WWE Hot Take: Brock Lesnar Must Be Used to Put over Others on Fox's SmackDown

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2019


With Brock Lesnar gone after taking a loss at the hands of Seth Rollins at SummerSlam, it all seems so obvious: Lesnar is going back to SmackDown in the fall and feuding with Roman Reigns as the blue brand switches over to Fox.

WWE can paint the outlook however it wants, and fans can react to such a suggestion however they want—the promotion has a habit of falling into the predictable when it comes to the big stuff. Think about Lesnar's 2019, during which he has dropped the universal title, predictably went over everyone at Money in the Bank, won it back so he could headline SummerSlam and then lost it again.

Naturally, the next step is having Lesnar go back to the blue brand and feud with the company's biggest star just as WWE makes the all-important switch to Fox. That would still be Reigns regardless of what Rollins is doing on Raw (for starters, even the silliest of Reigns angles still gets millions of hits on YouTube).

But this would be a misstep.

Lesnar is fun in a Final Boss sort of role, the Thanos of WWE, for example. He's perfect for it, obviously, but at some point the fans turn on the same old thing. He's done this far too often and disrupted main event scenes consistently over the past several years. It's part of the reason WWE is thirsting for new top stars.

Should Lesnar come back and immediately enter into a title feud with Reigns, it creates more of the same problems. And by this point, one has to think WWE won't be able to avoid slapping a title on one of them, just like they did with Lesnar at SummerSlam and Charlotte Flair while throwing her into the main event at WrestleMania 35.

Luckily for WWE and its fans, we've seen the company handle Lesnar in a much better fashion—by putting others over. This doesn't mean losing, but think back to his superb stretch of promos and match with Samoa Joe:

Or Finn Balor:

Or even Daniel Bryan:

Lesnar is money in the ring with veterans like Joe or smaller guys like Balor (CM Punk even had one of his top final matches in the company against Lesnar).

This time around, though, it should be relative unknowns as opposed to established guys. WWE is doing this a bit already with Buddy Murphy, as Reigns made him look like a million bucks on Tuesday's edition of SmackDown.

Imagine using Lesnar to catapult Andrade permanently into the main event scene. Or when Chad Gable finally establishes what his character is, Lesnar could squeak out some old-school Kurt Angle-style matches with him. Or maybe, if it isn't a lost cause already, Lesnar helps pump some life into the idea WWE is trying to sell with Lars Sullivan, provided he's healthy and available.

Those are just a few examples. But the point remains the same. The Lesnar push to headline SmackDown would be the obvious move, yet it would spoil a prime opportunity for WWE to capitalize on what should be a bigger-than-usual viewership to start building its next big wave of Superstars.

In reality, WWE is almost guaranteed a massive audience and outreach toward new fans once the Fox promotion machine gets going and the program switches over. This isn't an old-school pay-per-view where it has to have the biggest stars at the very top to encourage buys. The deal is done, and the viewership should be organic, so mistreating the opportunity could be a big missed chance to build for the future.

Sheer association via a fight with Lesnar near the top of any card, whether it's on SmackDown or on a pay-per-view, will work wonders for the legitimacy and memorability of a Superstar a more casual WWE audience might not be familiar with. That Superstar doesn't have to win, but it sure beats them toiling away in the middle of the card in a feud fans won't remember while Lesnar fights Reigns again.

These sorts of contests would let Lesnar show a little nuance to his character too. The boom-box thing with the Money in the Bank briefcase was funny but quickly got overdone. If he shifts into a role wherein he can talk a bit more and perhaps targets the up-and-coming stars or something, it would give him more leeway from a character standpoint too.

Everybody wins if Lesnar is around, as he's one of the only things left in WWE that feels like a big-time spectacle. But the promotion needs to start leaning into that as a way to build for the future instead of the moment. That pursuit needs to begin as soon as SmackDown switches over to Fox.