BROCK Lesnar – The BEAST in the EAST: Live From Tokyo Thread

Thanks to the paradoxes of time travel, I’m in the past posting this to the future which is right now.

LIVE from Tokyo, on the AWARD WINNING WWE Network at 5:30 AM EST/4:30 CST/3:30 MST/2:30 PST.

The matches getting the hype include Brock Lesnar’s return to the ring against Kofi Kingston of The New Day, and NXT Champion Kevin Owens defending against #1 contender, Finn Balor.

Enjoy the show.

Lesnar: best ever businessman in This Business?

Hey Scott,


Is Brock Lesnar the smartest businessman in the history of the industry? Given his current payouts, the way he's always done whatever the hell he want, I think it's a given. Even when it's not been especially good for business (New Japan) he's held the main title and gone over. The argument is made that Lesnar would lay down for anyone, yet he rarely does.

Best,
Ioan Morris

I still feel like Hogan is, for maintaining that level of money day in and day out for nearly a decade even when all he had to offer was smoke and mirrors.  Brock made some really dumb business decisions for a while there, whereas Hulk would still be a multimillionaire many times over if not for his divorce and assorted lawsuit issues.  Hulk managed to convince WCW to pay him 25% of PPVs that he wasn't even on!  You have to respect that a little.  

Raw tonight on lesnar and reigns


Scott, is wwe giving up on lesnar vs reigns as the main event to end the show at mania? They haven't even interacted since that studio raw. Reigns after the Tag match just disappeared into the night while orton dominated the last ten minutes of the show. I have never ever seen a main event for any ppv , much less wrestlefrinkingmania get so little coverage…and what was the point of even having lesnar at raw? To just stand there? Why would they even waste an appearance? This is insane even at wwe levels have been. My head hurts.

I have no earthly idea what the point of tonight's show was supposed to be.  Even scarier is that if they actually booked any of the big three matches to have interaction between the guys, they'd likely fuck it up even worse, so we should probably be thankful that no one touches each other or even talks to each other.  

Lesnar theory

Scott,

    I know you're sick of Lesnar/Reigns questions; but isn't this "Lesnar walks out on the WWE right before WrestleMania" story a little too hard to believe.  I mean this literally sounds like a copycat angle from over a decade ago.  Could it all be a work to pump up Reigns as a sympathetic face conquering this arrogant jerk who wants to walk out on the company?  The WrestleMania crowds are usually mark-ish and there's no way Lesnar get booed unless its a Goldberg scenario where the crowd knows he's leaving.  Better yet, what does Vince do when the crowd KNOWS Brock is leaving, and they STILL cheer him and boo Reigns?
 
 

​I'm amused how people now even preface questions with "I know you're sick of this question…" and then ask it anyway.  
If it was a work, what possible motivation would Dana White have for going along with it?  And why would they suddenly have an idea for getting Reigns over as a babyface now after months of failing to do so?  And why make your big hail mary attempt at getting him over an angle where literally only 1% or less of the audience is even going to understand?  ​

The Brock Lesnar experiment

Scott
I know you haven't been watching weekly (much like myself) but where do you stand on the part time Champion? Has the experiment failed, or can it be considered in any way a success? Nothing seems to be improving the ratings but has it raised the prestige of the title? Or has it not being there harmed it? I suppose the other main question would be if it hasn't worked, could it have been done differently and it absolutely could have worked? Will the part time 'special attraction' champ be more common moving forward? Thanks Scott, loving your work. (Oh and Reigns/Lesnar could be the weirdest styles clash I've ever seen. The WWE must have faith they have a **** match in them… Right?)

​I think it was an interesting and worthwhile experiment, but we really need the World champion to at least defend that sucker every 30 days.  Yes, the TV title defenses and such were deflating the importance of the belt on a weekly basis, but taking to the extremes of having Brock be gone and not even MENTIONED for months at a time is just too much and leaves the product completely directionless.  Having someone holding it and only defending on PPV is the happy medium they should have gone with, but it would have made Brock too expensive to use.  
So I'd call it a good idea in theory, put much like communism or geometry, not all theories work out in real life.  ​

Another Brock Lesnar Update

The following was reported by Mike Johnson from PWInsider.com


“WWE World Heavyweight
champion Brock Lesnar was backstage at Raw but was not used. Lesnar flew on his
private plane to Nashville for the taping earlier in the day on Monday.


According to those who saw him backstage yesterday, Lesnar was obviously
angry about something and one source claimed he walked out of the taping before
it ended.
 There are different stories making the rounds, but PWInsider.com has been
told it was not something on the creative end that set Lesnar off, but something
regarding his business relationship with WWE. No one we spoke with was willing
to elaborate beyond that, but several made it clear it had nothing to do with
any planned booking.

Vince McMahon acknowledged the issue during a Smackdown production meeting
today, a source claimed, but did not elaborate on the issue. Lesnar has returned
home to Minnesota and is not backstage at Smackdown.
 Lesnar is not advertised to appear again for WWE until the 3/9 Raw taping in
Pittsburgh, PA, which gives WWE several weeks to work out whatever the issue is.


If and when we confirm additional details, we will update.”

Title chain: lesnar-> cena-> Rollins-> reigns

Hi Scott –
Longtime reader, bla bla. There seems to be a groundswell lately – and rightly so – to just get the belt off lesnar at the rumble and have cena put RR over at mania.  That's fine, but doesn't this make even more sense: cena beats Brock in a war, Rollins finally cashes and either with Brock's help, or because cena is so worn down, takes it from cena. Now you have a ready-made feud from the shield breakup (why would cena have an issue with RR in storyline terms?), and we get the face going over the cowardly heel and taking revenge for the "sellout" at mania. Too logical?

​I just feel like Reigns winning the belt from Rollins doesn't do anything for him.  Lesnar is at least a top level star, as is Cena, and either one of those can kickstart the push.  Changing the title three times in a two month span is counterproductive as well.  
Really, the best thing would have been not putting the belt on Lesnar in the first place and letting Rollins cash in on Cena at Summerslam so that he could have been champion during this whole terrible dead zone from Sep-Jan.  ​Lesnar could have destroyed Cena but decked the ref to get DQ'd, Rollins pins the corpse of Cena to win the title, faces chase him from now until Rumble when Cena gets his title back.  

Lesnar Plans?

Scott,

 
If it is indeed true that Brock Lesnar is done with WWE after WrestleMania, do you think it is worth having him headline that show as champion?  In the internet era of instant information, everyone is going to know he's done before the show even rolls around.  They ran into that problem at WrestleMania 20 the last time he (and his opponent) left.  The only saving grace for that match was that it was thankfully not the main event or a title match getting shit all over by the crowd.  Personally, I think if WWE knows he is done post-WM31, Brock doesn't go into the show as champ.  I think the way to go is for Cena to take the belt at Rumble and be the guy to put Reigns over at Mania.  As mentioned on the Blog by many, having Cena as champ is the one surefire way to get the fans to support Reigns in that match.  I'm not sure Reigns gets the fans' support against Lesnar and I could see the whole "Brock threatens to retire with the belt tomorrow night" concept blowing up in their faces if the fans aren't all-in on Reigns.  I think Cena vs. Roman is the way to go if Reigns is the next Guy.  I would then have Rusev go over Lesnar to pass the "monster" torch before Brock leaves.  If they are going to put Rusev over the whole world en route to going against Cena (and eventually Reigns), then may as well go all the way and have him beat Brock.  This way you get something lasting out of Lesnar's last match without risking fan backlash against Lesnar vs. Reigns and Cena vs. Rusev. 

​Yeah, you can certainly say that WWE's timing on this Brock contract deal is not working out very well for them, to say the least.  Especially with both UFC and Bellator very publicly in a sort-of bidding war for Brock's services once his deal is up.  Basically Vince has gotten none of the rub or money increases from having Brock around, put his main title in the deep freeze for months with no payoff yet, and then is pretty much guaranteed to lose the guy to his competition the day after the deal is finished.  ​I wasn't really on the "drop the title before Wrestlemania" train before now, but it might be the smarter play at this point. Hell, given hindsight he probably shouldn't have won it in the first place, since the Night of Champions show was such a flop that it negated any of the point of him winning it.  

Lesnar — 10/6 Sports Business Jornal

So I'm looking at the 10/6-12 issue of Sports Business Journal, which has "Who will step up for UFC" as one of its cover stories. Further into the story, they highlight UFC's top draws since January 2006. A quick recap, if I may:
  • Brock Lesnar has the two highest drawing PPVs in UFC history and 3 of the top 5, two of which were against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. Let me repeat those opponents – Frank Mir and Shane Carwin.
  • Brock Lesnar made 7 appearances in UFC, 5 as headliner (top two matches on the card). As a headliner, Lesnar averaged over 1 million buys. the next highest, GSP (their most consistent draw), averaged more than 300,000 fewer buys. ronda Rousey is averaging 395,000 buys and we think it's a big deal.
  • After re-joining WWE, the company decided to put him in a B-show and then have him LOSE to John Cena.
Shouldn't the investors be filing class-action lawsuits over this and not the network? 

​I'm gonna have to stick up for WWE a bit here, in that it's apples and oranges.  Lesnar had a unique charisma in UFC precisely because he was a "fake pro rassler" who was coming in and daring to beat longtime "real" fighters while cutting WWE-style promos about it.  Hardcore fighting nerds HATED him and gladly paid $70 a pop a million at a time hoping to see him lose.  
The WWE audience dynamic was totally different, in that everyone basically was happy to have him back and didn't really associate him with UFC any longer at the point when he returned.  Yes, it was a fuckup to have him lose to Cena, of course, but his wrestling drawing power was in a totally different league than his UFC drawing power.  He was a giant WWE star, yes, but he was an invading monster in UFC and it was the kind of special magic that probably won't ever be duplicated again.
As for Rousey, 350K is good now because UFC destroyed their own PPV business by oversaturating the market.  Even Brock returning would probably only do 700K at the high end now.​

Lesnar WM Solution


Hi Scott

Like everybody else I can understand the WWE's problem when it comes to Lesnar. They've built him brilliantly – too brilliantly – and now it's quite likely that nobody on the roster will be ready to beat him down in time for Wrestlemania.

However, surely the company can't go any longer than WM without a full time Champion and you just know they are desperate to try one of the Shield Guys as champion (ideally Reigns).

How about a solution to book a four way for the Main Event – Lesnar (as champion) vs Reigns (Rumble winner) vs Ambrose (Elimination Chamber winner) vs Rollins (MITB)?

Then mid match you have the three Shield guys realise that the only way to take down Lesnar is as a group with the triple powerbomb through the table. They do that and proceed to have a three way with whoever the favoured one is at the time taking the belt.

This pays off the year long Shield storyline – gets your three hottest young stars in the Main Event of Mania and maintains Lesnar's aura as unstoppable as it took all of the most dominant stable of all time to take him down.

You then run with the new guy as Champion till Summerslam where he faces Lesnar in a rematch one on one. If the new guy has caught on and is working you give him the big win and if he hasn't you simply go back to Lesnar and draw up a new plan.

Thoughts?


​Not the worst idea!  I feel like the temptation might be there for them to do a Shield reformation out of it, but it certainly gives Ambrose the main event payoff fans are waiting for and allows them to move the belt to Reigns in a believable manner.  ​