This article is late this week because I’ve been conflicted about this topic and hopefully by writing this out and can come to some sort of conclusion for how I really feel about it.
My first article here on WWEPodcast.com was titled The Beast In The Bank. In it I laid out before you why I thought Brock Lesnar having the Money In The Bank briefcase was a great idea and could lead to some great storytelling. And to be completely honest I felt that it would end with Lesnar cashing in on WWE Champion Kofi Kingston before SmackDown Live hit the airwaves of the Fox Network. With that and a chase from Kofi, I felt that would be a good introduction to true network TV and that “real sports feel” that I keep reading Fox would like. Well, while there is still time for something like that to happen, I was wrong.
Instead, at the end of the Extreme Rules event (which, by the way, was very good) Brock Lesnar came out and cashed the contract in on Universal Champion Seth Rollins. On the surface it narratively makes sense. Rollins took the title from Lesnar, Lesnar naturally wants revenge. But I gotta tell you, my first thought was that I didn’t like it. And I’m going to try and find out why.
Was it because I enjoyed the idea of Lesnar having the briefcase and the paranoia that came along with it? The first couple of weeks were enjoyable and gave us “Chairman Rollins” and a no fear Kofi. But then the threat disappeared, Rollins got paired with Becky Lynch and Kofi had a meaningless feud with Dolph Ziggler. I still believe there was more to be gotten from that storyline as Lesnar with the briefcase was far more interesting, to me, than Lesnar with the title.
Was it because it would have been so much more enjoyable had Becky Lynch managed to crawl back into the ring and give a low blow to Lesnar before he could cash in? As much as I don’t like the pairing of the two, it would have been wild and quite a “Holy Sh*t” moment had Becky given Lesnar the nut shot of his life and saved her man from his impending doom. The cash in could have not counted and Lesnar could try again another day. I think this would have been my favorite outcome, especially if they’re trying to sell that the women, and Becky in particular, could stand up to any male wrestler on the roster. Now I’m getting goosebumps thinking about the crowd reaction.
Or was it because I simply don’t like the idea of Lesnar being champion again. I think this is it, actually. When Lesnar took the title from Goldberg in 2017 I understood it. Goldberg was never going to be a long term player anyways and a guy at Lesnar’s level needed to make that belt seem important. Little did we know we’d hardly see him. Little did we know he’d keep it for a year and a half and then get it right back. I’ve got no issue with Lesnar, really. He can put on a good performance. He can sell tickets. His mere presence is intriguing. And I don’t fault his contract either. You gotta get paid in this life and you have to make the best decisions for you. If my job offered double my salary to only work three days a week I’d take that in a heartbeat.
But the Universal Championship needs to be on TV on a regular basis, just like the rest of your titles. Brock Lesnar needs to be wrestling on TV a couple of times a month, even if it is just squash matches. We need to know that the Universal Champion exists, that the belt is a thing, and that the wrestlers still have a shot at it. As it is now, we’ll see Brock on TV very little, he won’t do anything except stand and smile while Paul Heyman talks, and my investment in the upcoming matches suffers.
Maybe this will lead to Rollins breaking away from Becky on TV to become the chairman again. I’m all in for a fired up, crazed Seth Rollins seeking revenge on the one who wronged him. And Maybe Rollins will get that win back at Summerslam, hopefully with a match that consists of more than just german suplexes and stomps. And maybe, somehow, Lesnar still manages to take Kofi’s WWE Championship before SmackDown Live moves to Fox. Maybe.
Extreme Rules was a very good PPV. The Undertaker looked the best he has in a long time. Tag matches are probably what he should be doing now. Aleister Black and Cesaro beat the crap out of each other and it was wonderful. AJ and Ricochet was fantastic, The New Day winning the tag belts felt right, The Revival and The Uso’s was a ton of fun, and I really enjoyed the mixed tag main event more than I thought I would. Say what you want about Lacy Evans but she’ll take the crazy bumps with the best of them. Raw and SmackDown Live were both enjoyable shows this week as well and I think we can start to see the beginnings of the new direction WWE is taking. I’ve read that TV-PG will be going away soon and that Kevin Owens isn’t being completely scripted. Talking points as opposed to a word for word script is a much better idea. People don’t say things like “each and every one of you” so our wrestlers shouldn’t either. Listening to Jim Ross on his podcast “Grilling JR”, he talks about how Steve Austin and Vince McMahon didn’t have scripts. They had talking points but were able to let loose. That’s what we need right now. We need our wrestlers to be relatable in their promo’s and they need to be allowed to wrestle.
Anyways, I think I’ve found the reason why I didn’t like the Lesnar cash in. I simply don’t want him holding the Universal Championship, or any championship for that matter, hostage. As a fan, I can’t deal with waiting until the next Wrestlemania, or whenever he feels like it, to see my champion.
What a way to get Kevin Owens over, though, when he’s finished with Shane McMahon. Rollins loses, KO appears and stuns Lesnar. Oh man, now I really want a Kevin Owens/Brock Lesnar feud into Survivor Series. I can really talk myself into anything…..
Thanks for reading! Check out my podcast, The Rich Dickman Show, on Apple Podcasts or whatever podcast app you use! I’ll be back next week talking about something I don’t like but in the same article convince myself of why I like it!