Brock Lesnar has been WWE Universal Champion for over 450 days, marking him the longest reigning champion of the modern era. With that said, to the dismay of the fans, Brock has only defended his title on ten separate occasions. Reports are now suggesting that WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view in August will NOT be the location of his 11th defense.
This is according to Mike Johnson, of PWInsider. He states that Lesnar will not be attending the ‘biggest party of the summer’. “I am hearing Brock isn’t working SummerSlam. We may not see Brock again until later in the year, which is madness if you think about the belt”. The rationale is that Lesnar is only contractually obligated to a few more dates in his current contact with WWE. With that, WWE doesn’t want to use Lesnar unless they absolutely have too. This would once again be another event where the Universal title is not defended. The last time Lesnar defended his belt was in April at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
While this sounds highly illogical, it does make sense when looking at WWE’s current booking strategy of making Brock Lesnar unlikable as a champion. Ultimately causing fans to call for a new champion.
In Lesnar’s current form, he is way too over-hyped with the WWE fan base. While the fans get annoyed at how little he actually appears, when Lesnar does show up- fans go crazy. He’s a real box office attraction. This formula has been very successful for WWE in the past when booking Lesnar. However, it doesn’t allow for Reigns to get over as a babyface. In essence, Lesnar is just too cool to lose to Reigns. Who is seen by a majority of fans as the future “company man”.
With this, WWE seems to be going nuclear – deny the fans of Brock Lesnar, and make it his fault.
By keeping him and the Universal title off TV. WWE has created the narrative that Lesnar has no desire to fight anyone that WWE wants to pick. With this, WWE has sewn the idea that Lesnar has no respect for the fans or professional wrestling in general. Making, whoever defeats him for the title, an instant hero. That hero? Roman Reigns.
Could WWE really be contemplating sacrificing a blockbuster SummerSlam match, just to sure up that the fans will cheer for Reigns? Crazy, but not impossible.
At this point, WWE has done everything they can to try and create Reigns as a sympathetic character, and make Lesnar the biggest Achilles heel in the company. Nothing has worked. Evident by the fact that Reigns has tried for three years to beat Lesnar for a title, and has come up short every time. This might be the last opportunity for WWE to get a positive reaction from a WWE crowd for Reigns.
Even if it means denying fans in Brooklyn a trip to Suplex City
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Photo Credit: WWE.com