Ever since Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from the UFC following a quick loss to Alistair Overeem a few months ago, speculation has run rampant that he might return to the WWE. That came to fruition on Monday, and while it reportedly took a king's ransom to get him, it will ultimately be well worth it.
According to WrestlingInc.com, the contract that Lesnar signed is rumored to be for one year and worth $5 million. That may seem incredibly lofty, especially since it is reportedly second only to John Cena in value. However, when you consider how much buzz Lesnar's return has created already, the contract will ultimately pay for itself.
Despite the fact that Lesnar left the WWE high and dry seven years ago in order to pursue an NFL career and then ultimately a career in mixed martial arts, the fans still love him. I'm lukewarm towards him, personally, as I feel like he lacks personality. However, there is no question that he is a physical specimen that can do some special things in the ring if he is in top-flight condition.
The fans in attendance at Raw on Monday were fully expecting Lesnar to show up. They were chanting "We want Lesnar" during Cena's promo. It was rumored that Lesnar had landed in Miami the day before, so most figured that he would make his return at WrestleMania or on the ensuing Raw.
Even though everyone was prepared for it, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy when Lesnar's music hit. Things only got crazier from there as he entered the ring, and rather than reciprocating Cena's handshake offer, he put the leader of the Cenation on his shoulders and delivered a thunderous F5 to formally mark his return to the squared circle.
Love him or hate him, Lesnar is very much in the public eye as UFC has become a more mainstream sport. As a result of that, there is guaranteed to be increased interest from borderline fans of wrestling or MMA fans who want to see what Lesnar does in the WWE. Not only that, but there are tons of fans who watched WWE in the early 2000s, who later abandoned it.
Lesnar's return could compel them to tune in.
On top of that, the WWE will now be able to use his likeness for action figures, t-shirts, DVD sets and countless other pieces of merchandise that are sure to sell like hotcakes among the diehard wrestling fans. Lesnar is a legitimate star that the WWE won't have to put any time into developing. The $5 million price tag should pay for itself in no time.
It's quite uncertain when Lesnar might actually wrestle in a match. There are rumors that it might not happen until WrestleMania XXIX, since he'll only make about 35 appearances throughout the year. However, since he went after Cena so quickly and decisively, it wouldn't be surprising for the two of them to start a feud that leads to a match at SummerSlam.
Whatever happens, if and when Lesnar decides to return to action, it will lead to massive pay-per-view buy rates. There are rumors that The Rock wrestling at WrestleMania XXVIII may have resulted in a staggering 1.9 million buys. Therefore, when Lesnar comes back, he might spearhead a similar renaissance in terms of wrestling interest.