After losing Roman Reigns to COVID, WWE doubles down on Brock Lesnar

Lesnar is the answer.
Illustration: Getty Images

You got a feeling when it was announced hours before Sunday’s Day 1 PPV premium live event that Roman Reigns had tested positive for COVID and that Brock Lesnar would be moved to the Raw title match, what would happen. That feeling only grew when the then-champion Big E presented his promo backstage, and if you looked deep into his eyes you could surely see him scream at the top of his lungs: “I’m about to get screwed here!”

So when Lesnar went further in the fatal 5-way match to close the show and became the Raw World Champion, having only appeared on Smackdown since returning in August, no matter how much the announcers tried to advertise him as a breakthrough. shocking of the events, seasoned wrestling fans just nodded their heads and muttered, “Yes, that’s true.”

The hard thing for everyone to divide is that WWE’s need for Lesnar, now in both shows, is an indictment of WWE’s inability to literally book anyone else besides Reigns, intricately, and how good Lesnar was as a child. They are not mutually exclusive.

That’s the thing about Lesnar, he’s almost always disappointing when he returns to WWE and immediately takes the top spot on the card and every show. It’s not really anger at him, because who could blame him for making a few million more for a few minutes of work a week for a few months a year? If you’re on #TeamGetPaid in any respect, Brock is basically the posterboy. It’s always a sign that WWE hasn’t been able, or even tried, to put anyone else in that position, and they keep coming back to the same warm embrace of the Lesnar draw (there’s a picture for you). And it would get stale, to see Paul Heyman cut the same promo we saw for a good four-to-one.five years now, as Lesnar jumps on the spot, occasionally knocking F5 to an unsuspecting idiot. The model is worn.

That said, Lesnar’s royal matches are usually … pretty good? Lesnar had to fight the same tired, strained admonition that kept putting him against Reigns years ago, as Vince McMahon would make that match decisive, whether it killed him or not (too bad he didn’t!). Despite all of this, they produced two pretty good games (the first at Mania 31, and then whatever number was for SummerS.lam 2018). But when Lesnar had other partners, it worked out pretty well. He specializes in encounters with smaller guys that he can throw from one side of the ring to the other, and the fights with AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and even Finn Balor were memorable (which speaks volumes about Balor, whose reputation has been far before its actual performances for some years now). by Lesnar the performance at the very last Royal Rumble was truly a delight, although we all complained about it at the time, as it threw the top 11 attendees aside. Failures like Cain Velasquez’s fiasco or Kofi Kingston’s nerfing aren’t really about him, but about what he’s been called upon to do. Yes, Lesnar turns his own shade of purple every time a match lasts longer than five minutes, but few sell better than him, few do total destruction better than him, and they always feel like an event.

And it must be said that this current version of Lesnar … the foolish lumberjack who seems to have been woken up from getting high and listening to Kyuss in a hut somewhere it was a huge success. And it should be, because it looks like Lesnar is really enjoying himself. Though he was mocked in the past because he didn’t care, and be around long enough – and doing just enough – to cash another massive check, this is not the case. Lesnar actually talked and it was fun and engaging. My mileage hasn’t gone as far as many others for yours segment with Sami Zayn, but it illustrated a real personality. Was Lesnar … fun? Yes, it is also strange to write.

And while I’m not a fan of Big E getting thrown in the pile, it’s hard not to at least be interested in Lesnar’s Royal Rumble match with Bobby Lashley. It’s something the latter has been asking openly for years, and will be the very definition of “MEATY MEN SLAPPIN ‘MEAT” (unfortunately BIg E’s term).

That said, just because WWE has done something with Lesnar, and these days it seems like every time it happens it’s almost certainly by accident, doesn’t mean they have to try and squeeze it until it wilts and dies. Brock is on Day 1, two days later he is at the start and end of Raw, Friday will be at Smackdown. He has a Rumble headlining match and plans are yet to have him fix Reigns at the Wrestlemania main event. It is now sucking oxygen from both halves of the company.

Meanwhile, there is virtually no one else on Smackdown besides Reigns. If Big E doesn’t win the Rumble (he might!), He’s a bit in the Raw mob with everyone else. Drew McIntyre is injured, so the alternatives are very scarce.

WWE is lucky that the button they always press when they need a feud among the best has worked so well this time around, but it’s not really about that.. The fact that it is had to, and has due so many times, along with his disconcerting releases and booking, proves that really only cares about five-to-six guys at a time. The rest is simply thrown into a pit and whatever comes out on a weekly basis is what gets put on TV. By the time we get to Mania, chances are everyone will be as fed up with Lesnar as they were with Reigns once upon a time … when he was constantly chasing Lesnar. It is stasis.

There have been many who have mocked Lesnar as having only one move. It looks like WWE only has one move, and that’s Lesnar himself.


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