The following is a guest editorial by rajah.com reader Ryan Anderson. Send all feedback to him via Twitter @gullyblanchard
Does WWE have a Brock Lesnar problem?
Brock Lesnar has held the WWE Universal Heavyweight Title belt for 467 days. He is supposed to be defending his WWE Universal Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam in August of 2018.
Does anyone even care at this point?
WWE is masking this disaster by framing it as “Brock Lesnar is a must-see attraction”. The bloom is off of that rose and has been for quite some time.
The problem is the idea that WWE has always trained the audience that wrestlers at the top level are wrestling to achieve the goal of being the WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, but Brock Lesnar isn’t on television enough to make the WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship matter to the audience.
The old adage from Stone Cold Steve Austin is that “If you don’t want to be the WWE Champion then you shouldn’t be in this business.”
The hard part is that the title means as less now as it did during that disastrous run that The Rock had in 2013.
WWE has a treasure chest of talent on Monday Night RAW that should have been able to benefit from being in the ring with the Champion. However, they have missed the boat on having Brock Lesnar elevate anyone that he gets in the ring with.
Brock Lesnar has demolished everyone in his wake. Every storyline he has been involved in has not lived up to their potential due to Brock Lesnar not being on RAW enough to build value in the feuds.
WWE has already caused irreversible damage to the Roman Reigns character by having him be booked in a manner that the fans are rebelling against as well as having him lose cleanly to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34 and The Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia. What WWE has told their audience is that Roman Reigns, who we have shoved down your throat for the last 4 years by making him look invincible, can’t defeat the WWE Universal Champion. The challenge is, if Roman can’t beat Brock; who should you take seriously to beat Brock?
CM Punk never recovered from losing to The Rock and it can be argued that Roman Reigns may fall victim to the same fate.
Braun Strowman who has been geared up to be “the next guy” has already lost to Brock Lesnar in a match where, for a guy Strowman's size, did not come out of that feud looking like a guy who can defeat Lesnar.
Samoa Joe cut one of the more creative promos of 2017 right before Great Balls of Fire and looked like a credible ass kicker that could stand in the ring and trade blows with Brock Lesnar. After the match, Joe was portrayed to be another trophy for Brock Lesnar to collect over his mantel.
One of the bigger challenges WWE has with Brock Lesnar, is that Brock Lesnar doesn’t appear like he loves being the Champion.
That is one trait that should always be relevant with the top man/woman in the industry. Winning the WWE Universal Heavyweight Title should be portrayed as the accomplishment you take immense pride in, however with Lesnar it appears to the casual fan that this is another trophy that a hunter collects.
There is substantial value of having certain pro wrestlers be “attractions” such as Goldberg, The Rock, or even Brock Lesnar. Where lies the problem is when those attractions make the consistent wrestlers look weak, it damages the long term value of those consistent wrestlers who are pulling the wagon week in and week out.
The WWE Universal Heavyweight Title has struggled to regain any sort of relevance since Bill Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens at Fastlane in February 2017.
I don’t necessarily blame Brock Lesnar himself- who amongst us wouldn’t love to work for a boss that we can play for a sucker? Every person reading this article who jump at the chance to work less often, get paid more, and be the top guy of the company with no responsibilities if the company fails of succeeds.
Brock Lesnar isn’t making the WWE better.
My fear is that eventually when he loses the championship, that it won’t be the crowning of a new era, it will just be seen as the end of an era.
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