Brock Lesnar is headed for a showdown with The Big Show at WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Sunday, January 26. The match is the result of heat between the two men that began on Monday Night Raw and from the moment it was booked, many of the WWE faithful have had a serious problem with it.
We knew this moment was coming. For those of us that spend so many countless hours absorbing and analyzing the WWE product, we had the realization a long time ago. Only now has the rest of the world seen what we knew to be true.
When Brock first returned to WWE back in 2012 however, it was very difficult to see this far down the road. This is thanks in large part to the tremendous impact he had upon his arrival.
As John Cena stood in the ring on the April 2 2012 edition of Raw, Lesnar’s music filled the arena while the crowd roared in response. The moment came as such a surprise, mostly because fans were not sure when Lesnar would finally come back to the company.
And that surprise turned to elation as Brock grabbed Cena, delivered the F5 and left him for dead in the ring. Of course, anyone that attacks Cena has the potential to immediately get over with the WWE crowd. The love/hate relationship that fans have with John is oftentimes hate/hate so it goes with the territory.
But this was not just anyone that attacked Cena. This was the former UFC champion, the man that turned a choreographed professional wrestling career into a legitimate MMA fighting career. Lesnar may have been hated and he may have had his critics but no one could deny the intensity and focus he brought to the Octagon.
This was the man that bloodied Cena on live TV, that later appeared to beat him down so badly at Extreme Rules that it truly looked as if the match could be stopped. Brock was the bruising Beast, the Ultimate Fighter that had abandoned his WWE roots and was bringing an MMA style to Vince McMahon’s ring. He was everything WWE had advertised and then some.
Brock wasn’t trying to work a pro wrestling match. He was trying to hurt the man in the ring with him. That is the Brock Lesnar that WWE fans got and it was the same man that showed up against Triple H and later CM Punk.
In every instance, Brock appeared to be the unstoppable monster that could actually put someone in the hospital while his opponent was doing his part working a called match. Brock was not a WWE Superstar; in fact he was the farthest thing from it.
But that’s all over now.
The Brock Lesnar we see before us now can be hurt. He can be slowed down. He can be overpowered and he can be outmatched. Big Show has been given more against Lesnar than anyone he has faced since he returned. Lesnar has made no forward progress with Show and every time they have a confrontation, Brock is the one left backing down.
He is no longer the aggressor and his past as the former UFC champion is now firmly in the past. Where Brock Lesnar once looked superhuman, he now looks very human. In other words, he looks like a WWE Superstar.
This is how it’s supposed to go. We may have forgotten how it works due to how incredibly strong Brock has looked for the past two years but this is the formula for a feud in pro wrestling. Every talent has the potential to be knocked back on his heels, to be put down in the middle of the ring. It’s happened to the best in WWE, from John Cena to The Undertaker to CM Punk and everyone in between.
Brock Lesnar may have been above it at one time because WWE was capitalizing on his UFC career but the fact is that could not last forever. No one is untouchable in terms of the ebb and flow of a rivalry. If Brock never looks beatable then why would anyone ever spend their money to watch him in the ring?
And truth be told, Big Show deserves to look good. Far too many times we have seen him play second fiddle to a Superstar higher on the WWE food chain than he is. Show has done his fair share of taking bumps and looking weak, all in the name of doing business for the company.
The spotlight that he’s being given next to Brock is a continuation of the character that we saw face The Authority in 2013. And I think it’s only logical that he look good in what could be the biggest match he has had in years.
Brock Lesnar may be a former UFC champion but that may as well have been 100 years ago. This Brock Lesnar is now a full blown WWE Superstar once again. And that’s just the way it has to be.
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for Whatculture.com
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
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