Brock Lesnar may have gained a bit of redemption tonight and that's great for him, however it may be more telling about the company. Ultimately revealing what we have been suspecting about the WWE creative for a while now.
To set the stage, Brock Lesnar was the WWE Heavyweight Champion heading into tonight's PLE and had a one-on-one title match against the "All Mighty" Bobby Lashley. Personally, this match was my pick for a potential "Match of the Night" show stealer. The idea of Lashley finally getting a shot at the Beast Incarnate is money, and was long overdue for the two. The ending left much to be desired sadly, as a result of Roman Reigns harnessing his inner 2006 Edge by costing the incumbent champion his title through interference.
For further context, Roman had successfully defended his WWE Universal Championship against Seth Rollins via a disqualification. Reigns has beef with both men, but only one has the presidential suite in the Roman Hotel- Brock. The men have crossed paths time and time again. Only this time is supposed to be different. Brock, refreshingly, has been booked as a babyface for the first time since his return from the UFC. Meanwhile, Roman Reigns has completely revitalized his character and has been on the run of his career. The heel turn turning him into the "Tribal Chief" has been some of the best bad guy work I've seen from this company in what seems like forever.
Turning the most disliked babyface on the roster into the biggest heel on the roster seems so easy it writes itself, yet it took forever to get the chief character due to reluctancy and poor foresight.
Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns is a match we've seen seven times now. Four times with just the two in a one-on-one match. Half of those one-on-ones have been the main event Wrestlemania and, after tonight, we're full steam ahead for a third time.
That's not my issue. The issue, for me, is in the way we got here.
So the stage has been set Reigns costed Brock the heavyweight title earlier in the event, but still enters the Royal Rumble at number 30 and wins. He'll get his rematch with Reigns at Mania. All I'm saying is that did he really need to enter at all. The Men's match was already pretty uneventful and for it to end with Lesnar winning just left a bland taste in my mouth. He doesn't need the Rumble victory to get his hands on Reigns, he's Brock freakin' Lesnar. Another superstar could've used this opportunity to win and challenge Bobby Lashley. They had options. McIntyre returned from his neck injury. Big E never really had a chance to defend his title when he was WWE Champ and could've used this win to help reclaim lost momentum. Hell they could've attempted a new angle and split up RK-Bro tonight for all I care. The Royal Rumble is every man for his/herself and in Randy Orton's hometown him winning and eliminating Riddle could've been a fun new thing for WWE creative to try. I'd have rather seen any of those three things come to fruition instead of what they actually gave us.
We've seen a wrestler compete before the rumble and then show up in the match. For example, back in 2020 Roman competed in a match vs then "Baron" Corbin then showed up to make it to the final two in the rumble match. He was eliminated by Drew McIntyre, but the booking is similar. But we've seen similar booking with Brock Lesnar twice before as well. He's been late additions to gimmick pay-per-views' main events before.
Back in 2019, Brock won the Men's Money in the Bank ladder match as a "mystery" competitor. He'd then cash in the briefcase and challenge then Universal Champion, Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules. Before then, back in 2018, Brock Lesnar crashed the main event Universal title match between then champion, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman. He didn't win the title that night, but it did lead to a match vs Braun for the Universal title at that year's Crown Jewel. See the pattern?
WWE showed us first hand, when things are what they are they must go back to the well. That well just happens to be at Brock's farm. Instead of going to the well here, there are so many other avenues they could've taken to get to that main event match at Mania. I could spit off three right now if I had more words to spare. That's laziness. It's lazy to give big opportunities to established megastars instead of actual people on the roster that could use those chances to establish themselves. All wrestling fans are gluttons for new and exciting, that being said WWE rarely shows the desire to throw darts at the board. Shit, Ronda Rousey hasn't been on a WWE show since 2019, but shows up tonight and punches her ticket to a match at Wrestlemania.
That star power is something that will wain. Leaving WWE wondering why they don't have anyone ready to challenge Roman Reigns all for what, them hoping the Rock shows back up for a match. More of the same concerns critics have expressed are on the horizon with seemingly no desire to change their ways. This year's men's rumble match was boring. It contained little surprise other that McIntyre returning and Lesnar. It wasn't anything spectacular. It lacked any veterans for a cheap pop, it had a two celebrities, Johnny Knoxville and Bad Bunny, and that hit and missed. Knoxville was an utter joke being involved in that match, and came across as making a mockery of the people that wrestle for a living in his dumb getup. Bad Bunny made it to the had a nice spot with Riddle, which was really the only fun spot of the match. It was just so lacking of any of that normal Royal Rumble aroma. That suspenseful "who's next" wasn't there leaving so much more to be desired. One would think that Raw's ratings falling below 2 million and barely scraping a consistent number over 1.5 million would be enough to signal they need more dayto-day superstar star power, but that's more optimistic than I have the right to be.