Brock Lesnar's WWE Stock Depends on 'Summerslam'
Collin Van Ooyen / August 15, 2012 - 12:50pm
When Brock Lesnar rejoined the WWE after Wrestlemania, his status as a former WWE and UFC Champion helped him enter right back into the main event picture. That was until he dropped his first match back to fan favorite John Cena, ending a month-long feud that went nowhere. It seemed puzzling to some that Lesnar would not be put over in his return match, but the beating he laid on Cena went a long way to re-establishing the mystique of Lesnar as an in-ring force. It was the kind of stiff-working performance that fans had grown to love seeing from Lesnar in his first run with the WWE. However, that mystique may not last if Lesnar is not put in a position to become a legitimate title threat, and losing matches doesn’t put anybody in title bouts.
Or does it?
He’s been used sparingly ever since, and when we have seen him, he’s exhibited more of his infamous mean streak, breaking the arms of Triple H, and this past Monday, Shawn Michaels. That viciousness is a great way to maintain his dominant image while he’s not actually competing in the ring. It’s an approach that could come to define his second run in pro wrestling.
The popular belief is that Brock will win against Triple H at Summerslam because it would be catastrophic for Lesnar’s image to go 0-2 in his first two matches back. That may not be the case, as long as the match plays out similarly to the Lesnar/Cena match from Extreme Rules, with Brock brutally dominating, but ultimately losing. Paul Heyman said quite convincingly on a recent episode of RAW that, “Brock Lesnar hurts people.” There’s your thesis statement for a very workable angle for Lesnar.
One thing that does seem certain is that Brock Lesnar is going to get a heavy push from now until Wrestlemania. Working within the parameters of his short-term big money contract, the WWE will have to maximize the return on their investment. One clear-cut way of doing that is by making Lesnar a winner. During his first run in the WWE, Lesnar was an absolute beast in the ring, beating the biggest names in the biggest matches. He topped The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match, beat Kurt Angle in the main event of Wrestlemania, and defeated The Rock for the WWE Championship. He’ll need to rack up a similar resumé in this limited stint to really restore his name value by Wrestlemania, and a clean win over Triple H could be the perfect way to set that tone.
One problem facing anybody who gets in the ring with The Game is that he simply does not like to put people over. Triple H has been the golden boy of the WWE for years, and even in his now reduced in-ring role, it’s not likely that he’s going to want to change that tune for anyone, not even big, bad Brock Lesnar. That’s why another Extreme Rules-style finish could be in the cards for this Sunday. That way they could maintain Triple H’s untouchable stature while simultaneously getting him off of TV for another stint, as his in-ring duties become increasingly more limited. This could send Lesnar on a hell bent frenzy where he begins to clear out the roster, leaving a trail of broken bones and bodies as he sets up his next major feud.
No matter who walks out of Summerslam’s main event with the win, you can be certain that Lesnar will be making a big statement of some sort, and that statement will shape the entire remainder of his current run in the WWE. Lesnar is no good to anyone as a jobber, so utter domination seems to be the only play, but how he achieves that effect is yet to be seen. Shawn Michaels could play a big part in the outcome of this match, which would open the door for an extended Michaels/Triple H angle, and would free Lesnar up to start plowing through the rest of the roster. One way or another, expect Brock Lesnar to hurt some people this Sunday at Summerslam.