The answers are “no one” and “not any time soon”.
And that’s a good thing.
In wrestling, we haven’t seen the World Champion as the invincible killer since… Brock Lesnar won it in 2002. Back then, the time wasn’t right for Lesnar to be untouchable as there were still credible threats on the active roster that were in their prime. Now, Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, Mark Henry, Triple H, Stone Cold, Goldberg and The Rock are retired, part-timers or shells of their former selves.
Goldberg was a dominant champion in WCW. Samoa Joe was a dominant champion in ROH and Lesnar is poised to become the most dominant champion of them all.
I grew up in Florida and lived for the NWA. When the World Champion came to town, it was special and memorable but with the industry changing to being TV-centric, we see the World Champion all the time. I think Brock Lesnar as World Champion will bring some of that magic to the title.
Brock Lesnar is an attraction and likes it that way. He wants to pick and choose when he’s booked, knows that he is special and knows that if he burns fans or himself out, he’s no good to either. With guaranteed money written into his deal, Lesnar can afford to be selective, wrestling enough to stay active but hardly enough to become commonplace.
If fans see that Brock Lesnar is coming to town, they will look to buy tickets to see this attraction. Name me one other wrestling act that is this special right now. I know both the Young Bucks and Matt Hardy are hot but Lesnar is hotter than either of them.
Think about this… over the span of four months, Brock Lesnar ended the undefeated streak of the Undertaker and squashed John Cena to become World Champion. Has anyone else over such a short period of time done two things of this magnitude?
I’m also starting to think about Lesnar’s legacy as all-time greats in the company’s history. Forget multiple title reigns for a second. If you are voting for all-time greats, do you put Lesnar above John Cena? If not, what else does Lesnar need to do to earn that vote?
That answer is longevity and I think Lesnar is poised to run with the belt for a long time. Word is Vince wants Rock vs Lesnar to headline WrestleMania, while Triple H wants Roman Reigns. I’m inclined to side with Vince on this one but Lesnar wins either way, in my book. I can see Lesnar holding the title longer than CM Punk’s reign, if VKM is cool with not having his World Champion on every show.
Selectively booking the World Champion for certain dates is critical in this scenario but that’s the long money. The short money, like constantly begging folks to order the Network for $9.99, means that Vince will get the belt off Lesnar to make sure the World Champion is seen as often as possible. Moving away from the traditional PPV model is a play toward long money but they are desperate to gain audience for the Network and are reverting to some short money plays to help.
To me, the only one that Vince trusts at this point to take the belt off Lesnar is Triple H. After a dirty win, Hunter can do all the weekly Raw’s and non-major Big Events. Lesnar can come back and beat Triple H clean, reestablish his dominance if Vince changes his mind and picks the long money over the short money.
With the dominating way Brock Lesnar beat John Cena, we are living in a special time. Athletes like Brock Lesnar, so heavily recruited out of the University of Minnesota, come around once in a lifetime if you’re lucky and now we can wait to see how far he can go.
If Lesnar stays healthy and if the WWE can stand having a special attraction as World Champion, we can see Hogan’s modern day title reign record in jeopardy, in my opinion.
What do you think? Let me know on Twitter @RealKevinKelly