Brock Lesnar has certainly made an impact in WWE since his return a few weeks ago. The live crowd goes nuts every time he appears on screen, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler treat him like a major star, and he is getting his new character over in a big way.
Probably the biggest impact Lesnar has had is making John Cena actually look vulnerable and scared for once. Sure, Cena lost to The Rock at WrestleMania but that's what the people paid to see. Only a minority of the audience plunked down their $65 to see Cena defeat Rocky.
This is something totally different, though.
Lesnar is the man. This is a legitimate tough guy who is about the size of a Buick and looks like he could destroy anyone at the drop of a hat. Lesnar is being treated different than any other "legit" athlete that has been featured on WWE and it's making all the difference in the world.
Sure, guys like Big Show and Kane have been pushed as monsters before, squashing mid-carders like bugs and generally looking menacing. Lesnar, though, is being treated in an entirely different manner.
Lesnar is being painted as a loose cannon who could snap at any moment and no one is safe. Not only that, but once Lesnar gets going, there isn't a man on the roster who can stop him.
Cena's character looks like he's about to crap his pants every time Lesnar looks in his direction and that is what sets this feud apart from others. For too long we've been subjected to Cena cracking bad jokes before main-event matches and generally treating opponents like they are jokes.
He's overcome superhuman odds time and time again to the point where the live crowd was bored to tears. However, Lesnar scares him to death.
Lesnar does something that wrestling fans love and that's create a big-fight atmosphere. Breaking kayfabe for the last decade and a half has killed a good deal of the business but, deep down, people still believe Lesnar could destroy anyone on the WWE roster.
So where do we go from here?
Cena takes on Lesnar in an Extreme Rules match at the upcoming pay-per-view in a match that some of my colleagues believe is arriving too quickly. Some other writers say that WWE should have "slow burned" the feud and dragged it out until SummerSlam, giving the match a chance to drum up interest and allow the fans to get behind Cena.
I disagree though because Lesnar is the hot topic of conversation in the pro wrestling world. You need to strike while the iron is hot and the iron is very hot heading into the Extreme Rules PPV.
Unfortunately for Cena fans, I can only see this match going one direction: Lesnar bloodies Cena, destroys him in the ring and gets the pinfall victory. How can it go any other way?
You can't have Cena defeat Lesnar right away, you'd kill Lesnar's new character right out of the gate. You can't give Cena a fluke win because that's not where the money is. People want to see Lesnar destroy people, not be outsmarted and losing in his first match in eight years.
Lesnar became a star by showing up the day after WrestleMania 18 and absolutely destroyed everything in his path. When he convincingly defeated The Rock at SummerSlam, wrestling had a new star on their hands. There's no reason to think this match at Extreme Rules is going to play out any differently.
Here comes the pain.