Brock Lesnar made his highly anticipated return to WWE programming Saturday at SummerSlam.
Lesnar spoiled Roman Reigns' victory celebration after successfully defending the Universal Championship against John Cena.
The Beast Incarnate had not been seen at a WWE event since WrestleMania 36 in April 2020, when he lost the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre in the main event of Night 2.
Following that loss, Lesnar was rarely mentioned on TV, and his merchandise was pulled from the company's website. That led to ESPN's Marc Raimondi reporting that he was no longer under contract with the company.
Since returning to WWE in 2012, the former MMA star has been a part-time performer. He tends to stick around for a month or two before taking an extended period of time off and then resurfacing.
The situation after WrestleMania 36 was different, though, as Lesnar reportedly became a free agent in the summer and was far from guaranteed to return to the fold.
At 44 and having made a great living during his time with WWE and UFC, it was possible that he would be content to ride off into the sunset and enjoy life in anonymity.
However, Vince McMahon is seemingly always willing to pay Lesnar big money when he feels he needs him, and it appears as though the WWE chairman has done that once again.
The Beast has nothing left to prove or accomplish in WWE, but he remains one of the biggest attractions in pro wrestling, so it's understandable why the company turns to him when it needs a boost.
There is always a certain level of intrigue when Lesnar returns, but it is amplified this time since his advocate, Paul Heyman, is currently aligned with Reigns. Heyman will see his loyalty put to the test.
That creates some uncertainty regarding how the returning star will be handled moving forward, and splitting them up would be a way to portray Lesnar differently and freshen up his on-screen character a bit. His two-man act with Heyman only had so much longevity despite how effective they are together.
No matter how the company opts to use Lesnar, his return is a huge deal, and he will be one of the most important parts of WWE programming for as long as he sticks around.
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