Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE programming on April 2nd 2012 to a huge ovation from the WWE Universe. Leaving John Cena a crumpled wreck in the middle of the ring following a devastating F5, Lesnar’s intent was clear to everyone. The following week on RAW a stare-down between the two resulted in a spear from Lesnar and a bloodied Cena missing a tooth, courtesy of a legitimate punch smashed in to his mouth. Since his return to WWE though, Lesnar has lost in high profile matches to both Cena and Triple H, but this doesn’t take anything away from him as WWE’s most dominant force. Regardless of any previous victories or losses Brock may have endured, the WWE Universe expects him to step between the ropes regardless and destroy whichever superstar stands opposing him. And I don’t mean to simply pick up a victory, but to actually destroy his opponent. With this expectation and with a physical dominance very few competitors before have ever achieved in the ring, could Brock Lesnar be the WWE’s all-time greatest heel? Here are my 5 reasons why he should at least be considered.
Winning the NCAA heavyweight championship in 2000 is by no means a walk in the park and confirmed Lesnar’s ability as an amateur wrestler, but consider his run with UFC from 2007. With victories against Randy Couture, Shane Carwin and Frank Mir, Lesnar has beaten some of the world’s greatest and most prolific fighters. No theatrics, no worked spots, Lesnar beat them in real fights and became the UFC Heavyweight Champion whilst also dealing with bouts of diverticulitis. The fact that Lesnar has beaten such accomplished opponents and for real gives credence to The Beast Incarnate persona he currently utilizes in WWE. Lesnar is a fighter, and he’s cemented himself as one of the world’s best.
Brock Lesnar’s aggression must make the lockeroom cringe when Creative book them in the opposite corner. His smash mouth, one hundred mile an hour attitude is what makes a successful heel. The fact that he will do whatever it takes to hurt his opponent brings unpredictability in to play. To be blunt, a heel that plays by his own rules with a villainous, aggressive streak and no fear of consequence is truly captivating for viewers.
To put it simply, Lesnar must surely be the strongest performer to have ever competed in the WWE. Yes, John Cena has struggled to raise the Big Show on his shoulders and deliver the FU. Wade Barrett hoisted Mark Henry on his shoulders to deliver Wasteland with a little help from the ring, but it’s the effortlessness and ease in which Lesnar has lifted these superstars on to his shoulders. Big Show, Henry, Rikishi, some of the biggest superstars in WWE have been manhandled by the Beast Incarnate. Also, remember his dominance over the rest of the lockeroom? The clothesline delivered to Spike Dudley during his debut? Shannon Moore spinning through the air like a propeller blade during an F5? No-one has had such a physical dominance and impact in the ring like Lesnar, a feat which has been difficult for others to replicate. Lesnar has an intimidation factor and presence in the ring that prompts the WWE Universe to expect him victorious no matter who his opponent may be.
Brock Lesnar has promoted himself in to a worldwide brand. His success as an MMA competitor within UFC pushed him to become one of the worlds most recognized fighters. Upon his return to WWE Lesnar has had to continue this, thus making him different from every other superstar he competes against. Lesnar must be recognized as a legitimate, dominant entity for his branding to remain successful, which means he must adopt a bad attitude in the ring and prove himself as his brand suggests. There’s also the arrogance that Lesnar knows he’s one of the worlds most recognized fighters, and that clearly comes across whenever he appears on programming. Arrogance is often a trait used by heels but in Lesnar’s case you know he can back up it up.
Brock is also money orientated and being the brand that he is, knows he can draw vast amounts of it. It’s no secret that Lesnar is on a mega-money contract with WWE and successfully exploits financial motivation during appearances.
Lesnar has a bad attitude, and he knows how to utilize it.
The fact that Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are friends only adds to the persona of the Beast Incarnate. Heyman is a trip to the past where managers were abundant within the WWE, and his current persona works wonders alongside his friend and client. In rekindling their friendship on screen, WWE took Lesnar’s biggest weakness and made it a strength. Lesnar’s weak mic skills have been noted in the past by many fans and critics. This time around the weakness was rectified. Heyman talks the talk so effectively on Lesnar’s behalf that Lesnar only has to sell himself in the ring. Since his return to WWE Brock has uttered very few words allowing Heyman to do the majority of the talking, and in turn has created a mystique. There is something menacing about a superstar of little words. Look at Yokozuna, possibly the only other superstar who can rival Lesnar’s dominance in the organization. During his most successful period, James Cornette and Mr Fuji sold Yoko without requiring his participation in any promo segments, except for the odd shout of ‘Bonsai.’
With Heyman’s mic skills and exceptional wrestling knowledge, Brock Lesnar can remain a dominant enigma that captivates the WWE Universe.
My argument for why Brock Lesnar may be WWE’s most dominant heel is due to the five successes listed above. He is a legitimate ass-kicker who has demonstrated this against some truly world class, legitimate fighters. His awesome strength is utilized successfully by his pure aggression. No other WWE superstar has combined these two traits so successfully in tandem. His bad attitude is enhanced by Paul Heyman working as his promoter, which in effect completes his near perfect package as a heel. Brock Lesnar’s power, aggression, legitimacy, bad attitude and despicable manager have crafted him in to, what I believe, is the greatest heel thus far in WWE.