After an entire year of relentless speculation, Brock Lesnar ended all speculation on Sunday night, returning to professional MMA to fight the man many thought he would never fight: CM Punk. He did not disappoint, as he absolutely annihilated Punk, who was the one man who stood in his way of a UFC heavyweight title shot. It was nothing short of a “WrestleMania” main event, and it was a historic moment for the UFC.
Brock Lesnar’s return to the WWE failed to overshadow CM Punk’s decision to go to the newly established All Elite Wrestling (AEW) promotion.
On Saturday, August 5th, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar made his long awaited return to the Octagon. Lesnar, the biggest star in the history of the UFC, headlined his first fight in four years, taking on the returning heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Lesnar was victorious, taking Miocic down and out in the third round. However, the biggest battle took place outside of the ring, as Lesnar’s return was overshadowed, in no small part, by the signing of CM Punk to a contract with the new All Elite Wrestling promotion.
SummerSlam concluded a week of pro wrestling celebrity comebacks with Brock Lesnar rising from the ashes like a magnificent phoenix to face Roman Reigns. And, ugh, that was the end of it. If this was really a ploy by the WWE to attempt to overshadow their competitor’s crazy week, it wasn’t quite CM Punk turning up to AEW Rampage on Friday; but that standard of insanity was almost hard to reach if this was actually a plan by the WWE to try to overshadow their competitor’s wild week.
To begin with, WWE fans are fickle. Not as fickle as the company, but the support for Lesnar was a little out of control, as it was likely from the same people who claimed to be sick of him and his type (Goldberg, Edge, John Cena, and the never-ending cycle of bringing back “older” talent while laying off younger, potentially viable talent).
Nonetheless, as someone who loves Lesnar as a unique special attraction, it seemed a little hollow. In fact, SummerSlam as a whole felt a little like that.
This was also not due to any of the performers’ faults. This was only a few years of the WWE utilizing matches to get to storylines rather than stories to get to matches, and no one was really caring about anything anymore. There’s never really anything on the line when everything is constantly on the line – titles, careers, but neither really since everything always reverses direction.
WWE may prove me wrong, but the programming after SummerSlam this week will very certainly be a repeat of the network special. Brock Lesnar may make an appearance. He may have to face Roman Reigns one again. Paul Heyman will be startled and awestruck, pleading for all kinds of compassion, and… we’ve seen it all before. Furthermore, it won’t matter what the WWE says will be at risk in this narrative.
AEW, on the other hand, has done an excellent job of demonstrating how victories and tales affect programming and characters. CM Punk came up at Rampage, delivered an incredible promo, and then revealed that he will face Darby Allin at All Out. On Wednesday, Punk will appear on Dynamite, but it will not be a repeat of his comeback. The wrestlers and AEW will really utilize his presence to PROMOTE THE MOTHER BLEEPING STORY FORWARD.
When the narrative of CM Punk and Darby Allin is over, everyone will go on to other interesting storylines and matches. Importantly, AEW will not act as if the feud (if it turns out to be that) never occurred for whatever reason, as the WWE does on a regular basis.
In that respect, AEW has won my confidence as a fan. They’ll handle Punk’s storyline well, in my opinion. Even though I think Lesnar is incredibly valuable, fun, and entertaining, I don’t trust WWE to use him in new and/or entertaining ways because the company has forced me to devalue everything they have that SHOULD have value but doesn’t because they don’t value their own talent, stories, and programming.
Anyway, let’s wrap it up like this to prevent any further word vomit. You’re probably a WWE fan if you’re reading this. You’ve most likely seen SummerSlam. You may have even popped when Brock Lesnar appeared. Are you really eager to watch Lesnar vs. Reigns part eleventy-billion if all of those things are true, and although entertainment is clearly subjective, so if you’re pleased with all of this, then I’m glad for you?
And if you are, do you have faith in Vince and his crew to convey it in a compelling manner?
There was a lot of buzz surrounding the return of WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar after he spent eight years away from WWE, but it was all overshadowed by the announcement that CM Punk will be returning to WWE for the first time in five years. With the WWE Universe already so focused on the topic, it seemed like the AEW news would be all but lost in the shuffle.. Read more about brock lesnar ufc and let us know what you think.
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