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WNS Column: Brock Lesnar: Has He Lost Momentum? How Should He Be Booked in 2016?

WNS Column: Brock Lesnar: Has He Lost Momentum? How Should He Be Booked in 2016?

In 2014, WWE booked Brock Lesnar to be the most destructive and terrifying force in wrestling history. He started out the year by making quick work of former World Champions Mark Henry and The Big Show. At WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Lesnar shocked the world when he ended the greatest streak in the history of sports and entertainment, The Undertaker's WrestleMania Undefeated Streak, which stood at 21-0. Lesnar's total annihilation of The Undertaker is widely considered to be the most jaw-dropping and unforgettable match in WrestleMania history, not only because of the illustrious history of the Streak itself, but also because of sentimental reasons. The Undertaker and his Streak carried fond memories for longtime wrestling fans, and many would still argue that the Streak never should have been broken.
 
Regardless of whether or not it was truly the right decision, the fact of the matter is that WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon felt that Brock Lesnar needed to be the one to end The Undertaker's Streak. After breaking the Streak at WrestleMania, Lesnar would go on to face John Cena at SummerSlam in August of 2014. Just as Lesnar shocked the world by his crushing defeat of The Undertaker, Lesnar put on another memorable performance at SummerSlam by totally dominating John Cena throughout the entire match and finally putting Cena out of his misery with an F-5 as the fans watched in awe and horror. Up until that point, John Cena had been the guy who was booked to beat EVERYBODY over the past decade. Cena was made to look nearly invincible, and now Lesnar had completely slaughtered the 15-time WWE World Champion.
 
Lesnar was now in a league of his own. In some ways, he sort of became the new Undertaker for WWE. Lesnar works a part-time schedule and his appearances are considered to be special attractions. When his music hits, you know that the Judge, Jury, and Executioner of WWE is about to physically destroy human bodies inside of the ring. Paul Heyman's "Beast Incarnate" indeed stands at the top of the mountain over the rest of the WWE roster.
 
Lesnar's reign as WWE World Heavyweight Champion came to an end at WrestleMania 31. Lesnar was originally scheduled to face Roman Reigns in a traditional one-on-one match. Lesnar pummeled Reigns for the majority of the match, but near the end, it appeared as though Reigns was making a comeback. However, Seth Rollins, then-holder of the Money In The Bank briefcase, cashed in his MITB contract and turned the match into a Triple Threat Match. Rollins was able to catch Reigns with a Curb Stomp while Lesnar was incapacitated, and Seth Rollins left WrestleMania 31 as the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Lesnar himself was never defeated for the Title.
 
On the March 30, 2015 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw, Brock Lesnar unleashed his fury by assaulting everybody in sight when Seth Rollins opted not to give Lesnar a rematch for the Title. This resulted in Lesnar being suspended by one of the Principal Owners of WWE, Stephanie McMahon. Lesnar would return on June 15th after being announced as Seth Rollins' next challenger for the WWE World Title.
 
Lesnar faced Rollins for the Title at Battleground on July 19th, and just when it appeared as though Lesnar had the match won, The Undertaker appeared and attacked Lesnar. Undertaker and Lesnar would then face off at SummerSlam in what was a truly spectacular match... with a terrible ending. Lesnar had Undertaker trapped in the Kimura Lock and Undertaker tapped out but the referee did not see it. The timekeeper saw it and rang the bell, which caused confusion between the referee and the timekeeper. The match was restarted and Undertaker was able to get Lesnar in the Hell's Gate submission hold, causing Lesnar to lose consciousness. It did nothing to hurt Lesnar or make him look weak at all. If anything, it was just a cheap and tainted victory for The Undertaker. Nonetheless, Undertaker did win the match. And he also proved that he could at least compete with Lesnar, even if he couldn't get a clean win over "The Beast".
 
At the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in October, the final chapter was written between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. They had an incredibly hard-hitting and competitive match, but ultimately, Lesnar was able to secure the victory over The Undertaker, cementing Lesnar's spot as the most fearsome warrior in all of WWE.
 
Lesnar had an awesome 2014 and 2015, but so far in the early part of 2016, Lesnar has had a rocky start. On the Monday Night Raw before the 2016 Royal Rumble, Lesnar was taken down by Roman Reigns, as well as Bray Wyatt's entire Wyatt Family. This did not necessarily make Lesnar look bad, as it took two Spears from Reigns and a vicious assault from all four Wyatt Family members to finally keep Lesnar down. This was after Lesnar had just made easy work of The League of Nations.
 
Still though, Lesnar was finally made to look human. He was made to look like he is capable of being put down.
 
During the 2016 Royal Rumble Match, Lesnar's performance, much like the entire match itself, was less than spectacular. Lesnar eliminated a few Superstars, but was ultimately eliminated himself by Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family.
 
As of this writing, Brock Lesnar is scheduled to compete tonight at the Fastlane pay-per-view in a Triple Threat Match to determine who will challenge Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 32. It will be Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns. Former two-time WWE World Champion Roman Reigns is the odds-on favorite to win this match tonight and challenge Triple H at WrestleMania. Lesnar has been involved in an interesting feud with both Reigns and Ambrose over the past few weeks, which makes tonight's main event match all the more interesting. However, Lesnar clearly has not resolved his issues with Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family, and there have been rumors for months now that either Bray Wyatt or Braun Strowman may be penciled in as Lesnar's opponent for WrestleMania 32.
 
Although Lesnar is still presented as being a huge star and a major threat in WWE, one has to wonder if 2016 may be the year that we start to see Lesnar cool off a bit... if he hasn't already. What happens if Lesnar doesn't win this match tonight? Where would he go from there? Would he feud with Dean Ambrose? Would he feud with The Wyatt Family? Either way, Lesnar would not be in the main event/World Heavyweight Title picture. Dean Ambrose is an incredibly popular WWE Superstar and has been booked to look like he can at least put up a good fight against anybody and possibly pick up a big victory. Lesnar and Ambrose have had a few interesting segments on television already and they seem to mesh well together. A Lesnar-Ambrose feud could be good business for both of them quite frankly, although it would seem obvious to have Lesnar go over on Ambrose.
 
And then there's The Wyatt Family and the ever-perplexing situation of how The Wyatt Family is booked in WWE. One week they're made to look unstoppable, the next week they're getting taken down by Undertaker and Kane or Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose and other top Superstars. Bray Wyatt has lost more than his fair share of big matches and has not been made to look like a top tier Superstar along the lines of Lesnar, Cena, Triple H or Undertaker. As a matter of fact, Braun Strowman has been made to look like more of a threat by himself than Bray Wyatt. But one would think that in a fair one-on-one match, Lesnar should be able to defeat any member of The Wyatt Family with relative ease, considering how strong Lesnar has been made to look and how weak The Wyatts have been booked individually at times.
 
All four members of The Wyatts working together can take Brock down, but there's no reason why any of them should get a clean victory over Lesnar in a one-on-one match. Although it would be incredibly good for Bray or Strowman to get a clean victory over Lesnar, it just wouldn't make any sense based on past booking. Bray Wyatt has not been built up to look like he could take Lesnar. Strowman has been built up to look like he could maybe put up a fight, but if Lesnar can beat Undertaker, John Cena, Big Show, and Mark Henry with ease, why should Strowman be any different? Especially considering that Undertaker and Kane were able to take on all four Wyatt Family members and stand their ground.
 
But then again, in wrestling, the simple math equation of "If C > B and B > A then C > A" doesn't always apply. Although The Wyatt Family has been made to look weak before, they very well could decide to have Bray or Strowman face Lesnar and maybe even get a victory over him, regardless of how they've been booked in the past.
 
The build-up for a Lesnar-Wyatt Family feud could be fantastic, especially with Paul Heyman and Bray Wyatt's respective microphone skills. But a loss for Lesnar wouldn't make any sense considering how much of a monster they've made him over the past two years. Lesnar has defeated The Undertaker in convincing fashion and The Undertaker has defeated Bray Wyatt in convincing fashion. Undertaker and Kane took on The Wyatt Family on Raw and then defeated Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper at Survivor Series in convincing fashion. Why should anybody believe that any member of The Wyatt Family can beat Lesnar?
 
And on the other hand, The Wyatt Family really does not need to look weak again. It wouldn't do Bray or Strowman any good to have them get destroyed by Lesnar in a singles match. Bray is already 0-2 at WrestleMania. He lost to John Cena at WrestleMania 30 and then to The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31 last year after Undertaker got destroyed by Lesnar at WrestleMania 30.
 
So unless they plan on having Brock Lesnar face two or more members of The Wyatt Family in a Handicap Match and having The Wyatts win, a one-on-one match scenario wouldn't be good for either side. Lesnar, by all rights, should not be booked to lose to any of The Wyatts. And The Wyatts can't afford to be destroyed by Lesnar in a one-on-one match.
 
It's hard to say what exactly WWE has planned for Lesnar in 2016, but they really do need to put some careful thought and consideration into how they book this special attraction. Lesnar is a freak of an athlete and is one of the biggest box office draws in WWE history. And most importantly, they gave him the honor of being the one who finally ended The Undertaker's legendary WrestleMania Streak. Lesnar still has a lot of value to the company and still has a lot to contribute. But it feels as though Lesnar is slowly becoming more and more of "just another guy" on the roster. As he continues to make more frequent appearances, it no longer sends a chill up and down the spine when his music starts to echo throughout the arena. Although he is still different from the rest of the roster, he doesn't seem quite as fearsome as he was in 2014.
 
Could it be because he's basically a babyface instead of a heel anymore? Could it be because he's making more appearances lately? Or could it be that WWE is simply not putting enough thought and consideration into how they book Lesnar when he does appear?
 
A lot of questions will be answered tonight at Fastlane, but a lot of questions will be brought up as well. What happens if Brock wins tonight? What happens if Brock loses tonight? Who will he face at WrestleMania 32? Who will he feud with throughout 2016? Who could be presented as a worthy opponent for Brock? Will he ever win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship again?
 
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