Brock Lesnar is The Beast Incarnate, a 286-pound monster that steamrolls over everyone and everything in his path. He's a four-time WWE world champion, a UFC champion, an IWGP champion and an NCAA champion. Everything he's done, he's excelled in; everything he touches, he dominates.
This is the man who WWE wants fans to believe is just one of the guys, one of the characters, on the roster. But nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is Lesnar's indestructible character has created massive booking issues for WWE.
This should not be an issue.
After all, not everyone can be a top guy. Some are great at the midcard, like Dolph Ziggler, while others are still working to gain traction, like Neville. But others, like John Cena, are meant to be at the top; they have the mental and physical toughness it takes to withstand the pressures and demands of the main event scene. Their booking needs to reflect that fact.
Brock is obviously one of those top guys. So what's the problem?
The problem is that though fans are completely on board with Lesnar as a top star thanks to the way he's been booked, he's actually been built up to iconic levels. He may as well be a god from the pages of Greek mythology; he is practically WWE's supreme being.
Lesnar more than lives up to this as well. How many guys can actually fully live out the characters they have adopted and do it so believably that the gimmick becomes reality? At this point, there is no one in WWE that can lay claim to that other than Paul Heyman's client.
Fans get the real deal with Lesnar. He is arguably capable of beating everyone on the roster in shoot situations, which is exactly how he's portrayed in storylines. He has maximum intensity and athleticism every time he steps through the ropes, which is also part of the Beast Incarnate character. He's a big-money fighter that's best suited to big-money main event matches.
Is there a better way to describe Lesnar than that?
This is surely why Brock is used sparingly in WWE. He's been booked so incredibly strong, so undeniably indestructible, that no one else can believably stand up to him on a regular weekly environment. Using him on a full-time basis would either expose the rest of the roster that can't keep up with him or force WWE to begin weakening him so he can blend in.
Blending in is likely never going to happen here.
But Lesnar has gone through one opponent after another and beaten them all; who's left to face him that can actually make a go of it?
The Undertaker, John Cena, Triple H, The Big Show, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston have all stepped up and all gone down. Taker, Cena and Triple H are the top money men, of course, while Big Show, Sheamus and Kofi were all considered by many to be a step down. But in every instance, Lesnar punished and pummeled until he got the win.
|Brock Lesnar's Last Four Pay-Per-Views|
|Royal Rumble||vs. 29 other Superstars||Lost|
|Hell in a Cell||vs. The Undertaker||Won|
|SummerSlam||vs. The Undertaker||Lost|
|Battleground||vs. Seth Rollins||Won by DQ|
Lesnar's best moments come against the best talents, guys that he and the company can make the most money with. Who fits that description now?
Therein lies one of the problems heading into WrestleMania 32 on April 3.
Unless Brock wins the Triple Threat match at Fastlane with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, there is no clear opponent for him at Mania. Without Triple H, who he's already beaten, or another established veteran that can match his star power like The Rock, Lesnar is left with no one.
How many fans truly believe that anyone other than Rocky could actually pin Lesnar's shoulders to the mat?
Lesnar is a top attraction, and this is especially true at WrestleMania. But if he's booked in a glorified squash match, then why would anyone care? It's not just that aside from Ambrose and Reigns, no other current stars have been built to top-level status; it's that Lesnar has been built too far above everyone else.
There is no drama in watching Lesnar throw guys around just because he can. The drama is in watching guys that stand a chance of winning actually get up and fight back.
This is what fans need for Lesnar at WrestleMania, and this is ultimately what WWE should want for him as well. He needs opponents that will challenge him so he does not become stale. He needs the excitement of new opponents to reinvigorate him. This will give him the chance to produce deeper storylines for the company rather than just working another part-time star, then disappearing afterward.
However, his booking is hindering the process, and WWE is to blame for it.
The company has created a monster with Brock Lesnar and now the effects are being felt. Until something changes, those effects will continue to be felt for a long time to come.
Tom Clark can regularly be found on Bleacher Report, and his podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android Windows Phone and online here.