Wrestling fans can have a hard time dealing with reality. This is evident in their reaction to WWE's part-time performers.
There's a constant whining from fans when talking about Brock Lesnar beating The Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak. Many fans seem to resent Lesnar getting to break the historic Streak because he's a part-time performer.
I never wanted The Streak to end. However, I can clearly see now that if it was going to be broken, Lesnar was a safe choice to do it. He was a legitimate option to beat The Streak given his physicality and MMA background. He also doesn't care what fans think. Unlike most wrestlers, he doesn't get bothered by the heat that will forever come attached to beating The Streak.
The same resentment is associated with The Rock. The feeling grew even greater when he won the WWE Championship leading up to WrestleMania 29. Some were filled with anger, but I was filled with excitement that one of the highest-paid guys in Hollywood was carrying around the WWE title. That's good advertising for WWE.
Even fan favorite Chris Jericho isn't immune to critics. Fans get mad at his part-time schedule because they always want more Jericho, and they hate it when he comes back and loses nearly ever marquee match.
If these guys can do anywhere from three matches to under two dozen appearances a year and still get over as top guys, then of course they're going to be part-time stars. The part-timers are around much less than everyone else while still getting over more than the rest of the roster.
In a time when WWE programming seemingly features the same faces every week, talk of a Lesnar return and maybe even him winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is refreshing.
The part-time guys got it right. They don't become stale. They come in, work important matches, cut important promos and leave. Maybe you can see them on a concert stage, a Hollywood screen or nowhere else at all. That's the playbook of a star in demand who plays the right cards.
I'm not taking anything away from the talent working 250 shows a year. I know that if any of those guys could make big money doing music or movies and come to WWE for limited dates a year while getting paid well and booked strong, they would do it.
Wrestling fans want to be in control. WWE and Vince McMahon want to be in control. The part-time star is the one in control. Lesnar, The Rock, Jericho, Batista—they've all proven they can make money elsewhere doing different things.
This drives a portion of the fans crazy. This drives WWE crazy. But the fans still react and tune in to the part-time star when he returns. WWE still pays the part-time star to return so that the company can make money.
Having this kind of leverage and talent should be respected.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the "Chair Shot Reality" video talk show and "Wrestling Reality" radio show.
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