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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Why former Universal Champion Brock Lesnar made his return on WWE Smackdown

When Brock Lesnar made a surprise return to WWE Smackdown on Tuesday to challenge WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, the appearance was met with a positive response from the WWE fans.

other-sports Updated: Sep 21, 2019 18:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Brock Lesnar along with Paul Heyman.
Brock Lesnar along with Paul Heyman.(WWE)
         

The last time that the WWE Universe saw Brock Lesnar in action was way back in Summerslam when he was defeated by Seth Rollins in their Universal Championship match. While the multiple time champion is not a regular fixture when it comes to WWE programming, it is not common for ‘The Beast’ to be absent for such a considerable period. As a result, when Lesnar made a surprise return to WWE Smackdown on Tuesday to challenge WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, the appearance was met with a positive response from the WWE fans.

While the developement may seem sudden, a closer look at the behind the scenes happening at the company gives away the reason behind Brock’s sudden appearance. With just two weeks remaining for Smackdown’s long-awaited debut on FOX, the need for star power is at its all time high. Over the years, Brock Lesnar has been a reliable asset for the WWE and whenever they need a spike in ratings, ‘The Beast’ was called into action.

READ: Chris Jericho reveals WrestleMania incident that led to his exit from WWE

While Brock Lesnar returned to the company after his stint with the UFC in 2012, he has not appeared in a single match on TV till now. When he challenges Kingston for the WWE title on SmackDown’s debut episode on FOX on October 4, it will be his first televised match since 2004 and that is the factor that makes it even special for the fans.

Over the years, Lesnar has been criticised for his sparse matches and minimal involvement in storylines but there is no dispute when it comes to his star power. Despite his limited number of appearances, Lesnar is still the top earner in WWE with a mind-boggling salary of $12million while even John Cena has a base salary of $8.5million.

In the last couple of years, a lot of rumours were doing the rounds about Lesnar’s possible return to UFC but they were all put to bed with the wrestler signing a brand new contract. Lesnar’s current WWE deal will see him remain with the company through May or June 2020 and that is one of the longest extensions for him in recent history. As a result, his loyalty is no longer a cause for concern and that is clear from how he is being handled by the company.

READ: Jeff Hardy to make his WWE comeback but will there be another Hardy Boyz reunion?

When it comes to the current WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston-headlined events had, as of July 18, averaged just 2,940 fans per show, which would made him “the fourth worst drawing in company history in this regard” behind Kurt Angle, Booker T and Eddie Guerrero - according to a report in Forbes.

With the FOX deal being one of the biggest in the company’s history, WWE may not look to continue with a champion who has spent most of his career as a mid-carder. In that case, Lesnar is the perfect candidate for the title and he can be the key for WWE in their much-hyped war against All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

First Published: Sep 19, 2019 18:20 IST

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