It has been five and a half years since Brock Lesnar came back to WWE, and three and a half since he broke The Streak and effectively became the god of wrestling. This also became the moment that he owned the WWE, but not in the sense that he was The Guy – more in the sense that the entire company warped around protecting him at all costs, because he was the basket with all the eggs.
To say that this has gotten pretty exhausting, especially as his one-on-one matches have grown increasingly boring, is an understatement.
But he was needed to play that role. Nobody else was a real Destroyer. Mark Henry and Big Show were beyond redemption as real threats, and nobody else really had the sheer size to match that OH GOD energy, even without UFC cred.
I don’t think anyone could have imagined that the black sheep of the Wyatt Family would be that after seeing how mediocre-at-best his wrestling was after his debut, and really all throughout his stint under Bray Wyatt’s control. But once the brands split and RAW started putting Braun in strings of squash matches to build him up as truly imposing to match his impressive size, he started getting interesting.
Once he started destroying non-jobbers, he started getting really interesting.
And once he became Roman Reigns’ Kryptonite and did a kip-up in a shockingly good match against Big Show, it was hard to deny that Braun Strowman had quietly become one of the best parts of the entire WWE.
The Universal Title picture putting Strowman head-to-head with Lesnar in prime “suplex, collect check, leave” mode has only made it more strikingly obvious that Strowman can be this era’s Lesnar – so last era’s Lesnar can step aside.
The only things that Lesnar has over Strowman at this point are agility (which he doesn’t show off enough to matter,) aura (which is an entirely fixable problem through booking,) and Paul Heyman. With all of this and the Universal Title, however, he has a stranglehold on Vince McMahon that has kept him making money hand over fist for doing less work than anyone else in the company. At this point, Brock feels like a walking sunk cost fallacy. Strowman is fully capable of filling Lesnar’s spot, without the price tag that makes Creative think “Oh, man, we gotta really use this guy well, we need him” to the detriment of everybody else.
I’ve written before about Lesnar being much, much more trouble than he’s worth. WWE can afford to start leaning on Braun more and Lesnar less. The sooner the better.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy of WWE.com
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