There was nothing like the excitement and electricity that a big fight brought me growing up. My family has always been huge boxing fans, and growing up in the 80′s allowed us to witness numerous boxing fights that actually mattered. The moments before a Mike Tyson fight elicited feelings that very few athletes and circumstances could. And even when the baddest man on the planet was in between fights or beating up Robin Givens, the depth of talent in the sport at the time always peaked your interest no matter the weight class or if a title was on the line. Once Tyson went to the joint, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and others kept the sport afloat until Tyson returned.
In the WWE these days, some of the company’s stars from the attitude era have returned, albeit on a lighter work schedule. The Rock makes his cameo appearances between movie shoots and even has his WWE title match set for the Royal Rumble in January. Brock Lesnar returned the night after WrestleMania to a raucous crowd in Miami that was still jacked up from the week long buzz that ‘Mania provides.
In typical boring and predictable fashion, the WWE had resident douche, Hogan 2.0 (John Cena) defeat the beast in Chicago at Extreme Rules despite Lesnar gashing Cena’s head open in the early stages of the match. I gave Cena credit that night for taking a beating even though the PG legend eventually came out on top.
But since then, Lesnar has taken full advantage of his plush contract and only shown up at Raw 1,000 and the last couple episodes of Raw to build the suspense for the SummerSlam main event this Sunday night vs Triple H.
Some fans complain that The Rock and Lesnar are getting special treatment because they aren’t around on a weekly basis, but they don’t need to be. There name alone pimps a card and gives it a boost that warrants their hefty contracts.
With Triple H also carrying a lighter work load these days, seeing two of the company’s biggest stars from ’02 to the present go at it has overshadowed the rest of the card. WWE Champion CM Punk has been gone heel again (about time) and bitched about not being the focus of Raw, but that has more to do with the fact that he’s squaring off against the perpetually boring & irrelevant Big Show and stale & robotic 5 moves of doom Cena for the WWE title. The other “main event” is a triple threat match that a stoned monkey could have seen coming, and one that will cause a revolt if Punk doesn’t retain the gold.
If Punk really wanted to go off about the disrespect he’s been shown lately, he’d bring up the Triple H-Lesnar main event and start a fresh feud with either of the two. I know, the WWE isn’t that creative and they refuse to listen to me.
When you add in Paul Heyman (who is perfect for this type of build up) and Shawn Michaels (who had his arm possibly “broken” by Lesnar’s infamous Kimora Lock on Raw Monday), it takes you back to the Attitude Era. What Lesnar should have done, however, is give HBK back his hat and a 3 month supply of Rogaine. I kid, HBK. I kid. All four of these men (even Lesnar, despite needing subtitles whenever he gets on the mic) add an edge and drama to a match that we’ll probably never see again.
Fights between two mega stars like this don’t need a continued feud, but could provide the groundwork if the WWE wants to have these two fight again at the Survivor Series, Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. There’s enough of a bad blood history with Heyman attacking Stephanie and Triple H’s family that the lead in basically writes itself.
And with fans knowing just how dangerous and lethal Lesnar is, he’ll always be the heel no matter who he’s facing. Even the Chicago crowd in April wasn’t as anti-Cena as they normally are (see the Cena vs CM Punk match from Money in the Bank ’11) because you didn’t know just how hurt Cena was most of the match.
What Brock Lesnar and Triple H are bringing to SummerSlam is a WrestleMania main event type of feel to the WWE’s 2nd biggest pay-per-view. The rest of the card (much like a boxing under card) is an afterthought, even though Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho could steal the show. We aren’t always treated to seeing stars like Lesnar and The Game go at it, and that’s what makes SummerSlam worth purchasing. It’s also justifies Vince McMahon paying Lesnar and The Rock their exorbitant $5 million contracts. Stars bring ratings and stars bring money. And in Vinny Mac’s world, it’s always all about the monaaaaay.