If there was ever a natural heel in the modern era of professional wrestling, Brock Lesnar has to be near the top of that list.
Diehard UFC fans hate him because they believe he’s just some “fake” wrestler dabbling in their sport for a big payday. Diehard WWE fans hate him because they consider him a part-timer who doesn’t care about the product and is in it just for the money.
They’re right. Lesnar has always been upfront about getting paid.
But isn’t this exactly what a heel would do?
Why this might be the peak of Brock Lesnar’s career
Lesnar turned 41 on Thursday, July 12. An age that some might consider on the downslope of any fighter’s mixed martial arts or professional wrestling career (though these perceptions about age seem to be changing).
But professionally, has there ever been a time when Lesnar was more at the top of his game in both WWE and UFC simultaneously? It’s hard to imagine a more prominent time for Lesnar in UFC than when he won the heavyweight championship a decade ago. But Lesnar is the WWE Universal Champion right now. All of the talk in the MMA-world is about Brock potentially challenging current UFC Heavyweight (and Light heavyweight) champion Daniel Cormier in January. Both men even set up the feud with a WWE-style confrontation at the end of UFC 226.
The conventional wisdom a few months ago was that Lesnar would drop the WWE Universal Title to Roman Reigns at The Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia in April. That didn’t happen. Instead, Lesnar reportedly signed a multi-year deal with WWE that allowed him to also fight in the UFC, an agreement that’s hard to imagine Vince McMahon giving virtually any other performer on the current roster. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) revealed this week that Lesnar had entered drug testing making him eligible to compete in UFC in six months. Cormier appeared on Conan O’Brien Tuesday, vowing to take on Lesnar.
So it seems reasonably clear, including what we know about past business relations between McMahon and UFC head Dana White, that Lesnar intends to work for both WWE and UFC simultaneously. Will Lesnar keep the Universal title until January for cross-promotion? Will we see a WWE title inside the UFC Octagon? Does WWE have other plans for their title?
And if so many WWE and UFC diehards loathe Lesnar so much, why do this? Because for every pro wrestling super fan tired of the part-time Lesnar, there are millions more casual fans who want to see the Beast in action. UFC loyalists might groan over Lesnar’s presence in their sport, but those same fans will buy PPVs to see the “wrestler” gets his ass beat–not to mention the pro wrestling fans who will buy the event but wouldn’t otherwise order a UFC PPV.
Why wouldn’t Vince McMahon and Dana White capitalize on this? Why wouldn’t both men book Lesnar as the top man in their promotions?
Has there ever been a more significant time in Brock Lesnar’s career at 41?
Ask his bank account.