Prior to SummerSlam, it would have been understandable if fans and critics had assumed Brock Lesnar’s light schedule would prove to be a significant problem for the company in booking his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Ideally, you want your champion to be on every single show. You also want him to be able to work a busy house show schedule and make various press appearances to promote the company. Lesnar simply doesn’t do those things.
However, Lesnar’s run with WWE World Heavyweight Championship has worked out well—and that this is partly due to his part-time schedule.
For one thing, he is not going to become overexposed. Fans have grown sick of John Cena over the years in part because he is constantly plastered all over television. If you see someone week in and week out, you're eventually going to grow tired of him. It’s only natural.
Lesnar, meanwhile, is a special attraction. That’s rare in WWE these days. He’s not always on Raw or Smackdown participating in interviews or matches. The fans have to wait to see him, which makes him more important and a bigger deal in their minds.
Crucially, he also only wrestles on pay-per-view.
At a time when WWE is struggling to keep its pay-per-view business relevant—"B" shows such as Extreme Rules, Payback and Battleground have seemingly become total afterthoughts—Lesnar’s novelty appeal is a highly valuable asset. A consumer is far more likely to purchase a show—or the WWE Network—if he or she thinks it’s a rare chance to see Lesnar get in the ring and destroy a challenger.
Besides, brief and sporadic appearances play to the star’s strengths.
For all his intensity, powerful personality and raw charisma, Lesnar simply isn’t a promo guy. There’s a reason his manager, Paul Heyman, does most of the talking for him. He’s just not cut out to do lengthy promos in the ring. Not everyone is.
Lesnar’s real strength lies in taped interviews—where his forceful personality can come across and all his mistakes and errors can be edited out by WWE’s highly skilled production team.
For proof, look no further than Lesnar’s excellent interview on last week’s Raw, in which he hyped up his Night of Champions rematch with Cena.
With that in mind, is there any reason the star shouldn’t hold on to to the title for a lengthy period of time? Why not keep the belt on him until next year’s WrestleMania? Presumably, that’s where he will lose it to a top babyface of management’s choosing.
It remains to be seen if Lesnar’s title run can turn around WWE’s business and make the product must-see TV.
In fact, that may be too much to ask of any one person. But the former UFC performer has helped make the WWE title scene genuinely interesting for the first time in a while—and his part-time status is a big reason why.
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