There aren’t many WWE Superstars as hated as Brock Lesnar. He’s arrogant, shows a great deal of disrespect for the company, and hasn’t appeared frequently on WWE programming for years. As champion, he seldom defends the belt, and is often represented by Paul Heyman on either RAW or Smackdown as opposed to showing up himself. Everyone loves to call Vince McMahon a jerk for continually pushing Lesnar despite there being a ton of other Superstars that deserve it, and for every person that likes the Beast Incarnate, there’re a thousand that wish he’d disappear from WWE for good.
The thing is, everything about Brock Lesnar, how he’s been booked, and what Vince McMahon has done with his character only highlights why we need him in WWE. What many forget about Brock, is that when he does lose, it does so much for person that defeats him. There’s nobody on the roster as dominant as Brock, and there hasn’t been a single match where he’s not proved why he’s the most dangerous Superstar to step foot in a WWE ring. Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat. Not only is his mantra catchy, it’s 100% accurate.
Lesnar has always been an intimidating figure in the ring, but his dominance was solidified in 2014 when he ended The Undertaker’s unbeaten streak at WrestleMania 30, becoming the one in 21-1. It silenced the entire crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, with everyone looking on in horror as The Phenom’s legendary streak was stopped dead in its tracks. From then on, Brock Lesnar continued to destroy the WWE roster.
In that same year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Brock Lesnar faced John Cena in the main event of SummerSlam. If he won, he’d become a four-time WWE Heavyweight Champion. There’s always been an element of upset whenever any championship is up for grabs, but this was something else. John Cena was destroyed. The WWE’s biggest and most popular Superstar for years was murdered in the ring that night, eating 16 German suplexes and two F5s, with the first coming in just over a minute into the match.
He was the first Superstar to defeat Goldberg clean at WrestleMania 33, winning the WWE Universal Championship. After his win, he went on 504-day reign as WWE Universal Champion, defending the belt against guys like Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Kane, but after Greatest Royal Rumble in April 2018, he disappeared for three months. In the time during his absence, many fans started to become frustrated by the fact the champion wasn’t on RAW, wasn’t defending his title, and seemingly didn’t care less. That anger turned towards Vince McMahon, and WWE decided to act by getting then-GM of RAW Kurt Angle to get him to turn up on RAW the night after Extreme Rules, stating that if he didn’t defend the title he’d be stripped of it.
Brock Lesnar did indeed show up, and he went on to face Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, losing after becoming distracted by the Money in the Bank winner, Braun Strowman. His reign was over, but his flame was far from burning out. He reclaimed the belt after it was vacated due to Reigns’ Leukaemia diagnose, destroying Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel in less that three minutes, once again becoming the Universal Champion. Fans were once again annoyed that Lesnar was back as champion, aware that they could be once again looking at another long spell of watching Lesnar with the gold.
At 156 days, he lost the title once again, this time to Rollins, but only a few months later, he entered the Money in the Bank match and won, cashing it in and defeating Rollins at Extreme Rules. Whilst his third reign only lasted 28 days (after losing to Rollins at SummerSlam last year), Brock Lesnar was continually used in the championship picture. Fans breathed a sigh of relief, but it wasn’t going to be the last time Lesnar would be champion in 2019.
Kofi Kingston’s WrestleMania 35 victory was perhaps the greatest moment of last year. After months of setbacks, Kofi Kingston became WWE Champion, and all the hard work had paid off for the New Day member. That’s what makes the events of Smackdown’s 20th Anniversary such a bitter pill to swallow. Despite being hugely popular, Vince decided to give the title to Lesnar and end Kingston’s championship Reign. Once again, the Beast Incarnate was a champion, and the WWE Universe was furious.
Since then, Lesnar has retained the championship and will defend at WrestleMania 36 against Drew McIntyre. It’s a match that means so much to McIntyre, and to the fans that have followed him throughout his career. Naturally, it would make sense for McIntyre to win, especially with the momentum he’s got going into The Showcase of the Immortals, but you never know when it comes to Lesnar.
But that’s part of his magnificence. We’ve become too comfortable getting what we want. Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston’s historic WrestleMania wins don’t always happen. Fairy tales don’t always have happy endings. Brock Lesnar is an incredible athlete and heel, and the way he’s been booked over the last six years has been a work of art. He’s a workhorse, and despite his various reigns and victories, he’s dropped the title to others who’ve deserved it at the time. It makes his losses even more meaningful, and the ones that defeat him become icons. When/if Drew McIntyre defeats him in Tampa Bay, he’ll be instantly elevated to main event material, and when we all look back on Brock Lesnar’s illustrious career, everyone will be thanking the Beast for the work he’s put in for World Wrestling Entertainment.
All images and video courtesy of WWE