This week’s episode of Monday Night RAW concluded with the shocking (unless you’re an Internet fan) return of Brock Lesnar, who went to shake John Cena’s hand, pulled it back and nailed Cena with an F5.
Obviously, it looks like the WWE is now going to build up a Cena vs. Lesnar feud, and it’s actually not the first time that these two have feuded in the company.
We got a taste of the Lesnar vs. Cena rivalry way back in 2003, not long after both guys debuted in the WWE, and apparently, Cena and Lesnar didn’t exactly get along swimmingly back then.
According to PWTorch.com, when Brock Lesnar was previously in WWE (nine-years ago) he did not get along with John Cena. Stories from behind the scenes say that Lesnar was not a fan of a young, up and coming Cena. One source actually stated, “Brock absolutely positively hated and detested John Cena!”
Lesnar reportedly bad-mouthed Cena to Vince McMahon many times, especially anytime Cena was doing something being perceived as positive. It is also said that the feelings “came through” if you watch body language in their first pay-per-view match in 2003 at Backlash.
During that match, there are many moves that look sloppy, and at the time it was believed that it may have been an outright intentional lack of cooperation on Lesnar’s part. Some feel that with Cena on the rise, and the animosity that Lesnar felt towards Cena, that it would not have been out of the question for Lesnar to make Cena look green and clumsy. That is a reputation that Cena had at the time, and one that he was working to overcome.
Well, this should certainly make things interesting.
Real-life animosity between two wrestlers who are feuding on TV can generally go one of two ways: Either the wrestlers use that animosity to build up a great feud, or it prevents them from being able to work well together.
Most recently, we saw the real-life beef between The Rock and Cena result in a great year-long feud and a pretty damn good match at WrestleMania. But it remains to be seen how Lesnar’s reported problems with Cena will translate during their feud, if that beef still exists that.
We have to keep in mind that both Cena and Lesnar were in their mid-20s at the time, fighting and clawing to get to the top of the WWE and stay there. Now, these guys are in their mid-30s, bona fide main-eventers and two of the biggest names in the business.
Chances are that Lesnar has changed, and he’s not exactly feeling the same way about Cena now that he was back then. But then again, who knows.
If Lesnar really intentionally tried to make Cena look sloppy in the ring as has been reported, then there may still be some legitimate animosity between the two that extends to their upcoming feud.
Like I said before, though, if it makes the feud better, then I’m all for it. I just hope it doesn’t hurt what should be a fantastic rivalry between two big-time superstars.
Note: As part of the new WWE blog, I'll be asking all of the B/R wrestling readers for questions for a new mailbag that I will post on Fridays. It will be a slideshow featuring 10-20 questions and answers on a wide range of topics. You can submit questions either through Formspring or Twitter, and the best ones will be answered in the B/R mailbag.