As the great Paul Heyman will often remind opponents and television viewers alike, Brock Lesnar doesn’t fight for free. So with yet another Lesnar return to the WWE expected for Monday Night Raw, it wasn’t like Lesnar was going to be put into a match, regardless of whether it was against a worthy opponent like Roman Reigns, or to squash Fandango (because who doesn’t want to see that).
But going in, fans might have been right to expect some physicality.
This expectation was driven higher by the fact that Lesnar’s appearance, while not teased by the announcing team at any point during the show, was saved for the critical final segment. It followed a match between Dean Ambrose and Antonio Cesaro that was a potential show-stealer on paper. In reality, it was stopped when Crazy Ambrose took over, hitting Cesaro’s left shoulder with a steel chair as it was up against one of the ring posts, and Ambrose was disqualified.
It was only after a commercial that we found Triple H in the ring to announce John Cena‘s SummerSlam opponent for the WWE World Heavyweight Title, and that is when Heyman first arrived with the Beast Incarnate. A meek and silent handshake in the ring between Heyman and Triple H, then Lesnar and Triple H (remember it was Lesnar who broke Triple H’s arm in a recent storyline) was all that was needed to make Lesnar vs. Cena at SummerSlam official.
Heyman then delivered a fine promo as he does, and Lesnar stood in the ring, bouncing from side to side, alternating between looking like a beast and smirking like a man with a plan. None of this was bad, mind you, though when Lesnar and Triple H grasped hands, it would have been better if Lesnar had pulled him in to deliver a fake threat like he was going to go after Triple H’s arm again, just to instill a little fear.
And that was what was missing last night — the fear factor. Since Cesaro proclaimed earlier in the show he is no longer a Heyman guy, why not have Lesnar stop the Cesaro-Ambrose match himself, destroy both (but more Cesaro), and give fans a grand reintroduction to Lesnar, leaving HHH no choice but to put him in the title match at SummerSlam?
Remember what happened to CM Punk when he declared he didn’t want Heyman around anymore? The WWE Universe wants to see Lesnar go crazy and beat people. It’s what he does best. Technical wrestling isn’t his finest quality, but brawls are. Lesnar’s past altercations with Cena, Mark Henry, Big Show and others have been pretty epic.
But we saw none of that on Monday. We know Lesnar is back and Heyman did a great job explaining why, while launching a series of verbal barrages at Cena. But when you know that Lesnar is going to be on Raw, you want to see him destroy someone. It’s the best entertainment that Lesnar can provide given his skill set, and it was disappointing not to see at least a little taste of that on Monday night.