Whether it’s the critical fans, exposure of the business, realizing that their favorite wrestlers aren’t the men they portray on TV, or the dirt sheets that reveal spoilers, many fans believe the internet has ruined their love for the business. Personally, I’ve become a bigger fan because of the internet of professional wrestling, but I of course carry a lot of bias because I am able to voice my opinion every week about wrestling to a worldwide audience. It’s uncommon to go to your average coffee shop and have a conversation with a stranger about WWE than a sports game, movie or even a TV show. The reason is wrestling fans aren’t the most voiced fans out there, but the internet has allowed us to come together and discuss everything. But I still cannot deny that the internet has made me a more critical observer, which has made marking out almost obsolete.
Back when I started wrestling, I would quite frankly mark out on every show if Stone Cold Steve Austin won. I was never the kind to jump up and down, but inside I felt warmer than a hot fire on a cold day. There are some rare scenarios where I do become overly joyful for something to happen, one of which that happened very recently. The scenario I am talking about is Brock Lesnar’s return. Everyone who was a wrestling fan for the most part knew Lesnar signed a deal with the WWE, but nobody expected when he’d show up, though. Some believed that he’d be at Wrestlemania, while others believed they would wait until either Summerslam or next Wrestlemania.
At the end the Raw that followed Wrestlemania, Cena called out the Rock right after the entire arena chanted for Brock Lesnar. The long wait for the Rock foreshadowed that he wasn’t, leaving me in suspense and hope that it was Lesnar. Once I heard his theme, I said to my friend, “Wow, they pulled the trigger!” To cap the moment off, he suckered Cena into an F-5 and kicked his hat like a football. It was truly a segment that a fan can only experience once in a lifetime and one that someone can re-experience again and again. Just when it couldn’t get better, the WWE put together one of their best video packages ever and Lesnar cut the best promos ever about how he’s going to legitimize the company, explained his actions, and showcased how much of an asshole he truly is.
“I’m not a superstar, I’m an ass kicker. I am Brock Lesnar, that’s it. I left the WWE, everybody thought, here’s a guy, there’s no way in hell he’s gonna make it in the UFC, but I climbed that mountain and became UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world and I proved everybody wrong. Why did I come back to the WWE? This isn’t a feel-good moment. This isn’t ‘Oh I miss coming through the curtain, I miss all the fans.’ At the end of the day, I don’t care about anybody but Brock Lesnar. For me this is strictly business. We need a guy to legitimize this company and Brock Lesnar is that guy. We’re tired of John Cena’s bullcrap. John Cena is not the real guy. The only reason John is in the spot that he’s in is because I left. If I was still around for the last eight years, John Cena’s the guy that’d be carrying my bags into the building. There’s nothing about Brock Lesnar that’s fake. It was very evident last week when I took John Cena down and busted his mouth open. This is real. What’s running through John Cena’s mind? I don’t give a crap what’s running through his mind. What’s more important is what’s running down his leg. Piss. The guy’s scared. Shitting his pants is what he’s doing. This isn’t a wrestling match on April 29, this is an ‘Extreme Rules’ match. I got one objective in mind: Utter freakin’ chaos. Bring the pain to John Cena. I’m comin’ for a fight John Cena. What makes me happy? Beatin’ people up, that makes me happy.”-Brock Lesnar.
The Speed Bump:
Heading into Cena and Lesnar’s epic encounter, the majority believed there was only one irrational thing to do: have Lesnar lose to Cena. Frankly, it didn’t matter that much how Lesnar won as long as he did. Instead, the WWE paid Lesnar 5 million dollars for a limited amount of dates to put over the top figurehead of the company, who’s reached the peak of popularity a long time ago. But because the match was so well-done, I felt like there had to be something to justify it and in hindsight there was. The reasons why Lesnar lost were because he became overzealous and Cena was lucky. Furthermore, Lesnar hurt Cena so badly that he announced that he was taking a league of absence, which made it feel like a rematch down the line. So it wasn’t like all hope was lost.
The next night things appeared to be improving: Lesnar broke Triple H’s arm and Cena was going to give a farewell on TV. Then, I heard Big Johnny say that he’ll name John Cena’s opponent at Over The Limit, but I felt like there was no way the WWE could be that stupid. As a result, I eagerly watched John Cena’s promo. He rambled on about how there’s a difference between being hurt and injured and other shit that foreshadowed that he wasn’t going anywhere. That led Big Johnny coming out to name Cena’s opponent at Over The Limit. We found out that Cena would be facing Johnny and that led to a god-awful match where the Big Show turned on Cena, which fooled nobody.
To recap, Cena, who needed time off to heal and reform his gimmick, stayed on TV to feud with the general manager and someone he has feuded with a million times (and never had a good match with) instead of taking time off to help Lesnar’s dominance feel more believable. Oh, and I also read that Lesnar wasn’t going to get his rematch. The point was just to put their figurehead over.