As Brock Lesnar begins fulfilling his new two-year contract with WWE, the question of his overall impact on the wrestling industry should begin to be answered.
After all, Lesnar is in his mid-30s and started his pro career 13 years ago. He obviously is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning.
So it is only natural at this stage of a pro wrestler’s life to question what he has meant to the industry.
That’s actually a fairly easy question to answer: Lesnar’s lasting impact is his toughness.
Just look at the guy. The crew-cut hair looks like it has been maintained by a lawnmower. The Frankenstein’s monster brow hangs over his steely eyes like an awning. The neck resembles an oak stump. The arms are as big as the average man’s legs.
Lesnar is the prototypical tough guy. It’s almost as if Vince McMahon custom-ordered him to be in WWF/E.
And if wrestling was not enough, Lesnar tried his hand at professional football and mixed martial arts fighting. He did not do very much in football, but he enjoyed monster success in MMA.
There is something else that adds to Lesnar’s toughness; he has achieved major success in a physical activity despite suffering from the intestinal disorder diverticulitis. That disease can knock the normal man flat on his back, but Lesnar has soldiered on despite the malady.
If the toughness was not enough, Lesnar’s character has a nasty side to it. Not only does he look mean, he is mean.
That meanness has not been slowed by the years.
When Lesnar returned to WWE last year, the first thing he did was drop his patented F-5 finisher on company face John Cena. Before all was said and done with that feud, Lesnar had legitimately bloodied Cena twice.
Then Lesnar set his sights on Triple H, breaking not only his arm but the arm of Triple H’s best friend, Shawn Michaels. Of course both injuries were storyline, but Lesnar sold it in a way to make it look believable.
Where do you rank Brock Lesnar among the toughest wrestlers in WWE?
This year, Lesnar announced his WWE presence by hitting McMahon with an F-5 at the end of a Raw telecast. That is setting up what appears to be a feud with Triple H that may culminate at WrestleMania 29.
After that, there is the possibility of Lesnar showing up for SummerSlam, maybe even against The Rock. If that happens, it would be a rematch of their classic 2002 SummerSlam battle.
There is no question that Lesnar will be ready for whatever WWE has to throw at him this year—probably even for the remainder of his two-year contract.
He should be able to handle it with ease. That’s just part of being tough.
And being tough is Brock Lesnar’s impact on the industry.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.