I've had mixed feelings about the return of Brock Lesnar. The pop he got at the end of Raw on Monday Night would've felt big during the height of the attitude era. But Lesnar coming back is like Rock coming back, another guy getting paid a lot of money not to appear on house shows. But Lesnar is here now, and probably the last of the legitimate big stars the WWE could realistically bring back on that kind of schedule. Vince however, must ensure that Lesnar is treated right, and not just 'another guy'.
WWE made the mistake with Chris Jericho of making him look average shortly after his return. A few weeks of unique silence were followed by the promise of “The end of the world as you know it”. His rumble performance was nothing of the sorts, looking very ordinary going over to Sheamus, even attempting a pin fall during the last few minutes of the battle royal. Jericho had a great match with Punk on Sunday, but not two months after his début he is know back where he was two years ago, enhancement talent to the stars. How old do those vignettes seem now eh?
Brock can be very different. Despite losing a couple of matches towards the end of his run, we know that Brock is a bad ass, and legitimately one of the toughest men on the planet. I doubt they will treat Brock with the same lackluster approach they've given Jericho, but it's very important that Lesnar is treated completely differently to the rest of the roster, otherwise you will lose the mystique that makes him so special.
Firstly, Lesnar's matches should be limited to PPV's. They've done a great job limiting The Rock's matches to just Survivor Series and Wrestlemania, and that should pay off when the Wrestlemania buy rate number comes out. Lesnar, it would appear, is back on a more full time basis than Rock – limited to 30-35 appearances over the next twelve months, so he can fight on a lot of the PPV's, but probably not all of them. UFC fans are used to paying to see Lesnar fight, don't give them it for free.
Secondly, Lesnar needs to squash a couple of big names. Have him face Big Show at a PPV, and have him win in 40 seconds. Even if it means ending a PPV half an hour early, make Lesnar look on a whole other planet to some of the bigger names.
Next up, have him run through Randy Orton in a similarly brief match. Orton's stocks have faded somewhat over the past six months, but it would still be a massive statement if Lesnar defeated the Viper in a short space of time. Would it piss of a locker room already brooding from the return of The Rock? Sure. But not much about this return seems beneficial to many of the WWE lower card to me anyway.
Now you have Lesnar in an spot where he can make a serious amount of money for the company. If they do a Jericho with him and have him wrestling tag matches in Raw main events, and wrestling 20-30 minute PPV main events with Mark Henry, he's star will quickly fade, and by the time Wrestlemania comes around next year, many of the UFC fans who've come back to see what he is up to will have gone, and Lesnar will be 'just another guy', even if he is one of the top names on the roster.
If Lesnar can be a name that transcends the roster, that looks like a real, legitimate monster in a world full of cartoon characters, he can be a serious draw come Wrestlemania 29. Imagine, if after beating Big Show and Orton, Lesnar beat Cena clean in five minutes at the main event of Summerslam? Again, you send people home pissed off when the show finishes at a quarter past the hour, but come Wrestlemania 29, people will believe that Lesnar can and will beat Undertaker. That, is how you book a main event star.
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