Brock Lesnar is currently embroiled in a heated rivalry with CM Punk. Their feud stems from two separate confrontations in which Lesnar came out on top with Punk left lying at his feet. For many WWE fans, their impending showdown at the company's upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-veiw is a dream match. For others however, there is little reason to be excited since Brock Lesnar is simply not around.
This is not the first time that we have seen this, of course. Brock has not worked a full-time schedule since he left WWE back in 2004 and, since returning, his appearances have been sporadic at best. For the most part, fans are left waiting for Lesnar to show up; we don't know when it will happen until it happens.
Brock's feud with John Cena and, later, Triple H was proof of this, as a good deal of the time we only saw the Anomaly's face on TV during flashbacks and video vignettes. The bulk of each rivalry was left to both Cena and HHH, who had the responsibility of cutting promos and flexing their muscles without an opponent there to retort.
So, yes, we have seen this before. It's nothing new.
But despite the fact that many fans likely expected more of the same against Punk, I must admit that I was hoping for a little more of Lesnar this time out. After all, this is not just any one-shot match. This is not just one opponent for Brock to work so WWE can hype a pay-per-view and sell some tickets.
This is CM Punk. This is the man that many fans feel is the best in the world. For Punk's supporters, nothing is better than when their favorite Superstar is in the ring with the greats of WWE. From Chris Jericho to John Cena to The Undertaker, every legendary opponent that steps into the ring with Punk is another notch on the Second City Saint's belt.
Punk's win/loss record has little to do with just how important those matches are in his career. That he was in the ring creating some memorable matches is all CM Punk needs to add to what will surely be a Hall of Fame career.
Let's face it. Every time Punk steps into the ring with a big-name WWE talent, good things usually follow. For me, a major Superstar facing Punk is not just filling a match on the card; it's cementing Punk's legacy in WWE.
Make no mistake about it, CM Punk versus Brock Lesnar is a very big deal for WWE.
So why is Lesnar not being utilized more? Why did he merely attack Punk, only to disappear again as if nothing had happened? It's as if the Brock Lesnar formula now consists of assaulting a guy, then disappearing until one or two weeks before the match is booked to happen.
Brock shows up and either wins or loses. Either way, he's good. Just another day at the office.
While I am certain that Brock has a life outside of WWE, and I am aware that his contract is such that he does not have to appear as much as your typical Superstar, I still believe that he should be there. Truth be told, any momentum that the rivalry had, and any heat generated by Lesnar before disappearing from TV again, was practically over.
Notice I said "practically."
The truth is, without Paul Heyman, there would likely be very little possibility of building the amount of fan interest to keep this feud on WWE's front burner.
Heyman is the reason that all of this is happening in the first place. He is the one who ordered the attack on Punk on the night after Payback. Heyman is the one who slammed the ladder onto Punk's head at Money in the Bank, costing him a shot at the WWE Championship.
And Paul Heyman is the one who decided that, if CM Punk chose not to be appreciative of his help, that he would then show his former best friend what life would be like without him. He turned his back on Punk because he felt that Punk had betrayed him first. Without the evil genius of Heyman acting as the master manipulator, this feud would not have been possible.
Heyman moved the chess pieces into place, and now he has what he wanted—a war to end all wars. This is one Heyman guy versus another, a tale of one Superstar who chose to fall in line and one who decided to venture out on his own. This rivalry and this match is more about the heat between Heyman and Punk.
Having said that, I still believe that Brock's presence must be felt more than what it is. Otherwise, all we get is Punk chasing Heyman around the ring and out of the arena. While this makes sense because it's evident that Punk wants to hurt his former adviser, the point is that there's only so much he can do to Paul.
The real action lies between Punk and Lesnar. This is the match that fans want, the one that has been speculated on for so long now. And for Brock to be absent is perhaps hurting any progress that could be made to further the heat between both men. Heyman is keeping it going as much as he can, but, for me, it's just not the same.
Brock Lesnar's upcoming SummerSlam match with CM Punk is one of those events that WWE fans have wanted to see for quite some time. However, for Brock to disappear as he has so many times before could very well be hurting the rivalry that exists between he and Punk.
Until we see him more on WWE programming, the truth is that this feud will not be able to see the forward progress it needs to truly prepare fans for the showdown that is to come.