesman.
It is however hard to argue with this quote from an interview Heyman did with Rolling Stone in January: "If you look back on WWE
20 years from now, I would suggest the two most newsworthy matches (of this past year) were Brock Lesnar conquering the Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania, and the most one-sided, uncontested beatdown of a top star in history when Brock hit John Cena with 16 suplexes and crushed him at SummerSlam….I don't think anything else, from a historical perspective, can hold water to those two."
I would now add the triple threat from Royal Rumble to that list. Brock Lesnar has been involved in the most exciting matches in what have been some pretty dull WWE PPV events. The internet has been awash with fans claiming NXT to now be the superior product; well if you were monitoring twitter after The Royal Rumble triple threat then you will know fans were definitely back on board. When he was tossing Cena around at SummerSlam people were going crazy, in a good way.
People will continue to argue that his part time status means he cannot continue or it is disrespectful to the belt etc etc. I agree with Mr McMahon on this one, as he said in his Stone Cold Steve Austin interview he is a special attraction and you don’t want to see him every single week. Vince has made more than his share of bad decisions but he would not have used him to end ‘The Streak’, something synonymous with his biggest pay cheque of the year, unless he was 100% sure he was the man to do it. He knew it was the only credible conclusion and long term would be “best for business”.
I’ll happily take six matches a year and get the top six matches of the year if that’s what it takes to keep him on the roster. When did recently appear on Raw to destroy the authority it was the best Raw moment I had seen in a long time, on a par with a vintage Stone Cold attack on McMahon and co. But if you dine on the finest steak every night eventually you will become bored of steak and then something that used to be special isn’t anymore.
WWE have struggled in developing a team of superstar headliners to rival the ‘Attitude Era’ but this is the perfect opportunity. The storylines for the next 12 months should be built around the pool of superstars trying to outdo each other and reach the new level that has been created, the Brock Lesnar level of physical performance.
Rather than not discussing the absent champion as WWE have tended to do when he’s not around, Reigns, Ambrose, Rollins, Bryan, Wyatt should all competing with each other for the number one contender spot. That spot and chance to be “the one that conquered the one that is the one in twenty one and one” becoming almost as valuable as the championship in itself. Each of them, over the next year, getting their turn at the ‘staple’ PPV events and their chance to show what they can do against “The Beast”.
Seth Rollins is now universally accepted, more so than Roman Reigns, as a main event guy after pushing himself to new limits against Lesnar and even hospitalising “The Beast”. If this is played out correctly by the time next WrestleMania comes we will have a group of superstars, rather than just Cena, right on his tail and all deemed worthy of defeating the champion.
Lesnar is 37 now but is a ridiculous physical specimen and may as well be 27. I’ve no doubt he will want to take care of unfinished business elsewhere but keeping him for another 12 months will be priceless for WWE. If Vince can work his magic and keep him even longer “The Beast Incarnate” can be the one to take over from the Undertaker and along with Heyman spearhead the company for the next ten years.