Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE almost 15 months ago to the day. In that time, he has been in a match less times than the days of the week. In that time, he has been on television fewer times than the days in a calendar month. And in that time, he has held the WWE and its Universe hostage, with fans waiting and hoping for his return to a more active role in the company.
To put this into context, AJ Lee has been through five WWE Superstars in that time frame, Ryback has continued to lose pay-per-view events and only three men have held the WWE title.
Stranger things have happened within the company. But Lesnar’s actions, or lack thereof, have not done much to help ratings, push merchandise or, in my opinion, have the fans ringside clamoring for him to come out and wrestle.
This is not a case of a wrestler like Ric Flair leaving the company for weeks because of injury, then chasing Harley Race (with the help of Bob Orton, Jr. and Dick Slater) to Starrcade in 1983. This is not a case of Sting disappearing during the rise of the nWo and then lying in wait in the rafters of arenas before his return. Those events were pertinent to storylines and the creation of drama.
With the recent events of the Lesnar and CM Punk, there really isn’t any drama or need for the storyline.
The true storyline is with Punk and Paul Heyman. Lesnar is a sideshow and, frankly, has been one since his return to the company. He could drift off into wrestling oblivion right now and it would not matter. The WWE gains nothing currently with him out of the ring. The build is slow and not in a good way.
Punk appears to be getting his ring legs back; the match with Alberto Del Rio Friday night proved that (and wouldn’t Del Rio be a perfect “Heyman Guy” with Ricardo Rodriguez out of action?) where we saw some flashes of the Punk of old.
The look on Punk’s face when Del Rio hit his “best friend” was vintage not only in look but action. And it showed the catch 22 of the situation. Nowhere is there a place for Lesnar. And it should remain that way.
The WWE does not have many wrestlers on the roster who can put together a program with the big man. I clapped for the feud with Punk, mainly because it was an elephant in the room that needed to be addressed. John Cena is embroiled in a feud with Mark Henry. Daniel Bryan should soon follow.
Sheamus would be a good fit, but he has Damien Sandow to deal with. I like Wade Barrett as well, and that would be an even brawl. Kane might work. Big Show certainly would. But other than that (Ryback), who else is there?
The WWE needs to get a handle on the delivery of this feud. Lesnar fired off the salvo the night after Payback. Since then, he has been in hibernation. Planning for SummerSlam might be the reason (of course it is), but it hurts Punk in the meantime. And frankly, I think, and hopefully many others think, if Lesnar left without a peep, it wouldn’t harm anything. There are too many other feuds the company could focus on (RVD) that make more sense.
Focus on the here and what is available, WWE, not what might be. Lesnar is the ”possible solution” while Punk is the guarantee.
Right now, the company needs more of the sure thing.