Five Ways Brock Lesnar is Ruining Wrestling

Brock Lesnar, when he wants to be, can be a good performer in the ring. Brock Lesnar is "an attraction" and he draws attention to WWE. When he returned and when he squashed John Cena and when he ended The Streak, those were big moments.

But Brock Lesnar is also getting progressively worse and worse in the ring and on TV. And he's rarely on TV to begin with. Now, that would be fine if he wasn't positioned as one of the company's biggest stars and the champion on its flagship show.

If he was an "attraction" like the Undertaker or John Cena these days, someone who came out for big matches or special shows, wrestled, and left, that would be fine. But that's not how WWE positions him. He's the world champion on Raw. So he should be doing more. Or he shouldn't be champion.

So while bros may love to cheer for him when he beats people up, and while they chant "ONE MORE TIME" when he attacks Roman Reigns (because girls like Roman Reigns and eewwwww girls are icky, or whatever) his presence on WWE TV is bad for the brand. And, since WWE is so big, what's bad for WWE is bad for all of wrestling.

And here are five reasons why.

The "Commentator Catch Phrase"

"Well, here comes the pain!" When Tazz used to say it years and years ago on SmackDown! it was a catchy thing that was unique to Lesnar. But it caught on and, now, years later, almost everyone has a similar phrase, with "It's Boss Time!" being the worst example. Is this Lesnar's fault? No, but you'll soon learn that much of the stuff on this list is tWWE's fault and it just happens to involve Lesnar, and this is one of those things. WWE realized that they could market Lesnar on a catch phrase and then spread it to the entire roster.

Both World Titles Mean Nothing

This is perhaps the biggest way he's ruining wrestling. Thanks to Brock Lesnar, the WWE Universal Title (which is the newest world title, with the least history, and therefore the one most in need of a strong champion) means basically nothing. He's rarely on TV, he rarely defends it, and when he does the storyline has more to do with "Beating Brock Lesnar" than winning the championship.

The Universal Title has become a prop that comes to the ring with Lesnar and not a championship. It's no different than Finn Balor wearing a jacket or AJ Styles having a hood, except way less cool because, I mean, look at it.

And he's not just killing the Universal Title either, he's killing the WWE Title at the same time. You remember the WWE title, right? The one that was so important to Vince McMahon that he stopped a match in the middle and named Shawn Michaels champion rather than risk Bret Hart leaving with the belt? Yeah, that one.

Because of all of the focus on Lesnar and the Universal Title, the WWE Title has been defended in the main event of a pay-per-view ONCE in 2018 (on February's Fastlane - the final single brand PPV). In fact, the Universal Title has only closed the show ONCE in 2018 as well (WrestleMania). That's ridiculous.

Outside of the Royal Rumbles (where the Royal Rumble match has traditionally closed the show), and other rare exceptions, the show should end with one of the world titles on the line. But, because Lesnar isn't there - and because WWE traditionally devalues the SmackDown world title - this hasn't happened. If WWE was ignoring the SmackDown title for the Raw title and the Raw title was, you know, actually defended, that would be one thing. But WWE is ignoring the SmackDown title for the Raw title that barely exists anymore.

Other Stars Can't be Built

Remember when, post-WrestleMania 30, Cesaro turned on Zeb Colter and joined Paul Heyman? Everyone thought that this was the beginning of a big push for Cesaro. And then Paul Heyman cut a promo that was all about Lesnar breaking the Undertaker's streak.

Now, Paul Heyman SHOULD have cut that promo, because Lesnar breaking The Streak was a HUGE deal. Of course, Lesnar wasn't there that night, so Heyman cut that promo standing beside Cesaro instead. This took all the attention away from Cesaro and put it on Lesnar, who wouldn't come back to TV for months. They killed Cesaro's push instantly because Brock Lesnar wasn't there.

That's a problem. WWE pushes Lesnar as their top guy and their "best wrestler" and yet he's never around to prove it. So, no matter how much someone else is built up on Raw (or SmackDown for that matter), they're still always going to be considered second-best at most, since they're not the Universal Champion. And they can't be the Universal Champion because LESNAR DOESN'T SHOW UP TO DEFEND THE TITLE.

His Push Undermines Everyone Else


Since he returned to WWE, commentator and authority figures have said numerous times how "legitimate" Brock Lesnar is. What that means is "he can really fight since he was in UFC." But what does that say about nearly everyone else? They're just actors and Brock Lesnar is "real?" This is the sort of "shoot angle" that killed WCW.

Sure, most of the rest of the roster is made up of people who aren't "real fighters" but they're NOT SUPPOSED TO TELL YOU THAT ON THE SHOW! It's a show. We're supposed to "suspend disbelief" for a while and enjoy it for what it is. You don't see any TV shows bringing in Tom Hanks as a character and then continuously talking about how he's a "LEGITIMATE ACTOR" since he's won Oscars, because THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. He's a character on a TV show just like everyone else! Sure, call him tough or strong and mean or whatever you want, but don't continuously point out how he's "real" and everyone else is fake.

The "WWE Universe" is a TV universe. By calling Lesnar legitimate, they're saying "Everyone on this TV show is just acting. None of them can really fight. Except THIS GUY." They're doing it to build up Lesnar, but if that's the case, why should I care when Roman Reigns faces Braun Strowman, for example. They're not "real fighters" so what is there to care about in their match?

And that brings me to my last point.

He "Exposes the Business"

Now, I hate this term, because it's 2018 and everyone knows wrestling is scripted. But Lesnar and his recent run have taken this to a whole new level. EVERYONE knows that he has a contract where he only works limited dates. Everyone knew when he re-signed following WrestleMania. And everyone pays super close attention to every little detail of his agreement with WWE. This hurts the show because, except for a few rare instances, WWE doesn't really discuss contracts as part of official storylines. I have no idea when the contracts of AJ Styles or Braun Strowman or Finn Balor expire and, to be honest, I don't care.

But, with Lesnar, that's a huge part of how people discuss him. And that would even be fine if WWE scripted good storylines around his contract, but they don't. As per usual, WWE hasn't taken proper advantage of this situation very often.

If they explained why - in storyline terms - Brock Lesnar has such a favourable contract, that would be one thing. Instead, they just make all authority figure look weak and stupid because they can't tell Lesnar what to do while they can seemingly tell everyone else exactly what to do. Kurt Angle had to demand that Lesnar show up on TV because he hadn't done so in three months. That's ridiculous, if Kurt Angle has authority on Raw, why did he wait three months to ask Lesnar to show up? And why does it matter if he didn't want to show up?

WWE stripped Braun Strowman of the tag titles after his little kid partner couldn't wrestle. It didn't matter that Strowman didn't want to give up the titles, he had to listen to Kurt Angle's decision. But Lesnar seemingly doesn't. And they've never explained why not. They've hinted maybe that Heyman did a good job negotiating his contract or that he's such a huge star that he was able to get a special contract but, again, that undermines everyone else. It says that everyone else is bad at negotiating and that no one else is as big of a star as Lesnar.

Why couldn't someone like Kevin Owens sit at home until Angle did something about it? Why can't he pick his own opponents? Don't get me started on how the multi-man number one contender at Extreme Rules was cancelled because of a "contract dispute" with Lesnar. Why does Lesnar get to pick and choose his matches? Is it because everyone else is dumb and powerless? And is that the story WWE is trying to tell? That 99% of its roster sucks?

In Conclusion

Yes, this sounds like whiny complaints and, to an extent, that's true. WWE is more profitable than ever and they're getting paid approximately eighteen bajillion dollars to make Raw and SmackDown, so Lesnar clearly isn't killing the company. But he is killing my enjoyment of the product. And that matters to me. If Brock Lesnar leaves with the title at SummerSlam, that would be an extremely bad move.

If Lesnar Wins, We Riot.

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