Last Monday night the curtain dropped on Monday Night RAW to reveal former WWE champion Brock Lesnar, a physically imposing grappler who took his talents to Mixed Martial Arts and experienced some respectable success. While the initial reaction to Lesnar’s return might be one of joy, I for one see it fading over the next few months after the honeymoon period has worn off and fans start seeing Lesnar’s true colors.
When Lesnar first came on the scene a decade ago he was unquestionably a behemoth whose primary appeal pertained to the combination of his strength coupled with athleticism. Though he may have notoriously failed an attempted Shooting Star Press at Wrestlemania 19, he’d pulled off the move numerous times before on smaller shows without fail. Few men his size can say that. However, Lesnar is no longer the muscular monster he was before and lacks the same speed/skill. He turns 35 in a few months, and while that age works fine for a number of hardened superstars who bust their humps daily, Lesnar is coming off two brutal knockout losses in his MMA career not to mention two bouts with diverticulitis including one where a foot of his colon was removed. Simply put, Lesnar is no longer the same beast people remember from his days of smashing The Hardy Boys and doing the Mexican Hat Dance in a sombrero.
With his physical limitations, Lesnar will need to rely now more than ever on his ability to speak. He’s decent on the microphone but certainly far from smooth. It’s also a different culture now crowd-wise than it was before and it will be interesting to see how he reacts to a hostile environment. Can he weather “what” or “you can’t wrestle” chants? That remains to be seen, though I seem to remember him tanking a match with Goldberg because the Madison Square Garden audience had pure disdain for their abilities.
Personally, I’ll be surprised if Lesnar actually makes it to Wrestlemania 29 without any major hitches whether physically or mentally. He won’t have the same travel schedule as he did before but he’ll still be away from his family/farm for at least 3-4 months doing promotion which is more than he’s dealt with in awhile. Lesnar WAS the “Next Big Thing”. Now he’s just a different version of “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash, coming in for a few paydays and pops but with little else to offer to fans entertainment-wise.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC