Seth Rollins came face-to-face with WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar on the August 5 edition of Monday Night Raw and promptly went down in a heap on the mat. Once again, The Beast Incarnate was just too much for The Beastslayer and unfortunately for WWE, Seth’s efforts to win the audience over were unsuccessful.
Rollins gave a good effort on the mic as he struggled to get back to his feet. But the Pittsburgh crowd did nothing but chant, laugh and otherwise ignore, the former Universal champion. While this was just one Raw on one night, the fact is that it’s indicative of the failing storyline between Lesnar and Rollins. So why is this not working?
To understand why this feud has gone south, fans must first understand the problems that exist with Brock’s overall booking. Simply blaming Lesnar is not the answer however, as his character has been directed by WWE Creative. Brock may have more freedom than other top performers to a certain extent, but that freedom likely does not mean he calls his own shots every time he’s on TV.
Zero creative control means that Lesnar, like everyone else on the roster, follows the plan and does what is asked of him. He’s the biggest star in the company and he’s been booked as such, but at the end of the day, he’s just a man playing his part. So does that mean WWE is to blame for the way things are going in the Lesnar/Rollins angle right now?
Relive Rollins’ feud with Lesnar!
WWE backed itself into a corner with Brock a long time ago. From the moment he returned to the company in 2012, Lesnar’s booking as an all-powerful monster was stronger than it ever had been. His eight year absence from WWE did nothing to slow him down and if anything, he was more dominant than ever before. He was the former UFC champion whose skill set had risen above professional wrestling and that meant he was unstoppable.
WWE set Lesnar on a path to the top and who can fault them for that? Brock was available and he was willing to do business. Despite who was the face of the company or who was wearing the championship, WWE would have been foolish to pass on Brock Lesnar. But somewhere along the way, the Beast overshadowed the industry.
Many veteran pro wrestlers, Triple H included, have said in the past that no one is bigger than the business. But that is not the case with Brock Lesnar, as his star burns brighter than WWE. He’s made it clear that he doesn’t need the company, while the company has made it clear that it doesn’t want to operate without him.
It could be said that WWE is merely feeding Lesnar’s ego. But the fact remains that Brock continues to be used seven years after his return, even though WWE has a locker room full of budding main event stars.
Watch Lesnar destroy Rollins on Raw!
Of course if the spotlight isn’t shining on those stars, then how can they get over? Silly storylines and 50-50 booking have not helped matters at all. No matter how talented today’s talents are, it’s virtually impossible to overcome bad planning. Without the WWE machine behind them, the current crop of Superstars don’t have a prayer of succeeding in 2019. But that’s been the case from the start. So why does WWE continue to lean on Brock Lesnar?
It’s as if the company is making a statement every time Lesnar comes back to the fold. That statement concerns Lesnar’s star-power and how it exists above everyone else. Does WWE indeed view Lesnar as the biggest star in the locker room?
Why hasn’t WWE elevated another Superstar to Brock’s level? Lesnar is in phenomenal shape and he can still get it done in the ring, but he’s 42 and he’s not getting any younger. So when does the company move on?
The problem with all of these questions is that WWE doesn’t seem to be in any rush to provide any answers. Brock Lesnar is still the Universal champion and chances are, he will remain the champion after his match with Seth at SummerSlam on August 11. Rollins guaranteed a win and WWE obviously wants fans to believe in him.
But when the bell rings and Brock Lesnar does Brock Lesnar stuff in the ring, all bets are off. The only guarantee is destruction and the most likely outcome is a Lesnar victory.
Watch Seth stand up to Brock on Raw!
Perhaps the reason behind the overall fan disinterest in this storyline is the fact that many believe they know how it will all end. Rollins got the win over Brock at WrestleMania 35, but that may be the last time. WWE threw a bone to the crowd with Seth’s victory and then it was back to business as usual with Lesnar just three months later.
If fans are right with that assessment, then there’s simply no reason to get excited about Lesnar versus Rollins at SummerSlam. Even if Seth does go over, how long will it be until Brock once again takes him down? Rollins is still delivering in the ring and he’s still a top babyface in the company.
But if the crowd’s faith in him is outweighed by their dread of Brock’s monster booking, then what can WWE do to right the ship?
The fact is that Lesnar shows no signs of slowing down and WWE shows no signs of moving on. He always does business and he goes along with whatever plan the company has for him. But that plan usually calls for Brock to smash and destroy. So even though many fans love Seth, it may not be enough for them to fully invest in him against the man that WWE continues to invest in at every turn.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live