Grappler's Choice #29 - Brock In The Bank!
It's funny, while most people seemed outraged at Brock Lesnar winning the Money In The Bank match, I thought it was quite entertaining and that this could lead to some entertaining TV moving forward. The only criticism I had with this was actually more to do with the setup of it all. Brock randomly ran out to the ring towards the end of the match and just won it straight away.
While I am aware of the backstage story that involved Sami Zayn being tied up and therefore making him unable to compete in the match, as well as the blame being pinned on Braun Strowman (with the implication being that Brock Lesar carried this out, but it was not spelled out in an obvious way), I feel that it would have been a little more effective if they had announced that Brock was entering the match as a replacement competitor. This is a very minor criticism however, and overall I thought it was a good idea.
Brock In The Bank
So far the 'Brock Party' material has been pretty funny, entertaining stuff. It has brought out the fun, charismatic side of Brock Lesnar (and reminded me of his mockery of Eddie Guerrero during their 2004 feud). Some may laugh at this comment, but I feel like Brock definitely has more to offer, and that from time to time, this kind of material is quite good.
However, I think that this would be an excellent opportunity to build up Brock Lesnar as a fearsome competitor again. This is not to say that he isn't already, but since he has been beaten by Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, he is certainly now portrayed as at least being defeatable.
Therefore, I think the WWE should introduce a storyline whereby Brock terrorizes Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston every week, threatening to cash in his Money In The Bank contract after a brutal beat-down, but then refusing to do so. Brock Lesnar already has a ton of heat, but I think this could be a good way to build up some more heat, by constantly having him interfering, terrorising, and generally just beating up the beloved babyfaces.
I think this could continue till either Summerslam or Survivor Series, where we could have a champion vs champion unification match between Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston which Brock Lesnar interferes in during the dying moments of the match, and finally cashes in to become the undisputed champion.
Considering the fact that WWE will be presenting Smackdown Live on Fox later this year, together with the fact that they are also presenting Raw on a different network (USA today), as well as the fact that they now have AEW to contend with, I think WWE will need to have a champion that can appear on both brands. I know there are problems with this approach, but considering how many titles there are on WWE right now, I don't envision this to be a problem.
I think it would be better from the standpoint of understanding what is the ultimate, most valuable men's championship, because right now its difficult for me to understand which one is the more valuable or prestigious one. I understand that they are supposed to be equal, but how can a new championship with only three years worth of history (the universal championship) ever compete with the WWE championship, which has been in existence in some form for over 50 years, and has been held by so many legends of professional wrestling?
For the most part, I think the universal championship has been made to feel special as everyone that has held it has done so for a long time, and those that haven't were injured and had to subsequently give up the belt (Finn Balor, Roman Reigns). Let's face it, the WWE championship is never going to be retired, so it's a question of when the universal title will be retired, and right now I think is the best time to do so.
Whatever the WWE decides to do, its biggest stars will undoubtedly be appearing on Smackdown Live later this year, and this current storyline could make for some exciting television that can bring us up to that point. I sincerely hope that the WWE doesn't waste this opportunity or simply just make Brock Lesnar the champion again at the earliest possible opportunity. With AEW now presenting a viable and engaging alternative to WWE, it will be interesting to see how they handle this storyline and others in the coming months.
- Christian Reeve