Here comes the pain! Again.
Brock Lesnar made his return to the WWE on Raw tonight and delivered an F-5 to John Cena completely changing the landscape of the WWE for the foreseeable future.
Rumors were running wild all weekend that the former WWE Champion turned MMA fighter was set to return to the company that made him famous. Those rumors were put on hold as Lesnar was nowhere to be found at Wrestlemania.
A subdued Cena opened the final segment on Raw congratulating The Rock on his victory at Wrestlemania 28. Cena wanted to personally congratulate The Rock and asked him to come to the ring. Instead, Leasnar returned to the biggest pop since The Rock returned 14 months ago as the host of Wrestlemania 27. The Miami crowd had already chanted Lesnar’s name twice during Cena’s promo. They were geared up for it and it was only a matter of time.
Lesnar's return was quick, simple and most of all, there was no talking involved. This is a complete shift from the Rock-Cena feud. Lesnar went to shake Cena's hand and then hit him with the F-5.
So, what does this all mean? How does this exactly change the landscape of the WWE?
Well, that’s it for The Rock, Triple H and Undertaker. They’re all gone for the foreseeable future leaving the WWE with very little star power. Enter Lesnar, who will no doubt being a program with Cena. The biggest question as of last week is what to do with Cena after Wrestlemania? A feud with Lesnar is exactly what the doctor ordered. The WWE knew they couldn't top the Rock-Cena feud with any other person on the roster.
Lesnar was the “it” guy until he left the WWE in 2004 to pursue a career in the NFL. Lesnar’s last Wrestlemania was in 2004 at Madison Square Garden against Bill Goldberg. Lesnar lost the match, which is famous for all the wrong reasons till this day. The following year, Cean won his first WWE Title and took the top spot vacated by Lesnar. This is where the feud is going in the near future.
Lesnar hated the WWE’s rigorous road schedule, so I’m assuming he will appear more than The Rock, but less than any full-time performer for whatever the length of his contract is. It was reported to be a one-year deal.
But the possibilities are endless with Lesnar on who he can feud with. There’s the obvious real-life feud with Undertaker that fans have been clamoring to see. For those that don’t know the backstory, following Lesnar’s loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, Undertaker went up to Lesnar and tried to provoke him into a fight saying “You wanna do this?” They have legit heat and I’m penciling them in for a match at Wrestlemania 29 at MetLife Stadium.
But back to Cena vs. Lesnar: This is exactly what Cena needs right now. The loss to The Rock was an afterthought as soon as Lesnar walked through the curtain. Lesnar provides a totally new challenge to Cena, who has yet another chance to layer his character with more of an edge. The happy-go-lucky Cena is not going to go over well in a feud with Lesnar. Cena will need to bring back the edge that he displayed so well against The Rock. However, Lesnar didn’t return to lose right out of the gate to Cena. I fear that another loss to a big name from the WWE’s past might start to hurt Cena’s “Superman” image.
No matter the outcome of this feud, it makes for an interesting ride following Wrestlemania. The weeks after ‘Mania are tough on fans because everyone is coming off the high of the biggest show of the year. Lesnar’s return completely throws that notion out the window. I give the WWE props as they have created some of the most exciting television the last few months since the early 2000s.
Don’t underestimate how big of a deal Lesnar's return is. It’s so big that if the WWE would have had him return at Wrestlemania, it would have overshadowed everything, including a match the WWE spent a year building toward. That’s how big of a deal Lesnar is right now.