For years, WWE has always said the Royal Rumble is the first stop on the road to Wrestlemania. If last night was any indication, Summerslam may have taken that place this year as the first stop. Brock Lesnar is the new WWE Champion, and he may very well hold onto that title until April of next year and defend it on sports entertainment’s biggest stage. That my friends, is what’s best for business.
Brock Lesnar, the genetic monster defeated John Cena to become a 4-time WWE Champion and in doing so, administered a beating to Cena that fans have never seen the reliant former champion go through. It reminded me of Summerslam 2002 when Lesnar, then a fairly unknown defeated one of the greatest the business had ever seen in The Rock to capture his first WWE Championship. It was a changing of the guard then and it very well may have been a changing of the guard last night.
For over 12 years now, Cena has been WWE’s poster boy. Their Superman, their needle mover, their money maker. He has always been booked as the guy who no matter what you threw in front of him, he would somehow find a way to win. This was not the case at Summerslam.
For sixteen minutes Brock Lesnar, the same man who ended The Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak of 21 straight victories, gave Cena a one-sided beating that included 16 German suplexes and 2 F5’s and a clean victory. Cena has only ever been beaten cleanly in a regular one on one match before to lose the WWE Championship and that was last year to fan favorite Daniel Bryan. This was different though.
The booking of this match ultimately made both guys look good. It confirmed Brock’s standing as the unstoppable beast while still holding true to Cena’s toughness of never giving up. One has to wonder why the change in the booking of this match from a typical Cena match, however. Why was he dominated so badly? There has to come a day where WWE will not be Cena’s everyday life which is hard to fathom as a fan. Love or hate the guy, he’s undoubtedly the hardest working person in the business today, maybe ever. Has he or WWE reached the point where they have started thinking he won’t be THE guy for much longer?
Brock Lesnar, another controversial figure in the world of professional wrestling was once was labelled ‘The Next Big Thing” who captured the WWE Championship at 25 years old. He was a beast unlike any of us had ever seen before. A 295 pound monster with the perfect combination of strength, size, speed, athleticism and that “it factor.” Two years later however, he left WWE and later went on to become a star in the world of mixed martial arts as he became the UFC Heavyweight Champion, defeating greats like Randy Couture, Frank Mir and Heath Herring.
While Lesnar is 37 years old, has no end in sight. He is not complacent with the fans, long-time fans love him, and he’s a money-maker. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion broke pay per view records for that respected company, and when he returned to the WWE two years ago, has consistently had great, epic money-making matches with the likes of Triple H, The Undertaker, CM Punk and Cena. Quite simply, he’s a game-changer and a breath of fresh air in the eyes of the fans who have grown weary of the PG-era of supermen, comedy-driven storylines and profanity-guarded television.
Lesnar is the man the WWE needs to pull them out their money-losing slump in the wake of the WWE Network’s failed projections and the less than flattering new business deal with NBC. His smash-mouth style, his Hulk-like physique and non-PC laced proclamations of “not giving a f*#k what people think” is something new yet familiar to fans of old and to the former child-like fans of Cena who have grown up with WWE who are now ready for something new.
Lesnar is the man who also matches the high energy/hungry style of this fresher crop of new wrestlers making their way up, most notably guys like Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Who doesn’t want to see Lesnar go head to head with every single one of those guys? It’s a time of change in the WWE, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
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