There Goes The Pain: An Overall Look At Brock Lesnar.
November 1, 2005 by Ian Hunter
This year has certainly been busy for the WWE. Jerry Jarrett, Dusty Rhodes, Bret Hart, and a number of other notable moments. But one story that stood out in recent months to me was the never ending saga of Brock Lesnar's "return" with WWE. As the news from WWE.com said, and I quote: "After verbally agreeing to terms with WWE, Brock Lesnar has decided to withdraw from any involvement with the company." And while many fans read the short blurb as a shock, others saw this coming as clearly as a run-in chair shot.
Even Jim Ross, after weeks of waiting for a yes from Lesnar, made note in his column that he's making a big mistake. This constant back and forth between the company and the performer has become tedious and nerve-racking for many fans over the past year, and it begs a major question to the heads at Titan Tower. "Is Brock Lesnar really worth the time, trouble and money it would take to bring him back""
This 6'3", 295 pound, buzz cut Minneapolis native single-handedly drove a number of fans away from the WWE faster than the return of the nWo. The company had to release several wrestlers just to meet the price tag on this second rate wrestler (and third rate football player) only for him to now back out, probably due to disputes over not getting enough money and him not wanting to do house shows. Still, the WWE seems to have an interest in him.
But why" Why should the fans or management expect anything to be better than it was before" What special things did Lesnar do for the company before he decided to go be a Vikings reject" Let's take another trip down Memory Lane and see the dead end Brock drove the company to.
Brock first showed up in March of 2002 with Paul Heymen on his shoulder. For two weeks straight he just beat up people at random until Ric Flair (the (then) GM for RAW) drafted him to be on RAW. After a series of squash matches with no meaning (and an airplane fight with Curt Henning along the way), Lesnar is suddenly entered into and wins the King Of The Ring tournament. The youngest wrestler to win it, and quite notably the last. While there were many reasons to garbage the PPV, a number of people felt Lesnar's win was the final nail in the coffin as it was quite obvious he was being pushed harder than any performer in the past decade to be a star immediately. And therefore, the entire storyline purpose behind the event became predictable and lost. Two months later with very little story behind the decision, The Rock drops the Undisputed Championship to Lesnar in what was considered one of the worst matches in SummerSlam history, and a cheap attempt to get Lesnar over as the ultimate heel.
Lesnar then signs onto SmackDown to be exclusive to the show, meaning the championship (which at the time moved between shows) was now stuck on a specific show. After a month of squash matches, Lesnar moves into a feud with The Undertaker that VERY quickly leads to a Hell In A Cell match that wasn't even up to par. From one slow giant with a gut, we went to an even slower one as a lackluster feud goes on between Lesnar and The Big Show. Eventually the decision was made to have Lesnar drop the title to Show, who would later drop it to Kurt Angle and set up the future of WrestleMania 19. A few more months of a useless feud with Show, and finally we reach the Royal Rumble.
In predictable fashion, a match between these two is set so one can enter the Rumble. Of course, Lesnar wins. And of course, he's given a low number. In fact he's given #29. A short three minutes later, and we're going to see Lesnar and Angle at WrestleMania. Two months worth of bad promos and even worse buildup, we get to WrestleMania 19 and see Lesnar fight the first good match of his career. And just when you think it's going to end on a high note... he botches the ending. This man, who we were told for months in interviews and promos (even a promising credit from Dr. Tom Prichard on Byte This) was not just a hard hitter but could do high flying maneuvers as well, landed a shooting-star-press... on his head. A move the could have broken his neck or paralyzed him for life. And what happens" Instead of letting Kurt keep it and continue to the next PPV, Kurt is told to carry Lesnar and let him win. What"!" This company allowed a man who messed up royally in the main event of the biggest PPV of the year and put his own health at risk become champion" Unfortunately... yes.
The majority of 2003 went on like this. Matches between Angle and Lesnar (with a heel switch halfway through) swapping the titles at least once. Most of the matches were billed as "wrestling clinics," when in the end it just turned out to be "more of the same." The only big moment during 2003 was the famous "Super-Superplex" involving Big Show, which lead to the ring collapsing. The company looked toward having a major match at WrestleMania 20, so come 2004 they started getting Lesnar involved with Bill Goldberg. Now Goldberg (a wrestling diva in his own right) makes very few appearances to begin with, which forces the WWE to have Lesnar feud with Steve Austin (who at one point refused to job to Lesnar to put him over) who is named the referee for their match. Almost two months of bad promos and squash matches later, and we finally get to WrestleMania 20. And what do we get" Another slow match where Goldberg beats Lesnar, Austin beats both of them up at the end, and all three leave quietly the company at once.
Now they want Lesnar back. After two years of predictable and pointless matches with less than memorable moments. After his poor attitude with many wrestlers, and his constant arguments with management behind the scenes (before he left, he bought a private plane for $400,000 because he "couldn't deal with WWE's flight schedule"). After all the turmoil this man has brought to the table, WWE wants this guy to come back. This man did nothing special for any programming and was never really a top draw for PPV numbers.
In every right and respect, Lesnar is a shining example of everything that has been wrong with the WWE for the past 5 years. A big man who was given a push at a faster rate than fans could keep up with or appreciate, had the heavyweight title handed to him within six months of being there, feuded with several stars that either had better things they could be doing or wrestlers past their prime, and in the end quit because he couldn't get what he wanted.
Brock Lesnar burned his bridges with the WWE, and now he wants to rebuild them because he can't make money while they have his name under contract. But he wants those bridges built his way with no strings attached. It's time Brock started listening to a very old saying. "Beggars Can't Be Choosers." This man took off to pursue a career in football without thinking twice of the consequences or what the future may hold. Things didn't go his way, so now he's stuck between unemployment and coming back to the people he walked out on. Does he really expect to come back on his own terms for the amount of cash he wants with absolutely no guidelines to prevent what happened the first time around from happening again" From a fan's standpoint, I say good riddance. Brock Lesnar is to Pro Wrestling, what KFC is to Chicken. The company has been better off since he left, and there is no reason to bring him back into the fold, or waste the effort and cash it would take to get him back.
And as far as Brock's career is concerned... I hear Jiffy Lube is hiring.
by Ian Hunter ..
Phillip Healy wrote:
What the hell are you talking about. The only valid point you made
throughout this dreadful article was about the awful circumstances Lesnar
left the WWE and the farce with re-hiring him brought. This man was pushed
to the top because he was that good, not because of stupid decisions by
management. Randy Orton was not as gifted as Lesnar but they gave him the
title because they were still pissed at Lesnar and didn't want him being the
youngest ever champ, so took it off a better man, Chris Benoit. To say he
had no good matches proves to me you are an idiot. The match he had with RVD
before summerslam pushed RVD up to show he is worthy of a title but also
that so was Lesnar. The Hell In A Cell with Undertaker was a very good
match, as was his feud with the big show as it brought out the best in him.
The Wrestlemania was excellent and if you had any sense, or wrestling
knowledge, you would have known Kurt Angle was injured before this match and
needed neck surgery, meaning he would be out for a few months. So, rather
then have him forfeit his title through injury, they gave it to just as good
a wrestler and fan favourite Lesnar leading to a great storyline involving
Angle. Not once in your crappy article did you mention their Iron-Man Match
which was fantastic and match of the year(Yeah cos if its voted that he must
have had pointless "more of the same" matches). Please if you are going to
insult a wrestler at least insult a poor one, but not one who was a great
wrestler, just an idiot in the decisions he made.
Mike nowak wrote:
Wow. This is a wonderful article that really puts Brock's huge carrer on display. Even though I do like him as a wrestler, (and I love the F5! For once, an orginal big powerful move for a big guy) He doesn't deserve to come back to WWE. He did completely walk out on the company and I dont get the fuss that WWE is bothering with on a man that they thought carried the copmany and yet walked out so uncerimoniously. They really need to look in their locker room first and see what they are not using to the full potential first. Guys like Shelton Benjemin or the recently egressed Christian would have a huge impact on the WWE as we would know it. There is no reason taht they should be bringing back a guy Like brock. let him stay in Japan.
i agree that lesnar has no talent. it scared the crap
out of me that wrestlemania he fought angle. i thought
he killed himself. awful to witness. and to think
somebody in the back just let it continue. at that
moment, i'd be on the horn to the ref, telling him to
get angle a three count, dq, whatever-- just do not
let this man who is a danger to himself and other
wrestlers, become champ.
Andrew Betts wrote:
well it seems that brock lesnar has some what redeemed himself by basicly telling vince to go screw himslelf by winning the IWGP title it looks like brock is the smart one here because he didn't wanna go back a company that's on the verge of a complete creative implosion with austin walking out agian cristian quitting and torrie wilson walking out it looks like brock lesnar has come out smelling like a rose here
Dan Bryan wrote:
I was with you all the way upto your comment about the Hell in the Cell being below par. Were you expecting one of them to throw themself off the Cell for your entertainment"
I think you have been a little too simplistic in your appraisal of his matches. In my opinion Brock proved that he wasn't just another big guy in some great matches, although when I think about it most of his best matches were during his third title win (against Angle), which is my second favourite Ironman encounter (HHH vs The Rock being my number 1).
Brock had great matches against Benoit, Guerrero, Mysterio and yes even Cena.
However, you do have a point. Why bother bringing him back" Nobody is indispensible, especially someone with a poor attitude and an inflated ego.
Personally, I would like to see Hogan have the WWE door slammed in his face. I saw a few minutes of Hogan knows Best and he sickened me in the way he was overtly manipulating his kids (he was trying to get his son to cheat on up his girlfriend and then called his son a dog when he came back with the girl Hogan set him up with). What a sick bastard. You do that to your kids, so what are you prepared to do to your peers"
Sorry if I digressed (alot) , but big egos tend to wind me up and Lesnar and Hogan are possibly two peas in a pod where that is concerned.
You do realize that Angle COULDN'T have just gotten the pin and carried the feud on to Backlash, right" He had to go into neck surgery. From what I read about the severity, he was lucky that Brock's only botch was one that affected Lesnar himself. Had Lesnar botched an F5, Angle'd be in a wheelchair.
And give Lesnar credit; he WAS a good wrestler. Sure, he might not have had incredible matches, and he was insanely overpushed, but he wasn't a horrible wrestler on the par of people like Goldberg, Snitsky, Tomko, etc.
gus davis wrote:
Hold on. Brock may have been asking for alot of money, but how could u say he was a second rate wrestler. He was a multi time all-american at Minnesota university. [that means he can wrestle, which very little know how to do right now in WWE] His feud with Angle was cool, the feud with Big Show was ok, but how could you say his HIAC with Taker was not up to par. Lesnar had to job to Taker [I might get alot of heat for that one] Before you try insult Lesnar, watch Lesnar's matches over again, some are pretty good.
Stephen K.R wrote:
How can you say that about Lesnar he can actually wrestle theres not many people in the WWE that can do that. He could of been an olympic champion and his matches were great. But i have got to agree with you that Lesnar was pushed alot and that he cant just expect to come back after all that he has done. But Lesnar vs The Rock was a great match it was the birth of the next big thing and one of the greatest matches in SummerSlam history. And his feud with Big Show was rubbish i got to give you that one but i hated the match with Taker in the hell in a cell at first i think i and maybe the rest of the world was expecting to much lets take a history lesson the last 2 Undertaker hell in a cell matches the 6 man hell in a cell Rikishi was thrown off. And then there was the very famous match with Mankind he was thrown off and chokeslammed through it. But Lesnar being the furture wasnt willing to get thrown off it.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
It's really pointless to bash brock. He is wrestling in japan now so whats
wrong" The man can do what he wants with his life and WWE fans have no right to
judge him for turning WWE down. Then you carry on saying lesnar had 2 years of
pointless matches and storylines, less memorable moments and poor
attitude...what a great tribute to a man who carried WWE with HHH, Kurt Angle
and Randy orton since 2003. Brock Lesnar was one of the best wrestlers when he
evolved and nobody can deny the fact that he made a big impact. Besides, what
the hell you know about his decisions" Maybe they werent half-planned, maybe
things just didnt go well in football. Future is never guaranteed thats a learn
lesson right there.
Jesse Lee wrote:
I never enjoyed Brock Lesnar after he broke away from Paul Heyman. I also never liked the HIAC match between him and Undertaker. With that being said, I will say this... Brock Lesnar was an awesome wrestler and it's unfortunate how WWE nor he could come to an agreement. Lesnar had (and still may have) the ability to become a WWE Hall of Famer some day in the future. However, knowing Vince's ego, he'll probably just come out with dvd entitled, "Brock Lesnar: The Next Big Destruction" or something. Although I didn't like his HIAC match, I really loved his feud with Angle and even against Goldberg.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
Reading this column makes me wonder if you've ever even seen a Lesnar match before. Aside form his WMXX match against Goldberg, you had to look far and wide to even find a mediocre Brock match. And as for him walking out on the company; how many times has Austin done it now" And The Rock; when exactly is he coming back from Hollywood" Yet nobody holds it against them. Why hold it against Brock then" And to everyone who rags on and on about the ONE TIME he bothced the Shooting Star Press, know this; he used it as his finisher in his entire stint in OVW, and never botched it there. Yet that fact never gets brought up...the ONE that he botched seems to overhsadow the HUNDREDS that he didn't.
Tony Bruce wrote:
the only thing that got me about his botched shootin star was the fact it ruined the entire legitimacy of the match, i mean if u botch the finish then it should go to the other guy, i mean i know angle couldnt have won it so they were in a bind but him botching the move wouldnt have been such a big deal if having botched it angle could just slap on the ankle lock n all brock has to do is tap. thats not the only thing he ever botched either, i've seen a lot of moves dumping people on their head wrong, but that being said, brock had the potential to be the best wwe wrestler of all time. personally i dont care either way because havin seen some of his japan matches they're about 5 times better because he can work well with the japanese stiff style, some of the best lesnar matches i've seen. and why have a go at him for not accepting wwe, brock is a wrestler through and through, more than a big man because he can actually wrestle, so is a place that ignores wrestling for the most part and focusses on entertainment an adequate home for a former ncaa champion".................. Nah!
Lesnar sucks, plain and simple. He's not that good of a wrestler, he refuses to put anyone over, and he hasn't a drop chrisma in his body. One thing though, how can anyone blame Brock for Botching a move he's done a dozen times without messing up. When Hayabusa botched the Shooting Star Press, no one had any beef with that. The thing is, Lesnar has nailed that Shooting Star Press before, he would have nailed it at Wrestlemania19, if he would have went to a corner closer to Kurt rather then the furthest away from him. Brock, has the Goldberg complex, he sucks until he's put into the ring with someone who can carry him to a good match. Goldberg vs Raven, Mondy Nitro, One of goldbergs best matches, if not his best, Lesnar vs Kurt Angle Wrestlemania, Brocks best match to date(Next to the Iron Man). Where LEsnar may be a good mat wrestler, he is to big to use it in a pro wrestling ring, like the new Black Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, I like the guy, but I haven't seen much so, I think he will be the next Brock, low talent, no charisma, but can mat wrestle.
I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I won't attack your article as I believe that you are expressing your personal view, however I have to tell you that many people thought that Brock Lesnar was a breath of fresh air in the wrestling industry, a wrestler that could actually wrestle! When he first appeared, my teenage son was slowly drifting away from watching wrestling on TV (both my kids grew up on WWF/WWE/WCW/ECW and used to love it, and I was brought up on British Wrestling in the 70's and 80's and so was used to seeing people who could legitimately wrestle and shoot if they had to) until Brock arrived on the scene, he called me into the room when Brock was on TV saying "you have to watch this guy, he is amazing!". I did a quick bit of research and saw that Brock had an impressive amateur background. The next thing I knew, guys down at my local submission fighting/shoot fighting club started saying "have you seen this guy called Brock Lesnar on TV" awesome !" and these are guys that would not normally admit to watching TV pro wrestling!
The last live WWE show I attended was a few years ago at the Manchester M.E.N. arena, in Manchester, England, and it was a sell out, around 15,000 people, the main event was Brock Lesnar versus Edge. Now Edge was the good guy and Brock was the bad guy, but with the crowd reaction when he walked down the ramp told a different story, they had all come to see Lesnar and almost all of the 15,000 people rose to their feet to watch him deliver the F5.
If you want to look at people with virtually zero talent getting a fast push to the top then start with Gene Snitsky, Luther Reigns and Dave Batista. Batista has the look and the charisma to get away with the fact that he can't wrestle, Snitsky and Reigns are just big, chemically built men who cannot wrestle, yet were pushed to high spots on the card based on their size alone. The fact that Snitsky is still around is a mystery to me.
Randy Orton was pushed quickly to the title to discredit and squash the fact that Brock Lesnar was the youngest ever champion up to that point. Having a legitmate athlete like Lesnar lose in his final match to a media created wrestler like Goldberg was quite frankly insulting. My thoughts at the moment are that Vince would have brought Lesnar back in, only to have him lose a few matches and lower his value to other companies and I think Brock may have seen through that.
If Brock has been watching WWE TV recently and seen what the "creative team" had done with another athletic big man, namely Paul Burchill, then there is no way in hell that he would have come back. I really hope that the WWE allow Burchill the space to do what he did in the rings around Europe, the sort of matches that made him a star over here and the reason he was picked up by WWE in the first place.
Finally, as has been mentioned by other writers on here, Brock Lesnar was not the first wrestler to whine about things and walk out on the company, Hogan, Rock and Austin have done it on many occasions and still came back and made money out of WWE. If Vince wants to get TV ratings up he needs Brock Lesnar back.
robbie hall wrote:
i think brock lesnar is severly overrated.
i agree with many others that he is grade-a wrestler.
but he lacks in the personality department.
and in all honestly thats what makes a total package.
unlike randy orton or chris jericho he's nothing special on the mike.
he's a great big man.
and his hell in the cell match with the undertaker was great in my opinion.
his matches with angle where great in my opinion.
although his match with goldberg was a stinker, it had the possibility to be a great match.
but failed mostly due to crowd reaction and the fact neither wrestlers heart seemed to be in it.
but someone who plainly walked out on the company thinking they could make in the nfl has no right to be making demands.
he should feel fortunate with what is offered to him.
i feel there is a place for brock lesnar in the wwe.
namely smackdown feuding with the likes of batista and eddie guerrero.
Håvard Henningsen wrote:
Howard: Have you people ever seen a match with brock, he is the best wrestler ever in the WWE. Have you seen the chairshots he takes from the Hardy's in the beginning. He does thing's noone else does, and he is real.
Please see the Brock Lesnar dvd, The Next BIG Thing. Brock was special, i wish he someday comes back to the WWE, but i don't think he would. Wrestling was a lot better before, there was not the same nr. 1 condernders every PPV's, like a time back, how many times did Kurt Angle get on John Cena's WWE chamionship"(1: Unforgiven. 2: Survivor Series. 3: Taboo Tuesday in a thriple threat. 4: New Years Revolution in the eliminatinon chamber.) 4 times at least, he could at least have won one of those matches. The history was a lot better before. Sometimes i get tierd of wrestling. It wasn't this a couple of years ago. I doesn't mean 10 years ago, but maybe 6-2 years ago.
My opinion is that Brock was the best.
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