EXCLUSIVE: Lesnar At ‘Mania: It Could Happen

Mark Madden

LESNAR AT ‘MANIA: IT COULD HAPPEN

Is Undertaker going to wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania?

Probably not.

But it’s nice to have options.

Don’t be so naive as to think Lesnar didn’t know that ‘Taker was going to issue his "challenge" when Lesnar stumbled by at the conclusion of his UFC title loss to Cain Velasquez. Lesnar didn’t respond. Didn’t need to. The seed was planted. Like I said, nice to have options.

Why would Lesnar leave UFC at the height of his powers, doubtless still at the top of the card despite being defeated by Velasquez?

Maybe Lesnar’s not at the height of his powers anymore.

Lesnar doesn’t look quite the same since returning to UFC after his career was almost ended by diverticulitis. His comeback win over Shane Carwin was a combination of Lesnar’s heart and Carwin’s confusion. Velasquez hammered Lesnar. Maybe Velasquez is just that good. Or maybe Lesnar has become a Xerox of a Xerox, a diluted version of his former self.

No knock on Brock. He was fed intravenously for 11 days. He lost 42 pounds. That Lesnar returned to the octagon at all is a tribute to his resilience.

If Lesnar hasn’t quite recovered from diverticulitis, chances are he never will. Which means sports entertainment must seem a reasonable alternative. What if Lesnar never gets back to 100 percent? His WWE value diminishes a bit with every MMA loss. If Lesnar plans on ever returning to pro wrestling, the timing will never be better than it is now.

Don’t forget that Paul Heyman is lurking in Lesnar’s shadow. Heyman knows what time it is. Heyman knows opportunity may never again knock quite like this.

Lesnar would get HUGE bank to work WrestleMania. He could use that as a springboard to a full-time (or part-time) return to WWE. He could use that as a stepping stone to a longer recovery period with an eye toward training for a few more big-money MMA bouts.

It’s nice to have options.

If UFC’s Dana White gets his knickers in a twist and parts company with Lesnar, no big deal. Lesnar could fight Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce for major coin.

It’s nice to have options.

If Lesnar wanted to wrestle ‘Taker at ‘Mania, White wouldn’t stand in his way. He’d bitch and moan and grouse and complain, but ultimately he’d welcome Brock’s return to UFC.

I’m just playing the what-if game. I have no idea what Brock wants. He’s currently on a 180-day medical suspension from UFC because of a deep cut sustained under his eye during the loss to Velasquez. That’s six months. A rematch with Frank Mir seems likely to be Lesnar’s next UFC bout. But the suspension provides a perfect window for ‘Mania, set for April 3 in Atlanta.

WWE has made the offer. Lesnar earned $400,000 for his loss to Velasquez. He would make three times that, maybe more, to wrestle ‘Taker at ‘Mania.

You know how the whole concept of pro wrestling came about? Because guys figured out you get hurt less in fake fights than you do in real fights.

It would be a hell of a deal: The former “shoot” champion tries to end Undertaker’s 18-0 streak at WrestleMania. I suggest ‘Taker drop his “dead man” gimmick in the buildup. Lesnar is REAL. He shouldn’t wrestle a cartoon character. This should be SERIOUS.

Those who bleat about MMA’s purity should put a sock in it. PROFESSIONAL outflanked SPORTS a long time ago. This is about GETTING PAID. Lesnar should do what’s best for him. Lesnar might be remembered more for ‘Mania vs. ‘Taker than for holding the UFC title. He might be remembered more for losing to ‘Taker than for beating Couture, Mir and Carwin.

And Lesnar WOULD lose to ‘Taker. WWE fans don’t want to see their living legend lose to a Judas. Putting ‘Taker over would be a big part of the payday, and it wouldn’t affect Lesnar’s MMA credibility one iota. No more than merely participating in ‘Mania would, that is.

When Undertaker said “You wanna do it?” to Lesnar, it struck me that might be the same thing Brett Favre said to Jenn Sterger. (Stole that from someplace. Not sure where.)

Anyway, it was real nice that Undertaker took his daughter to the fights.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh. Check out the Mark Madden page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark via wzmarkmadden@hotmail.com.

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