Brock Lesnar and the WWE: What His Return Would Mean to Wrestling
Brock Lesnar was expected to retain his UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 121 last weekend, but the Minnesota native was beaten by challenger Cain Velasquez.
Another man who was involved in a Heavyweight Championship match was The Undertaker. "The Deadman" lost at Bragging Rights to his brother Kane in a Buried Alive match.
Lesnar has been a name on the lips of many a wrestling fan over the past week. As Lesnar left the Octagon following his shock defeat to Velasquez, he and 'Taker shared a tense stare down which led Undertaker to say "Wanna do it?" He then went on to say that it was a personal matter between the two men and that he didn't want to talk about it further.
The return of "The Next Big Thing" would definitely increase the interest in the WWE. Lesnar was a big draw in his WWE run and was pushed a lot by the creative team who would love to have him back on board.
In just two years, he became a three time WWE Champion, won the King of the Ring and the Royal Rumble.
Even if Lesnar didn't return to Pro Wrestling for a sustained period, it would still be a good money spinner for both sides. WWE and Pro Wrestling in general has found it hard for the past few years. Ratings and PPV buy rates are both down with alternatives becoming more popular.
Many of the fans who were brought up on the Attitude Era during the late 1990s are now in their late teens or early twenties. That was the beginning of the acceptance that wrestling is pre-determined.
Not before then had promoters come out and admitted that wrestling wasn’t a proper sport. Even though this happened, the popularity never dwindled; the action was so controversial and hard-hitting that it still seemed real.
Wrestling in general has become a lot less edgy than it was back then, especially with the recent change to PG programming from the WWE. Wrestling has almost become uncool and the fans that were brought up on wrestling have now moved on to things such as boxing and in particular, mixed martial arts.
The UFC has really taken off in the past few years and has really started to dominate the PPV market. With MMA being so popular, the return to wrestling of Lesnar would only help the WWE. There have been quite a few wrestlers who have turned to MMA, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Dave Batista and Lesnar himself to name but a few. The move from MMA back to wrestling would be a welcome change.
Lesnar last competed in the ring in 2007 while wrestling in Japan. He lost his IWGP Heavyweight Championship to the then TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle. His last appearance for the WWE was at WrestleMania 20 against Goldberg, a match that both men would like to forget.
The former NCAA wrestling champion has unfinished business in the WWE. His last match was farcical; fans were singing “You sold out” as both he and opponent Goldberg were known to be leaving the company.
Lesnar has since said that he often needed pills and alcohol to get him through the rough schedule but he is a much stronger man now—both mentally and physically—and could easily make the switch back to the squared circle.
Lesnar’s return would open up a lot of possible matches. It would obviously depend on how long he wanted to return for but there wouldn’t be any trouble in matching him up with an opponent.
This has all come about because of the exchanged words between Brock and Undertaker. ‘Taker looks set to retire at WrestleMania and a match between him and Lesnar would bring in a serious amount of viewers.
There’s also the opportunity of a rematch with Goldberg. For two guys who were held in such high esteem by fans, they didn’t have great send offs.
Both men were jeered throughout their WrestleMania farewell and Goldberg has expressed his desire to return to the ring as he looks set to be inducted into this year’s WCW themed Hall of Fame class. Another possibility is the Big Show, the two have put on good matches in the past and it could happen again.
Lesnar had it all and could have become a WWE legend. He had only been in the company for two years and had already held three WWE Championships. Very rarely does somebody get pushed that much, so quickly. As seen in his UFC run, the man is a world class wrestler.
One of the main sticking points would be the bad blood between Lesnar and the WWE. After leaving WWE to pursue a career in the NFL, Lesnar signed a clause stating he couldn’t compete for another wrestling or martial arts company until June 2010.
However, Lesnar couldn’t find success in the NFL and went on to compete for New Japan Pro Wrestling in just 2004. WWE decided to sue Lesnar and demanded compensation which led to a two year court case. The two sides eventually came to an agreement but the tension between both sides is presumably still there.
I'm not saying Lesnar's return is likely. It's a massive long shot. Lesnar is contracted to the UFC, something which Dana White has stressed in recent days. However nothing has been heard from the Lesnar’s and Undertaker’s camps and we've heard little from Vince McMahon too.
McMahon is unlikely to rule this out; he's obviously quite busy with his wife, Linda, campaigning to become the US Senator from Connecticut. It would be quite silly for Vince to shoot the idea down in flames; it has got the WWE Universe—and the wrestling community in general—talking.
The fact of the matter is that the WWE need Lesnar a lot more than Lesnar needs the WWE. It would be brilliant for him to return and until it is officially ruled out, wrestling fans will continue to dream.