Brock Lesnar is the perfect WWE champion. Not for a month, but until WrestleMania, and perhaps beyond that. Roman Reigns is nowhere near ready. Lesnar should be the man until Reigns is ready, or until somebody is. Lesnar is that good. He’s real.
But WWE might flinch. Vince McMahon might flinch.
We saw every sign of that last Monday when WWE tried to regenerate John Cena’s character. Excellent job, too. He beat the whole Wyatt family. He added the German suplex to his resume. Cena never gives up. Hustle, loyalty, etc.
Cena looks the part, too. That’s important now. He’s a visual underdog to Lesnar – anybody is – but the idea of Cena beating Lesnar isn’t absurd. He did once.
Will Cena regain the title at Night of Champions?
It shouldn’t happen. It makes no sense. Lesnar is red-hot. Cena is old news. Cena needs to be phased down. He’s been at or near the top for a decade. But his character hasn’t changed much since he ditched thuganomics. That’s not an indictment. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But now…perhaps it’s a bit rusty. A bit worn.
WWE too often fast-tracks. Rebuilding Cena in a month would be idiotic.
But, by all accounts, McMahon had buyer’s remorse immediately after Lesnar squashed Cena at SummerSlam. Cena has been a WWE mainstay in the mold of Sammartino, Backlund, Hogan, etc., and McMahon has a tough time turning the page from those guys. Lesnar beating Cena twice in a row=turning the page.
Lesnar beating Cena twice in a row wouldn’t kill Cena. In the long run, it might help him. It might set up a legitimate rebirth. Not a short-term reshuffle.
But McMahon is 69. It gets tougher and tougher to think long-term.
Lesnar squashing Cena is exciting. A bad-ass heel champ is exciting. It takes the marks out of their comfort zone.
But it takes McMahon out of his comfort zone, too. Cena is his security blanket. Lesnar as champ means dealing with that know-it-all, Paul Heyman, and hearing people sing his praises. It means limited TV dates for the champ. Cena with the belt means the champ on television every week. Title matches. TV by rote.
When Lesnar beat Undertaker at WrestleMania, I hated it. No one wanted to see it. But it ignited a marvelous slow burn with an eye toward the next ‘Mania. WWE isn’t good at slow burns and doesn’t often try them. Not anymore.
WWE would be foolish to pull out of this one. Lesnar should squash Cena at Night of Champion. Stick to the plan. No phony fake wrestling finishes. They don’t have those in UFC. Keep Lesnar as strong as possible until Reigns is ready.
Be sure to check out part one of this column by clicking here, and follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX