How Brock Lesnar's Early Departure Started The Decline Of The WWE
2002 was probably the last really good year of the WWE, and Brock Lesnar was a big part of this. A new superstar, Lesnar was a fresh face with a menacing physique, a commanding mysterious presence, and a talent only few big men ever possessed
Combining amateur technical wrestling with power and speed he was the only star of his kind in the WWE. He was exciting with numerous moves at his disposal, and he was instantly looked upon a threat and huge star to come.
His stint would not last, as he eventually move on to the rival sport MMA. But despite his short time in the business, Lesnar accomplished many things, and through the criticism was an exceptional wrestler.
But his early departure, and premature success would lead to a downward spiral the WWE has yet to recover from.
There are five things in which Brock directly had an impact on the constant decline of the WWE. Lesnar obviously isn't the scapegoat, and the "PG" era isn't entirely Lesnar's fault, but there are either decisions or consequences that helped the WWE's current fall.
5. Diminished Superstars and Title Credibility
In two years, Brock went on to win his first WWE World Championship. Before this, it was almost a tradition that you would achieve this after the eventual journey of transcending the mid-card, and battling your way to the top.
Brock Lesnar was trusted immediately to the forefront were he went over long time competitors such as The Hardys, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Undertaker, and Edge.
Lesnar was man-handling half of the roster, seemingly out of nowhere. Undertaker, who has made a career out of psyching out some of the greatest in-ring performers ever, is supposed to be threatened be a 25-year-old?
Yes, Brock Lesnar was a tremendous athlete both in talent and stature, but it became increasingly difficult he was better than the veteran main event roster.
Seeing a man climb from the bottom to the top, show the growth and evolution of a superstar, you are displayed his strength and weakness, and one he reaches the top its easy to acknowledge their success due to see it all happen.
When a superstar such as Lesnar immediately dominates, and win the "coveted" championship so easily, it's hard to respect it as it once was.
4. Made other big men look inadequate
A 265-pound Shooting Star Press. Botched or not, few things compare to seeing a man that large fly off of a turnbuckle. One of the reason Lesner's dominance was semi-believable was because of his ability.
Brock Lesner probably possessed one of the largest, most varied move-sets of any wrestler much less a big man. Most notably his finisher, The F-5, wasn't a rehash of a previous move (Batista Bomb, Punjabi Plunge).
It was a simple yet effective, devastating looking move that fit his character. Granted he had the given big man moves such as spears, spinebuster, and suplexes, but it's in the manner and effectiveness that he utilized them.
The moves he did look like a 265 pounder was doing it. It wasn't a soft impact spear, it was a body crushing spear. And you had him doing moves other big guys just weren't doing like belly to belly and inverted fisherman suplexes.
Now combine that raw power, with the technique of Kurt Angle. How do you defend against a guy who can sling you over his shoulder, as well be quick enough to reverse your moves, then hit a German suplex out of nowhere.
This leads directly in to the next reason. Once you see a guy who is that big and well-rounded, who is also having title success, this is what one becomes accustomed to. So he then proceeds tofight the Big Show?
Slow, uninspiring with generic moves, compared to the beast that was Lesnar. How could anyone possibly take Big Show seriously?
He couldn't win a title, and isn't half the wrestler Brock is, not to mention he gets beaten by Lesnar, and much smaller wrestlers constantly. Undertaker was the only worthy heavyweight at that point.
Then after the Lesnar era, Batista was in as the "it" big man. Pretty much a carbon copy of Lesnar, but not as exciting or as talented. A slower, older, less inspired Brock Lesnar.
The Great Khali is also worth mentioning if simply for the fact that Batista would be an improvement over him.
Neither Kozlov, Jackson, or Knox even come close to what Lesnar had. They all do the same generic side slams and standard suplexes, and two of which even share the same finisher.
The Big-Man division in the WWE has become so stale that the smaller built superstars such as CM Punk, John Morrison, Jeff Hardy, and Dolph Ziggler are now getting pushed.
Even the muscle-obsessed Vince McMahon is admitting how bad the big guys are since Lesnar departed.
3. Accomplished every goal in the WWE too soon
Not many people would remain at their job if they accomplished everything there was to do in three years. Its almost hard to blame Lesner for leaving; in four years, Lesnar compiled a career some wrestler never achieve over a lifetime.
The blame doesn't go to Lesnar, it wasn't his fault he was booked to win, but it was pretty much booking's fault he left. It's just rarely believable when a guy hops onto the main event scene so early in their career. And in retrospect, it didn't help that he left in four years.
A Royal Rumble and King Of The Ring winner. He headlined two Wrestlemanias, and is a three-time champion. Why stay? If your top dog in a fake sport, why not move on to more challenging things? He had nothing else to prove.
The company knew he didn’t love wrestling, and him leaving wasn't really that far-fetched, it was almost mandatory, considering everything.
When you have such respected and revered wrestlers as Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and Chris Beniot who had to go to great lengths (literally and figuratively) to finally win gold, it becomes status quo, or an accepted norm.
A certain prestige was embedded with the WWE championship. Despite recently becoming the Undisputed champion, it still had a sense of accomplishment, which is severely lacking today.
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