In honor of Brock’s new contract, let’s bring this back up
Usually here on What If Wednesdays, we ponder a historic hypothetical. Some event from the past that could have been different in an alternate universe, and how that change echoes through time.
Not this week.
No, this week I would like to consider a current conundrum – A “what if” that might actually happen – Something that could change the shape of our beloved wrestling industry for years to come…
What if Brock Lesnar isn’t leaving at Wrestlemania?
Let’s sit back and look at what we know. . .Or at least, what we believe to know. . .
Brock Lesnar is our reigning and defending WHC, this is, sorry Tyson, a FACT.
He also is the most dominant wrestler I can ever. . . EVER remember seeing.
Note: I’m about to go off on a tangent here. . . Not entirely on topic, but not entirely off either. I’ll let you know when I’m done if you want to stay with the “what if?”
Andre the Giant was on the downward slope of his career when he reached his pinnacle of popularity in the early Wrestlemania years. Paul Wight, be he the Giant or the Big Show, has always had a level of mortality to him. Kane, while definitely dominant in his early days, spent some time in 2014 serving concessions, so he’s out of contention.
This is going to irritate some people, but really, the only true comparison I can make to the sheer awesomeness (the literal meaning, as it causing actual awe), is . . .
Go back and watch the Triple Threat match from Royal Rumble again. . . In fact, I bet you already have a couple of times. The vast majority of that match featured Brock Lesnar throwing Rollins and Cena around the ring like rag dolls. With seemingly minimal effort, he physically manhandled those two guys.
And for a single solitary second, did you not believe it? Did you fathom that this was somehow impossible?
You did not. Lesnar looked like he was tossing them around because he was actually tossing them around. Sports entertainment aside, Brock could have ended that match at a moments notice.
Forgive me if I seem like I am going off on a rant, but I can’t help it. Brock Lesnar is only the second definite “shooter” I can remember seeing in my lifetime, the first being Kurt Angle.
In the old days of wrestling, back when it was a featured act in circuses and carnivals, promoters would often issue an open challenge to anyone and everyone to step into the ring and try to take out their champion. While there would usually be a ‘plant’ of some kind to try to drum up business, each night would end with an actual spectator stepping through the ropes to try his luck.
Now, in many cases, these events were held in farm country, so many of these challengers were strapping lads who likely knew their way around a brawl or two. That’s why having a “shooter” was a good idea. Someone with legitimate wrestling chops who could, with little effort, take any opponent down and snap a bone if necessary.
Shooters were incredibly popular to promoters and incredibly dangerous to anyone who, as the saying goes, ‘took liberties’.
Is that not Brock Lesnar right now? If an opponent did something Brock didn’t appreciate, how easily could he apply a serious Kimura and snap his ulna or radial bone like a twig?
Let me restate my point, since I’ve gone WAY off track. . . Brock Lesnar is the most dominant wrestler I’ve ever seen.
Tangent over. . .Thanks for your patience.
Anyway, where was I?
Ah yes, so Brock is dominant. His matches, which are few and far between, I grant you, are immediate MUST WATCH programming, and as he gets more and more comfortable in his role as champ, even his non-wrestling appearances are excellent. Sure, Heyman has a lot to do with that, but Brock has been on point these last few weeks.
So what we have here is a very valuable commodity for WWE. A very expensive commodity, sure, but very valuable. As we saw Monday night, lines fed or not, his match with Roman Reigns now has the “big fight” feel that we all thought was lacking Sunday evening. People who were sour on the Wrestlemania main event, as I was, are now willing to give it a shot, if they aren’t totally bought in right now.
What else do we know? We THINK we know that Brock wants to go back to UFC, although I’ve seen no first-hand source or interview that says that for sure. We THINK he’s already got a deal in the works, and that he’s going to drop the belt to Reigns at Mania and leave WWE behind.
But why would he leave?
This is a pretty sweet gig he’s got here in WWE. He’s getting paid a TON of money to work very few dates, most of those being spent tossing people around with ease. He’s the WHC, so he’s the main event draw of any card he’s a part of. The crowd loves him, even if he’s being portrayed as a heel. And while I do believe he broke a rib or two at the Rumble, I have to imagine he has a far less fear of injury in pro wrestling than in UFC.
What’s the upside of leaving? Is it because UFC will pay him more? Is it the potential sponsorships? Is he just bored? I don’t know that any of us can say for sure what’s going on in Brock’s mind, so while we’re all pretty positive he’s done come March 29th, let’s just daydream for a second. . .
What if Brock stays?
If Brock Lesnar stays in WWE, Roman Reigns is going to get his ass kicked at Wrestlemania.
Cena is the WWE’s golden boy and has been pretty handily smacked around each time he and Brock are in the ring together. Roman might be the “next guy”, but the current guy isn’t going to want to look too bad by comparison. Roman will get some offense in and will look like a stud, but he’ll also log some frequent flier miles from all those German suplexes.
If Brock Lesnar stays, he holds onto the WHC for as long as he’s around
We all talked, when Lesnar won at Summerslam, about how long Brock could be champion. Could be til ‘Mania, maybe til Summer Slam 2015, maybe even until Wrestlemania 32. Suffice to say, if Brock’s in WWE, he’s champion. We’re not going to see Brock lose the belt and then get into a 3-4 month program with Luke Harper or Dolph Ziggler with no title on the line. Brock’s here to be the champion or to challenge the champion, and that’s the end of it.
If Brock Lesnar stays, the “new guys” can’t get as far as WWE needs them to.
This, to me, is the biggest reason Brock might leave – WWE simply might not want him anymore. He’s an A-List talent and a super draw, but he might also be ‘too’ dominant. Nobody is going to be able to touch him. They’ll get a rub for knocking him down or getting a couple 2-counts, sure, but that’s it.
This group of “next talents” (not even counting the NXT folks), the Ambrose’s, Wyatt’s, Rollins’ and Reigns’ will never be as main event as they could be if Brock Lesnar is the WHC.
Unless. . .
If Brock Lesnar stays, we see a brand extension
Imagine this. RAW and Smackdown as separate but equal brands. Each with their own championship title, yet Brock continues to be the World Heavyweight Champion, moving between the shows as need be.
Sure, the RAW and Smackdown belts wouldn’t be THE gold, but it would be something. I could see a world where Seth Rollins is the RAW champion, Bray Wyatt is the Smackdown champion, and Brock Lesnar looms large above both products.
If Brock Lesnar stays, even for a year, he IS the next Undertaker. . . If he isn’t already
There’s already a mystique with Brock Lesnar – Has been pretty much since the beginning of his career. Again, I refer you to my tangent on his unprecedented dominance.
He is the marquee name, the unstoppable juggernaut atop WWE. That was Mark Calloway’s role for a very long time in this business, and while he didn’t need a championship, the bar was set with how you did against The Deadman.
That could be, would be and possibly already is Brock Lesnar right now. If he keeps this up – the sporadic appearances, the ‘big fight’ feeling feuds, the “I’ll beat you when I want to” vibe, then he is the “Phenom” of the next generation.
In 10-15 years, those who were kids at Summer Slam will be using the same reverence in their voices to discuss Brock Lesnar as I see in all the NAI-bors today when speaking about Taker.
I’d like to see UFC top that.
What do YOU think? What happens to WWE if Brock Lesnar stays? Be Heard.