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 Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me

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Chrom
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PostSubject: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:52 pm

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On the second last day of 2011, Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from the UFC following a first round loss to Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC 141.

Less than 100 days later, Lesnar made his return to professional wrestling, showing up in the waning moments of last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw to a raucous ovation. And then he hit John Cena with an F-5, his signature finishing maneuver from his initial run in the company.

As a wrestling fan, I’m happy to see the freakishly talented former WWE champion back in the squared circle, and already looking forward to seeing Lesnar in action over the next few months. The guy is a phenomenal athlete, and truly is better suited for professional wrestling than professional fighting, but as an even bigger MMA fan, I feel a little, I dunno, jilted?

Short changed?

Left behind?

* * * * * * * *

Here’s the thing I don’t get: how does taking on a WWE schedule — even an incredibly reduced WWE schedule — give you more time at home with your family than fighting in the UFC twice a year? Is he not going to work out at all?

I get that taking bumps in the ring are different from taking a knee to the gut from Alistair Overeem, but don’t kid yourself — Lesnar will still be paying a physical toll by returning to professional wrestling. Working a reduced schedule will lessen the impact competing will have on his body, but wrestling even four or five nights a month is far more strenuous than stepping into the Octagon twice a year.

That’s what has me second guessing Lesnar’s current situation, and feeling like the UFC got the short end of the stick in this deal.

It feels like Lesnar has taken his ball and gone home because he wasn’t going to be the top dog in the heavyweight ranks.

Sure there are other elements involved like not being too fond of being punched in the face for real, but part of me can’t help but see his departure as Lesnar being uninterested in being anything but the center of attention.

The crowd at American Airlines Arena lost their minds when Lesnar came out from backstage when Cena asked for The Rock to join him in the ring. His music from his first run rang through the sound system, his video played on the Titantron (read: super-ginormous screen), and everyone — myself included — went ape. Hell, I forced my wife to watch the first 45 minutes of the show just in case he showed up, and then flipped back the minute Top Chef Canada rolled credits.

Unrelated note: I’m glad Gabriel didn’t get told to pack his knives and go.

Lesnar will arrive to that kind of ovation every night he works, and only be forced to share the spotlight with a select few performers — Cena, The Rock (if he sticks around), The Undertaker (until he takes his yearly sabbatical), and that’s about it.

That’s a far cry from how life in the UFC was going to shape up for Lesnar had he not retired.

Losing to Overeem dropped him out of title contention. While he would have remained a massive draw, and mainstay in the one of the final two fights of the evening, Lesnar would have needed to work his way back up the ladder, and having watched him get stopped in each of his last two fights, no one could say with certainty that he would be able to register another win if he kept fighting.

Sure, he could steamroll an over-matched opponent, but that’s not his style either.

Lesnar wants to compete against the best, and I commend him for that, but once it became apparent that he didn’t have the skill set and make-up to make that happen any longer in the UFC, he said he was heading back to Middle of Nowhere, Minnesota to hang out with his family.

Three months later, he’s in Miami, returning to a huge ovation after nearly two full days of fans waiting on his appearance.

He didn’t have to do any work to return to the top of the food chain either — just walk out, look mean, and plant Cena with an F-5.

That’s the beauty of professional wrestling: you don’t have to earn your way to the top like you do in the UFC, and you don’t have to keep winning — or even compete all that much — to stay their either.

* * * * * * * *

At the end of the day, I’m looking forward to seeing Lesnar compete in the WWE again, and will probably watch more wrestling over the next year than I have in the last five now that he’s back.

But as a guy who started defending Lesnar’s presence in the UFC from the minute he arrived, it’s only now that I’m feeling like he didn’t really belong here after all; that this was a stop-over for him that was only ever going to last until the going got tough.

He’s back where he belonged all along, and I’m happy for him.

I just kind of wish it didn’t take a four year detour through the UFC for him to figure out that he’s not a real fighter after all.
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yup... pretty much... Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:26 pm

Well, I'm not gonna sit here and pretend I know anything about the training program of professional wrestling, but I find this very hard to believe

Quote :
Working a reduced schedule will lessen the impact competing will have on his body, but wrestling even four or five nights a month is far more strenuous than stepping into the Octagon twice a year.

If we're just talking about only the actual events themselves, OK, then maybe I can buy that. But training as a mixed-martial artist is basicly your life. It's all day, all the time. I can't imagine that training for pro wrestling is nearly as demanding. It basicly looks to be not much more than body-buiding and choreography.
It's not the actual fight that takes all of the time and effort for MMA fighters, it's the training. Any fighter will tell you that.
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PostSubject: Re: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:28 am

I agree with you.

However, I've known a couple pro wrestlers and they trained every single day and the constant practicing of getting clothes lined, slammed etc... does take a toll on the body.
Not sure if you've seen "The Wrestler", but it's (unfortunately) a very true life story for many pro wrestlers. Old wrestlers are always good picks in a death pool.

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PostSubject: Re: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:23 pm

So if its not the physical demands of the sport then it has to be the mental demands of the sport.

We all know for a fact that Brock has NEVER stood up well to being punched in the face by people who are not at all intimidated by him, this is the way of all bullies.

In the fantasy world of the WWE he once again gets to be the tough guy bully again where everybody is intimidated and the fans adore him..... and he gets paid zillions.
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PostSubject: Re: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:11 pm

I do think the author made a very good point about Lesnar needing to be the center of attention to be happy. In order to be in the spotlight in the UFC, you have to win. Charisma and drawing power will help to carry you along a small losing streak, but ultimately, sooner or later, you need to win the big fights. Brock did it at one point, but he wan't doing it at the end. I think he realized that he can't be "the guy" anymore, and just lost interest.

I don't mean that as a knock against him. That's just how some people are wired. And if that's the case, the WWE- a place where charisma and drawing power are king, and winning doesn't even matter at all- is the perfect place for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:14 am

Well said.

I think part of it has to do with a huge guy entering the sport pretty late in his life. Given his size, he's probably never had a guy throw a punch at him before his first training sesssion for MMA.

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PostSubject: Re: Brock Lesnar’s Return to Professional Wrestling and Why It Bugs Me   Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:32 am

@Krieger wrote:
So if its not the physical demands of the sport then it has to be the mental demands of the sport.

We all know for a fact that Brock has NEVER stood up well to being punched in the face by people who are not at all intimidated by him, this is the way of all bullies.

In the fantasy world of the WWE he once again gets to be the tough guy bully again where everybody is intimidated and the fans adore him..... and he gets paid zillions.


I wouldnt be surprised if that is part of his reason for going back to WWE.
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