Brock Lesnar's debut was amazing to behold. Entering the arena for the first time, he met multiple veterans, even former champions head on. He tossed them around like they were children, violated them, scaring everyone in the industry in the process.
The pro wrestling industry.
The champions in question were Al Snow, Spike Dudley and reality star Maven, not Frank Mir and Randy Couture. The event wasn't UFC 81; it was a random episode of WWE RAW all the way back in 2002, years before he ever seriously considered stepping into the UFC Octagon.
Lesnar adapted quickly to the Octagon, but it's easy to forget just how quickly he made his mark in pro wrestling as well. Lesnar was a natural. He learned the ropes incredibly fast, becoming a competent and then a good worker in record time. He also had a presence about him. Although you'll never mistake him for the Rock on the microphone, Lesnar has a physical charisma that draws the eyeball. He looks like the ultimate badass, and fans buy into him hook, line and sinker.
Lesnar, in short, is a star. And the WWE is desperate for a star right now. At WrestleMania, the Rock stole the show despite being almost a decade removed from the business. The company has so little confidence in rising players like Daniel Bryan that they didn't even trust them to deliver a real match on the biggest card of the year. Chris Jericho and CM Punk were upstaged by the ancient Undertaker and decrepit HHH. The wrestling business needs Brock Lesnar now more than ever.
Some insiders expressed concern about Vince McMahon and Brock ever co-existing. Brock is proud and prickly. Vince used to getting his own way. A WWE return could, these experts suggest, be a disaster waiting to happen. When two powerful egos collide, the fallout could be devastating.
But I think there is a high upside here too.
Lesnar and pro wrestling were made for each other. The first time around, the marriage between the two broke up over scheduling issues and the grind of the road. If Lesnar can find a happy medium this time, including a schedule that only has him working a couple of days a week, the relationship with Vince has the potential to thrive.
The bottom line, as a certain wrestler may have said a million times or more, is that Brock Lesnar is a pro wrestling savant. He was made for the business the way he never was MMA. He became a UFC champion despite being entirely ill-suited for the occupation. In wrestling, he was seemingly sculpted for success.
I can't wait to see him, possibly on Raw as early as tonight. It's Lesnar's second act—I, for one, think it will be better than the first.
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