Return of Lesnar can be promising
By Rennie Detore
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Vince McMahon participated in perhaps his busiest week as WWE
chairman, releasing nearly 20 wrestlers, and negotiating to bring one
very important superstar back to the company.
McMahon met with former WWE champion Brock Lesnar about a possible
return to WWE. Almost simultaneously, WWE cut 18 wrestlers from its
active roster, most notably Charlie Haas, Spike Dudley and The Dudley
Lesnar departed after "Wrestlemania XX" in 2004 to pursue an NFL
career. The Minnesota native tried out for several teams, most notably
his hometown Vikings.
Lesnar also filed a lawsuit against WWE, which signed him to a
no-compete clause as part of his initial contract. That clause
prevented Lesnar from wrestling for any other company than WWE,
Although WWE is denying that rumor, several sources are reporting that
Lesnar already has re-signed.
The thought of Lesnar returning to WWE is intriguing from two varying
perspectives: on-air and behind the scenes.
Lesnar quickly ascended to main-event status upon joining WWE. He
combined size and unmatched speed and eventually learned to deliver
interviews that helped establish and sustain feuds.
His matches were never spectacular, but he always conveyed a sense of
in-ring realism when he competed. He brawled with The Big Show, but he
also could amateur wrestle with Kurt Angle.
Lesnar, however, didn't make many friends in the WWE locker room when
he opted to ditch wrestling in favor of football.
McMahon made Lesnar a superstar at the expense of already proven
talent. The former NCAA Division I champion defeated The Rock and The
Undertaker en route to becoming the youngest WWE champion at the time.
Lesnar accepted McMahon's vote of confidence and subsequent career
accolades, only to spurn WWE heading into the company's biggest
pay-per-view, "Wrestlemania XX." Lesnar leaving the company
overshadowed a one-on-one match with Goldberg at the event. Lesnar's
lawsuit obviously didn't improve his standing with WWE, either.
Now, after his NFL aspirations barely yielded a practice squad nod
with the Vikings, an apologetic Lesnar wants to renew his wrestling
He's gone as far as saying that wrestling is in "his ***," quite a
change in rhetoric from 16 months ago when Lesnar said the rigors of
WWE travel were too much for him to handle.
Lesnar leaving WWE last year was the right decision for both he and
the company. The 2004 Brock Lesnar wasn't helping WWE. He was tired
WWE, too, wasn't content pushing a discontent Lesnar, despite his
phenomenal presence and athleticism.
A now matured, humbled Lesnar can only benefit WWE. He's still young
enough to contribute to WWE for another decade, and McMahon is too
smart to pass up that kind of investment.
The only roadblock for Brock is winning over his colleagues, and
convincing them he's not the impetuous young man who took his initial,
overwhelming success for granted.
Besides Haas, and the three Dudleys, WWE also released the following
notable superstars: Jim Cornette, Jackie Gayda, who recently married
real-life boyfriend Haas, Shannon Moore, Matt Morgan, "Tough Enough"
winner Maven, Marty Jannetty, Kenzo Suzuki, Billy Kidman, Dawn Marie,
Joy Giovanni and Mark Jindrak.