WWE: The End of the Beast? Is This Lesnar’s Final Run?

For 20 years The Beast has been one of the biggest attractions in the world. Debuting in 2002 his look was awe inspiring. He was a massive individual who could move like he was a cruiserweight. That combined with his amazing power made him a must-see attraction and one that WWE has cashed in on for two decades.

Over those 20 years, Lesnar has become one of the greatest box office attractions of all time. He has wrestled all over the world and has brought in millions doing it. He instantly boosts the buy rates of any show he appears on and is one of the most recognizable faces in wrestling.

Recently it has been reported that this career of domination might be coming to an end. Lesnar has been overheard saying that he is ready to start winding down. If this is true, he has had a remarkable career. A career littered with highlights, some of which we will look at below…

A Tremendous Rookie Year

Brock Lesnar had one of the greatest rookie years in professional wrestling history. Debuting in 2002, Lesnar cut through the competition on his way to winning the King of the Ring tournament. This was back when the tournament was taken seriously. The winner was usually pegged for greatness, and this was no different for Lesnar.

Following his King of the Ring victory Lesnar set his sights on Undisputed Champion, The Rock. The Great One was leaving for Hollywood so their Summerslam finish wasn’t a huge surprise, but the torch was passed. It was a defining moment for Lesnar and one that solidified his main event status.

For anyone else this would have been enough, but this is Lesnar after all. Once the calendar turned to 2003 Brock went ahead and won the Royal Rumble and finished his debut year by main eventing Wrestlemania 19 against Kurt Angle. It was a career year and one that no other wrestler has come close to replicating.

Lesnar Knows How to Get the Laugh

Lesnar’s reputation as an ass kicker has been well documented. His presentation as a monster is an easy one to pull off. This presentation has followed him throughout his career, but there have been instances where he surprises us all. There have been segments on WWE television where The Beast has shown some great comedic chops.

His comedic timing had been shocking, to say the least. Segments opposite R-Truth, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley have shown another layer to Lesnar. One that got the fans laughing and surprised us all.

It didn’t happen on television often, but the comedy that Lesnar was able to pull off was a great little nugget from his career.

Championship Pedigree

It has always been World Title of bust for Brock Lesnar. For many the accumulation of various championships may be the goal, but not for Lesnar. He has spent his career winning world titles wherever he went.

In WWE Lesnar amassed an incredible collection. He was a 10-time World Champion. With most of these reigns lasting for a long period. He was not one to have short title reigns, once he got his strap it took a small army to get it off him.

Of course, his championship accolades aren’t complete without mentioning that he is also a former UFC and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Add that to his WWE success and you have a World Title resume that will never be matched.

King of the Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble is one of the biggest nights in WWE. It starts the road to Wrestlemania and is a night where legends are made. Naturally, this is a night where Lesnar has added to his legacy on multiple occasions.

Lesnar is one of a few wrestlers to win multiple Royal Rumbles. Winning both the 2003 and 2022 Royal Rumble, Brock has put himself in exclusive company. A spot that is only reserved for some of the greats of WWE.

When Lesnar wasn’t winning Royal Rumbles, he was still leaving a lasting impression. Anytime he entered the contest he was instantly the focal point of the match. Specifically, his performance at the 2020 iteration was incredible. Entering number one Lesnar went on to eliminate 14 other men before getting knocked out. A herculean effort from The Beast and one that will synchronize his name with the Royal Rumble.

Lesnar Sets Miami on Fire

Brock’s first exit from WWE has been well documented. He was not happy with the schedule and decided to leave the company to try his hand at the NFL. Once that fell through Lesnar broke into the UFC and became one of the most popular heavyweight champions of all-time. His success there had many thinking that we would never see Brock set foot in WWE again.

This of course was for not and the night after Wrestlemania 28 Brock made a shocking return to the company. Interrupting a John Cena promo Brock made his way to the ring, to a thunderous response. He then entered the ring and hit Cena with a huge F-5, to another thunderous response.

It was a massive return for Lesnar. One that many thought we would never see, and one that started years of domination.

History With The Undertaker

In Brocks career he has faced many opponents, but none more important that his reoccurring feud with The Undertaker.

During Brock’s first run it was his program against the Deadman that established him as a top talent. Sure, he won his championship and was primed for the top of the card, but it was his feud against The Undertaker that said to the world he belonged in the main evet.

Then, following his return, Brock took back up ‘Taker. It was an easy program to write and one that provided the most shocking moment in Wrestlemania history. Brock breaking the streak silenced the crowd and put an exclamation point on his long history with The Undertaker.

Creative Control Gone Awry

Lesnar’s initial departure from WWE didn’t win him many friends. He was at the top of the company but decided to leave unceremoniously. It left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, but it paled in comparison to his 2012 return. Lesnar was a huge name in the world and thus he was given a long rope by WWE. A rope that he used every inch of with his creative control.

There are multiple stories of Lesnar vetoing matches and changing the direction of programs he was involved in. It happened so often that it became a running joke amongst many.

When Lesnar was forced into a match, he wasn’t fond of more chaos would ensue. There are stories of Lesnar getting colour on his opponents, or just flat out no-selling offense. It was his way of maintaining control over the match and letting the office know he held all the cards.

Lesnar may be one of the greatest, but this abuse of creative control will follow his legacy around forever.

Roman Reigns

The latter part of Lesnar’s second run will be defined by his work with Roman Reigns. They were the top dogs in the company and WWE did not hesitate to roll out their feud any chance they had.

It started with their first Wrestlemania encounter at ‘Mania 31. It was supposed to be Reigns coronation but was cut short due to a Money in the Bank cash-in. The match was a hard-hitting train wreck that started a journey for both men.

Following their first match Lesnar and Reigns went to battle a further 8 times in various match types. Every match was exactly what you would expect out of the two. Hard hitting, short and full of high impact moves. These were not going to be your iron man contests but they were still incredibly entertaining.

Lesnar and Reigns was the marquee match of the past 20 years. They worked main evented three Wrestlemania’s and a Summerslam. There isn’t many who can claim this impressive accomplishment and it is a huge reason why both men will always be in bed with the other.

Laundry List of Great Matches

Brock Lesnar has had a reputation for being hard to work with. His size, popularity and ego have caused many problems during his career, but that hasn’t stopped him from being part of some incredible matches.

In the first stage of his career, he proved his worth but having classic after classic with Kurt Angle. It was what defined his work rate.

Upon his return, Lesnar changed his style a bit but was still able to have some instant classics against the likes of CM Punk, John Cena, Triple H and Seth Rollins.

What was also impressive about Lesnar’s matches was his ability to work all types of wrestlers. He could have big-man matches when needed but was also incredibly adept at working against smaller wrestlers. His matches against Daniel Bryan, A.J Styles and Finn Balor were great examples of how the David v Goliath dynamic worked.

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