I live tweeted my way through SummerSlam, and by doing so, I learned a few things about the fans of certain wrestlers. One, you cannot say one negative thing about a Bella twin without a Bella fan frantically losing her mind. I say “her” because male fans of The Bellas seem to be mainly appreciative of their assets and wholly accepting of their in-ring faults. Two, it’s okay for men to like Dean Ambrose, but if I like him, I am labeled a “rabid fangirl” by the male fans. And three, John Cena is GOD and anyone who says otherwise can die horribly in a fire.
As you can imagine, that third group of fans was not celebrating at the end of SummerSlam like I was. Part-time WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar destroyed Cena in a bout that could hardly be called a fair fight. He won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and was gifted with a new belt on Raw the following evening. After Lesnar received the new title and after Paul Heyman said his piece, he left the building and is not scheduled to appear on another Raw until September 15th, nearly a month away on the last Raw before the Night Of Champions PPV. Perhaps we’re expected to believe that he needs the break after delivering such a beating to Cena, but it’s not a believable sell.
Cena fans are livid about a part-timer winning the titles and being the first one to hold the brand new belt. In fairness, there are some who loathe Cena that are also upset about Lesnar’s victory. He shows up when he sees fit, breaks The Undertaker’s streak after 21 straight victories, takes a vacation, and returns “unexpectedly” only to quickly become the new face of the company. He then has the nerve to be off of Raw and Smackdown for nearly a month when we all know that John Cena will be at every taping from here to Night Of Champions. It seems that Cena was in fact absent from Raw on August 18th, but he did appear for a dark match at the Smackdown taping the following evening. Say what you will about Cena, but the man makes it a point to be present for the fans whenever possible.
Brock Lesnar and John Cena could not be less alike. One never shuts up while the other is a man of few words. One is careful and predictable while the other is a time bomb that could explode at any time. One says the WWE is his life while the other only works to serve himself. And yes, one will be at every single show from now until retirement while the other will be here when he damn well pleases. Prior to SummerSlam, I said that I thought it would be hilarious if Lesnar won and just vanished for a month or two without a single word to the fans. It seems that may be exactly what he plans on doing. A champion who only defends at PPVs may not be everyone’s idea of an ideal champ, but it could be what the title needs right now.
Part-timer or not, Lesnar has put in the work and it’s obvious that people think highly of him. The Undertaker chose him to break the streak, and that speaks volumes. A man who could have walked away with his streak intact saw something brilliant in allowing Lesnar to destroy it. He gave it to us at WrestleMania and he will have us talking about it for years. Logically, after destroying a legendary streak, the only thing Lesnar could do upon his return was become champion. And in keeping with Lesnar’s track record, he could not become champion and start showing up to every single taping to defend his newly won title. It’s not who he is and it would feel forced and fake if he did it. (And also WWE has him contracted for only so many appearances per year.)
We can want Daniel Bryan to come back and be champion again all we want, but it won’t make him heal any faster. The title could not bounce back and forth between Orton and Cena while we wait for Bryan to heal, Reigns to become ready, and the storyline between Rollins and Ambrose to cool down. Something had to be done and it had to be dramatic. Lesnar gave us a killer match at SummerSlam, with an F5 less than a minute in, followed by sixteen suplexes. Heyman’s promo on Raw the following night was equally killer in rubbing salt in the wound and showcasing Lesnar’s dominance. Lesnar in the ring and Heyman on the mic is going to give the title the extra attention it needs and deserves.
Cena fans are going to have a rough few months ahead of them if they continue thinking that Cena got screwed and deserves better. He didn’t get screwed at SummerSlam, he showed fans that he can put himself in brutal matches every now and then and not kick out at the 2 count. He has made himself the underdog, destroyed by a mercenary. He got screwed by The Authority, who waited until he lost the title to update the belts and combine the two. Cena looks as good in all of this as Lesnar does. The rematch at Night Of Champions will no doubt be a hell of a fight, hopefully then propelling both men into separate stories following the PPV. For the first time since Bryan was stripped of this title, I am excited about who is holding it and what that means for everyone else on the roster. Lesnar may not be around as much as other wrestlers, but he’s been making up that missed time by giving us the most bad ass matches we’ve had this year, and I for one cannot wait to see what will happen next.