There is much to discuss, but first a rundown of the current angles running wild in WWE. The New Day is looking scared right now. Dissention in the ranks, as Xavier Woods is no longer tooting happily with Francesca II, but now grimacing and worrying the happy times are over. Big E. Langston and Kofi Kingston (did anyone ever notice how their names are similar?) suddenly find their championships at risk once more.
A victory for the Wyatt Family seems inevitable. They stable as a whole have been through a number of setbacks due to injury or plain losses in big feud-ending matches. A win here is needed for the Wyatts to gain some momentum back, although truth be told the win isn’t necessary, just something to happen to continue to creep out the fans.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose manage to keep their feud relevant, which is something Roman Reigns might not be for much longer. To be blunt, with or without suspension, no one wants to see Reigns anymore, because Ambrose and Rollins are very much more entertaining than Roman could ever hope to achieve. Unless Reigns can turn it around, a heel turn, or get a manager, something to change, he will be very unhelpful with WWE trying to turn the ratings around.
The Cruiserweight Classic begins this week, and I’m pretty excited. To be honest, I haven’t been this excited in lightweight wrestling in a long time. I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos this weekend, getting familiar with many of the faces in the 32-man CWC Tournament. The action was incredible. Watching the matches channeled the feeling I had when watching WCW and ECW in the mid-90’s. It was exciting. I can’t wait for July 13th.
Michael Dworkis: The news we’ve all been waiting for. Bah-Rock Lesnar (as pronounced by Rabbi Paul Heyman) defeated Mark Hunt by unanimous decision at UFC 200. A surprise? To me, yes. To others, maybe not. Brock always worked out and kept himself in fighting condition. I believed Brock would have lost the bout, as I felt his time in WWE left him comfortable and complacent.
I was wrong.
Brock won, and his days in UFC might not be as over as we think. Brock wanted one more fight, but he might want another, and Dana White might want another. I feel like this is the UFC version of “If you give a mouse a cookie…” Brock’s stock just rose. Vince McMahon may be in a bind. WWE already shells out millions to Lesnar for a handful of appearances and even less activity. Sure, he’ll show up on RAW and beat someone up, or get beaten up, but he doesn’t do much else. He doesn’t talk (thank Primus), as Rabbi Heyman does that work for him. He doesn’t fight unless it is a major event. He’s Brock Lesnar, and he can do whatever the hell he wants.
He could tell Vince his pay rate just rose, and Vince will either cave in and pay, or tell Brock he is future endeavored. If Brock terminates his contract, he wouldn’t care. He is going to get a monster truck full of money for his UFC win and the endorsement deals which come with it.
Lesnar is a made man. If he wasn’t already, this sets it as iron-clad, set-in-stone, or whatever other cliché you want to use. The Beast is Money.
Oh, and Dave Meltzer on PWMania says Big Cass might be the man to beat Lesnar in a couple of years. Provided Lesnar is still with the company, I could see a match between them if it is necessary to see more “big men” in the ring, since Bacon Rorbin will likely last one more year before being sent back to NXT and Roman Reigns is likely soured due to his wellness policy suspension. Ironically, Brock Lesnar is facing a guy with multiple violations, publicized and kept quiet ones, Randy Orton.
Orton can last in a long match, he can bust out some moves here and there, but mostly is a sport-artist. Orton in the past was known to sleepwalk through bouts he had no interest in or ones he was booked to lose. There was a short time he wrestling game improved but it only lasted a few weeks during his brief run with Daniel Bryan. Overall, Orton is a mediocre wrestler, but has the look and gets both cheers and heat from the live crowds. Orton could easily no-sell Lesnar and ruin the match. Brock is the monster again. Brock wins at UFC. The guy is a fighter.
It comes down to a simple point. With Brock Lesnar once again a bona-fide UFC fighter with a major victory, how on Planet Earth can Orton get booked to go over The Beast? With a big win at UFC 200, how could anyone in WWE think it is a rational choice to have Orton beat him?
Maybe talk to Kevin Owens?
Bill Bodkin: Brock Lesnar did what many thought he could not do — return to UFC, and win a match. Not just win a match, but he beat a true blue bad ass in Mark Hunt. WWE took a huge gamble with this. If Brock lost, could he be still considered a legit threat anymore? Say if he got dropped in Round 1 — would we be scared of him, or would we tease him till his final days of being a WWE performer? But, what if he won? What would the ramifications of that?
Yes, WWE will receive a huge bump in mainstream and social media coverage…but not tonight. No Brock tonight on RAW, and no Paul Heyman. It would’ve been perfect timing for WWE to have one or both be at RAW tonight to capitalize on everything. However, they’re not. And that’s a bad thing for WWE. They needed an in-ring segment with one or both of these men to not only say, “Hey, THE WRESTLER beat THE FIGHTER,’ but also to begin the hype for Summerslam. Tonight, they’ll show videos, the announcers will put it over huge, but the immediate, and needed impact won’t be there. Of course, this could all change and the “they’re not going to be there” leaked to the media could be a work, but somehow I doubt it.
And that’s where WWE should worry. Brock is going to want to go back to UFC for another fight. He’s a contender now. UFC, who was just purchased over an obscene amount, is going to want Brock back. It’s just good business. So, Vince McMahon is in a tough position — Brock is the #2 guy in WWE right now, and Vince has built ZERO new headliners. Roman, Dean, and Seth are all good at what they do, but none of them have the actual, or perceived, mainstream, Wrestlemania headlining magnitude star power, of John Cena, Brock Lesnar, or any of the legends VKM trots out yearly. Because he has no new Cena or Lesnar in house, he’s going to have to be in a position he’s not used to being in — a position of a Yes Man. He’s going to have to give Brock whatever he wants, IF he wants Brock to stay.
But, who says Brock will want to stay? This is a huge question as Brock’s contract is slowly coming to an end with WWE.
And then there’s Summerslam. How on earth does Randy Orton have a shot in beating Brock? How could you even fathom RKO being booked to win? That would come off terribly. Even if it was via an “RKO Outta Nowhere” it still would make Brock look bad. Would it make Randy look good? Not really. He’s one of the top dudes in the company, he’s super over with the fans. He’s not getting this huge rub from beating Brock. And, honestly we just saw Brock become a legit beast again, how can we even take this match seriously at this point?
Interesting times ahead for sure.