What can be said about Brock Lesnar that hasn’t already been said by Stephen King? The man is indeed a freak show.
Saturday night at UFC 200, a walking, talking, punching horror movie monster named Brock Lesnar walked into Las Vegas to take a huge gamble. He went all in on the reputation of himself as well as the reputation of the WWE. Somehow WWE had worked out a deal where UFC would get The Beast Incarnate for the milestone UFC 200 in exchange for some advertising, and probably another bargaining chip that’s yet to be seen.
The advertising in question was for, of course, the upcoming video game, WWE2K17 with Brock Lesnar as the coverbeast. But another promo for SummerSlam preceded the fight, as well. In a rare booking with no buildup, we saw an ad for Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at SummerSlam. This is exciting for a couple reasons. Not that I’m an enormous Randy Orton mark, but the man is an in-ring perfectionist. There’s no way that’s not going to be a great match. It’s also a relief to see The Viper return from his injury just in time for the WWE Draft.
What this mean in the long run is that Brock is guaranteed to stay with WWE for at least a while longer. Even though Brock’s true passion is for true athletic competition, the 38-year-old certainly can’t compete on MMA’s highest level for the next decade; but he’ll always have a place in the warm, comforting arms of Vincent Kennedy McMahon. But how Brock would be promoted in the company hinged on his performance at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt.
Lesnar went from fighting one Samoan badass at last year’s WrestleMania against Roman Reigns, to fighting another Samoan badass in the octagon against Mark Hunt. A proven knockout artist, Hunt was an appropriate matchup for Lesnar. Although Brock had been a UFC Heavyweight Champion, he was out of action for 6 years, busy doing what exclusive UFC fans would call “that fake wrestling stuff.”
It would seem that Brock had made his ridiculously giant bed and now he had to lie in it. He had decided to stay with WWE due to his age, even though he had unfinished business in the octagon. Distraught from the disease of diverticulitis, Brock loathed the fact that he never had the chance to compete in UFC at 100 percent. He had so much more to prove in the world of MMA and it ate him up inside like diverticulitis. So Brock did what Brock does. He powered and forced his way back into UFC while still under contract with WWE.
The Nightmare of Suplex City.
The God of Violent Retribution...found his retribution at UFC 200.
A leaner, meaner Brock entered the octagon last night to the sound of Metallica’s Enter Sandman. Obviously a nod to Sandman (that’s a joke), it set the mood for the extreme and brutal nature of Lesnar’s fighting style. Keeping in mind the he did have to cut some weight to make it down to Heavyweight (which is silly scary), he appeared much smaller and maybe more athletic than we are used to seeing. And a lighter, quicker Brock Lesnar is nothing to scoff at.
In the first round, Brock seemed to shake off whatever big fight rust he had. It was pretty even, and Lesnar had, at the very least, protected the business enough by not getting knocked out in the early going. But for the remaining 2 rounds, Brock would take Mark Hunt down again and again, into The Beast’s comfort zone, like an alligator taking its prey underwater in a death roll. The ground and pound of Brock Lesnar is hard to watch at times. Wait. No it’s not. It’s very, very entertaining.
For much of the fight, Lesnar held Hunt down and used his gorilla arms as battering rams against Hunt’s skull. In typical Brock fashion, I think it’s fair to say that Mark Hunt was victimized. Though Hunt did put up a good fight, Lesnar was dominant, bringing the fight to a decision victory after 3 rounds.
So, Brock wins and retains his indestructible credibility. He also protected his pro wrestling namesake. The unbeatable Beast is still unbeatable. It was a high risk, high reward situation for WWE and it paid off. Granted, it’s more likely that this was a Lesnar decision much more than McMahon decision, as WWE opted not to promote the fight. I expect them to take full credit for it now, though, like how an employer takes credit for a worker’s idea after the fact.
WWE will say something along the lines of, “Brock Lesnar was dominant at UFC 200 and it was totally our idea the whole time. Yup. We had the utmost confidence in him and we’re glad we thought of it. Watch SummerSlam because Brock Lesnar will be there, and he’s good because it was our idea.”
And now that SummerSlam is already slated for Lesnar/Orton, the WWE Network might just see a few more subscriptions from skeptical UFC diehards. The scenario harkens back to a time when fans thought wrestling was real, and wrestlers like the Iron Sheik had true athletic credibility and the competitive accolades to prove it. When Brock Lesnar enters the squared circle, it might as well be an octagon, because he makes it feel real.
Just because he wants to, Brock will likely continue to compete in UFC, jumping seasonally between MMA and Sports Entertainment. Who’s going to stop him? He’s in high demand in both companies. Some wrestlers, like The Rock and John Cena, would film movies in concert with their pro wrestling careers. WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar’s side project is physically destroying people.