The reigning, defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, has almost become a household name in the last number of years. He managed to walk into WWE in 2002 at a perfect time where fans were coming in or hadn’t left yet. When he jumped to UFC, he made every media outlet consistently. He was talked about more often than most, and that only helped him when he came back to WWE in 2012. People remembered Lesnar in WWE, despite the fact that he spent only two years with WWE before.
WWE obviously wanted Lesnar back, and were willing to pay him a lot of money for a limited amount of work. Lesnar has been paid millions for his return, and WWE has made quite a profit off him. Every PPV he was part of enjoyed relatively good buys, and his merchandise sales have been as high as any other top heel, sometimes higher.
Now it appears WWE wants to sign Lesnar to yet another long-term deal. His current contract expires next year. Lesnar is on a per-date deal with WWE, so once those expire, he is free to sign a new deal — or simply not do so. It all hinges on what he feels like doing. He would never jump to a rival promotion, however, there is a thought that Lesnar might want to go back to UFC.
According to The Wrestling Observer, Lesnar could be using that interest in his favor. The Observer claims that Lesnar can get a great deal with UFC if he were to go back. He has proven that he can draw in the past, and he is only more popular these days. The Observer states that due to Lesnar healing up from diverticulitis, he could get some interest by UFC and their fans for the curiosity factor alone.
“The UFC audience is smaller and those still there are far more understanding that fighting is a skill and a guy who is big and strong can’t walk in and dominate based on size, super athletic ability and an NCAA championship wrestling pedigree. Lesnar did just that six years ago to a degree, but he’s six years older and UFC is six years more advanced. Lesnar brought a ton of casuals to PPV and his fights became major events, and UFC is missing that. But I don’t know if that’ll be the case coming back.
“He’ll be 38, and while heavyweights can last longer, it’s usually the hard striking heavyweights, not the wrestling or submission heavyweights (although Randy Couture was the exception, but Couture was a unique person and Lesnar has not devoted the time Couture had to the sport, and Couture is still the exception to every rule).
“Yes, I can already see the idea that the old Lesnar did what he did with Diverticulitis and he’s cured, but that cured of diverticulitis card was somewhat played with the Alistair Overeem fight, which was three years ago. At, 38, he won’t be as fast, or as strong, or as good an athlete. He doesn’t have the skill and experience or one punch knockout power and skill to land it to make up for those declines, like a Mark Hunt, still a top contender at 40.
“But with UFC looking for an answer, he may still draw a big number for a curiosity buy for his return.”
So, basically, Brock Lesnar has an ability to draw, and UFC would probably have an interest in signing him. However, that does not mean Lesnar will go back. The fact that Lesnar is in insane shape helps him if he chooses to jump to UFC. WWE can offer more money than UFC however, which helps Lesnar’s decision a bit more. Also, he stays healthier long-term with WWE and has a limited schedule. This allows him to do what he wants, when he wants. All the while, WWE profits when he is actually on TV.
The UFC interest will help Lesnar in his signing with WWE, should he plan to sign another deal with them.
Another rumor, also reported by the Observer, claims that WWE could have an interest in turning Lesnar into a babyface. While Lesnar fits the heel mode so much better, if there is a need for a top face, Lesnar could fit that role. For example, WWE could have a monster character out of control, and Lesnar is the only hope for WWE. While this seems unlikely, WWE has done many unlikely things before… so do not be surprised if we see a Lesnar turn next year.
The main thing WWE is focused on is signing their current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Lesnar is set to have a big 2015. He will defend his championship at the Royal Rumble and then once more at WrestleMania 31. His rumored opponent is still set to be Roman Reigns, who could be returning to WWE by the TLC PPV. Many feel Lesnar will end up staying with WWE. However, if he can get more money, why would he not use the UFC card to do this? It only makes sense from a business perspective.
Many within MMA circles feel that WWE has money woes, when in reality this is as false as it gets. While the television product is not at the level some fans would like, and WWE’s present quarter did not show lucrative figures, WWE still averages a 3.0 rating for WWE RAW and around a 2.5 rating for WWE SmackDown. WWE’s partnerships with numerous organizations, movie revenue, and stock proves that WWE is profiting. WWE’s new TV deal also offsets any major WWE Network losses. That said, if Brock wants to sign with WWE, they will be more than able to give him the price he feels he is worthy of. Whether they are willing to do that is up in the air.
[IMG Credits: Wrestlingclique.com, tightwrestling.pl, 411mania.com]