Roman Reigns’ loss to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 continues to be something of an anomaly. Fans knew that The Big Dog had finally come full circle in his WWE career, which meant that Mania was supposed to be his night.
His critics weren’t happy about that of course. But a great number of fans weren’t happy with any of it. Roman is not the fan favorite. Brock has become a caricature of himself. It wasn’t exactly the perfect storm to begin with. But now it’s time for the next chapter.
The Greatest Royal Rumble event on April 27 is yet another anomaly in terms of timing. The storyline between Reigns and Lesnar seemingly continues past its shelf life, which is nothing new for WWE as a company. A prime example of that is the feud between The New Day and The Usos. The biggest difference though is that Lesnar and Reigns aren’t making magic together.
Their rivalry has become old hat now. Fans have seen it. They’ve lived through it. At this point, both guys are just treading water. WWE has made an effort to freshen it up however, most notably with Reigns’ recent verbal attacks on Lesnar’s schedule.
Check out Steve Austin’s take on Reigns vs. Lesnar at Mania:
The Beast Incarnate is a part-time champion. Everyone knows that. From the moment he returned to the company in 2012, Lesnar has been nothing short of a shadow. He’s there one minute and he’s gone the next. His desire to keep his dates at a minimum goes hand in hand with WWE’s desire to keep him as a featured attraction. After all, he’s not special if he’s there every week. Right?
But many would argue that he’s no longer special at all. Limited exposure has not increased his overall value in the eyes of the audience, who has grown tired of constantly wondering when and where Lesnar will decide to show up next. It’s a guessing game that no one really wants to play anymore.
Suplex, repeat. It’s a catchy mantra and perfectly describes Brock Lesnar as a performer in 2018. But as with everything else concerning his character, it’s just become yesterday’s news. It’s not new anymore. Fans have seen what Lesnar can do inside the ring now and they saw what he could do before he left in 2004. Brock Lesnar is no longer a pro wrestler, he’s Happy Gilmore. He’s a one-trick pony.
That’s not to suggest that Lesnar doesn’t put in the work. He is one of the most underrated Superstars in WWE when it comes to selling. When fans see his glassy-eyed expression and witness him struggling to get back to his feet, they know he’s working hard to convince them he’s in a fight. It works because he is very convincing and because he does care about the match itself.
But killing the long drive off the tee is not enough. It’s certainly not enough to make anyone believe that Lesnar’s year-long run as Universal champion is a good thing. It’s not that the title itself is such a prized possession that deserves more than Lesnar’s sporadic defenses. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
Check out Jerry Lawler’s take on Reigns vs. Lesnar:
The Universal Championship has zero credibility and even less relevancy. How can fans care about a belt that’s never on the line? Brock Lesnar does Brock Lesnar things in the ring and makes an effort to put on a good show but the title means next to nothing when the final bell rings. Fans can blame Lesnar for that but the real fault lies with WWE.
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