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Brock Lesnar Confronts Roman Reigns at SummerSlam in WWE Return

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2021

FILE - In this March 29, 2015, file photo, Brock Lesnar makes his entrance at Wrestlemania XXXI in Santa Clara, Calif. UFC 200 has grown so big that a single show can’t contain it. The mixed martial arts promotion is throwing an “International Fight Week” in Las Vegas with compelling shows on three consecutive nights, culminating in the star-studded pay-per-view event Saturday. Jon Jones meets light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in the main event of a card also featuring the return of former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. (AP Photo/Don Feria, File)
Don Feria/Associated Press

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.

WWE @WWE

The #HeadOfTheTable meets The #BeastIncarnate. A #SummerSlam SHOCKER! @WWERomanReigns @HeymanHustle @BrockLesnar https://t.co/hyrGWJuOYr

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.

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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.

         

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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