Most wrestling fans love and respect Brock Lesnar for his contributions to professional wrestling. He’s essentially what he says he is: a “beast”. Lesnar proved this by demolishing anyone in his path over the years, whether it be The Undertaker, John Cena, Dean Ambrose, or even Triple H. He established his credibility as a top guy after he made his return to the WWE the night after WrestleMania 28. With Lesnar’s establishment, however, comes laziness. This laziness has been shown last night at WWE No Mercy when Lesnar defended his Universal Championship against Braun Strowman.
Strowman, billed as “The Monster Among Men”, demolished Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in a fatal four-way match. Braun put Lesnar through two announce tables and threw the third one on top of him, leading to Lesnar getting stretchered out of the arena. Although Lesnar came back to retain his championship in that match, Strowman became the top guy on Raw during that match. He furthered his momentum by laying out Brock Lesnar with multiple running powerslams last night. Brock was left re-evaluating his strategy, as it usually revolves around german suplexes. Not with Braun. Instead, WWE protected Braun Strowman by having him destroy Brock Lesnar completely. But, like typical Brock fashion, he kicked out of all of them.
Lesnar then delivered an F5, seemingly out of nowhere, which sealed the deal for Braun Strowman’s title aspirations. This booking decision will not do Raw any good for the next months, as Lesnar isn’t supposed to appear on WWE television for the time being. Once again Raw is left without a World Champion. Had Braun won the title, however, fans would have seen the continuation of the great series of matches between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Reigns defeated John Cena last night, so it’s obvious that he’d be eligible for a future Universal Championship match. If Strowman was champion, that match most likely would be booked for the TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view next month. But, like typical Brock Lesnar fashion, the champion sits at home resting while Raw will struggle without a World Championship.
Raw not having an active Universal Champion right now forces random storylines for wrestlers like Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, and John Cena--- wrestlers who would typically be chasing the Universal Championship and headlining pay-per-views. This renders Raw with the problem of building the Intercontinental Championship to be the top championship. SmackDown Live did it last year with The Miz and Dolph Ziggler’s fantastic feud, but Raw will struggle with it. The midcard on Raw doesn’t have many worthy contenders. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are focused on the tag title picture, Jeff Hardy is injured, Bray Wyatt is focused on Finn Balor, and Elias is not ready for the title scene just yet. This leaves The Miz with a seemingly long feud over the title with Jason Jordan, which fans clearly are not invested in.
If Brock Lesnar appeared more often (which he should, given his hefty paycheck) Raw wouldn’t be stuck in this predicament. A motivated Brock Lesnar is the Lesnar that fans want to see. He was invested in the feud with Braun Strowman, but it ended up with a lazy Lesnar finish, much like the WrestleMania 32 match between Ambrose and Brock. Braun as champion could have led to a feud with Bray Wyatt, who took Strowman under his wing initially. Perhaps a feud with Finn Balor could have been booked if Strowman was champion as well. All fans can do now is wait until the next time Lesnar appears on WWE television and hope for the best for the red brand.