Brock Lesnar is The Beast Incarnate and the current WWE world heavyweight champion. The new champ defeated John Cena at SummerSlam on August 17, and while he is not a full-time Superstar, his impact is felt even when he's not around.
And that impact is leading many fans to believe Lesnar will ultimately have a hand in truly stopping Cena's reign atop the company. In fact, it could very well be said that he is the fan favorite to end Cena's run as WWE's top star.
When fans think of the term "fan favorite," they likely think of a babyface. It's a logical connection, as the best protagonists in WWE typically have the support of the crowd behind them.
But in Lesnar's case, "fan favorite" takes on a whole new meaning. The fact is, there's nothing very likable or redeeming about him. Lesnar is paid to be bad, and he does a very good job of it.
The combination of Lesnar's work in the ring and Paul Heyman's work on the mic as his advocate makes The Beast arguably the top heel in WWE right now. And that means he is perhaps the most hated individual on the roster. So how does that equate to anything even remotely positive?
At SummerSlam, Lesnar destroyed Cena. He absolutely dominated WWE's top guy, and by the end of the match, Cena looked more like a man trying to prove he belonged than the veteran leader fans know him to be.
And for his critics, there was perhaps no finer moment in WWE history.
Cena is arguably the most hated babyface the industry has ever known. Though he works extremely hard to be WWE's hero, he is often reviled more than a villain. Cena is the man so many fans love to hate, and when he went down at SummerSlam, it was a win for everyone who wanted him out of the picture.
Of course, Cena stayed right where he was, and now he's getting his rematch against Lesnar. The return bout for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will take place at Night of Champions, and there is every reason to believe Cena could regain the title.
But despite how hated Lesnar is and how much work has gone into making him the top heel, the truth is that if anyone can bring about the ultimate destruction of Cena, it's The Beast Incarnate. You might even say he is the fan favorite to do so.
The WWE faithful have seen every top name in the business come and go against Cena. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, The Rock—they all crossed paths with Cena, and they all fell. Cena consistently wins, and he always fights against the odds to overcome his opponents.
But when Cena ran into Lesnar, he fell flat.
Lesnar stopped Cena from doing anything at SummerSlam. The company's top Superstar couldn't even get any offense against The Beast, and it remained that way for the duration of the match. And even though he is getting another shot at Lesnar, Cena looks like a man fighting an impossible battle.
Cena's detractors have surely been anticipating the moment he will step aside from the top spot, allowing the next evolution of WWE to take place. Lesnar's win at SummerSlam could be the event that facilitates a true change in WWE's hierarchy.
It may seem too early to even consider Lesnar as an agent of change; one victory over Cena should perhaps not bestow that moniker on him. However, Lesnar did win in very convincing fashion, and there seems to be nothing that can stop his forward progress.
Lesnar may not be the man to carry WWE into the future, but he could be the man to clear Cena out of the top spot so the next guy can come in. And for a great number of WWE fans, that is all the reason needed to not only support Lesnar but also consider him a favorite.
Lesnar may indeed be hated, but if he is the one to bring about Cena's downfall, then he will quickly become the favorite of fans everywhere. It could very well be that WWE's next evolution begins now with The Beast Incarnate.