This past week on Raw, Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE and seemed to be set to start a major angle for Wrestlemania in a few months. First, let’s address the recent rumors of Lesnar’s potential return to the UFC, which caused much speculation online that he would meet with UFC President, Dana White after the UFC 168 pay-per-view. It amazes me how often this subject continues to get press online and it’s even more amazing that some people actually put stock into the reports about it. No, Brock Lesnar isn’t going to return to the UFC, as he’s under contract to the WWE and signed a two year deal after Wrestlemania last year, which prevents him from signing with another company during the duration of the contact. However, as I mentioned in a previous column, even if Lesnar wasn’t under contract to the WWE, he would not return to the UFC because there’s major money and easier money to be made in sport entertainment. Lesnar will make a handful of appearances for WWE this year, get a pay check, and make easier money with an easier schedule in sports entertainment than mixed martial arts. Don’t get me wrong, the UFC is a very successful, global brand, but as far as Lesnar goes, he did what he could there and if he returned, it seems extremely doubtful he would be successful for a variety of reasons.
As for the Raw appearance, the WWE continues to book Lesnar very wisely, as they reestablished him as a monster right from the start with the attack on Mark Henry and the promo seemed to give some indication of potential storylines for Lesnar leading into Wrestlemania. Despite Lesnar mentioning the WWE World Heavyweight title, I doubt Lesnar will be in the main event picture, but it depends on how many appearances he’s signed for and how many of those appearances the WWE is willing to use for this particular storyline. If Lesnar would actually win the title at some point, he would probably appear on Raw on a weekly basis, which is something that he hasn’t done since he returned to the company a few years ago. The other aspect of the Lesnar situation is that he doesn’t really need to be in the title picture to boost the ratings or the buy rates. Lesnar’s name vaule is enough to sell a show so that along with the limited appearances he’s signed for, he probably won’t be in the main event scene prior to Wrestlemania.
It was also announced that Batista will return to the WWE in a few weeks and there are rumors he could win the Royal Rumble to set up a main event match with Randy Orton at Wrestlemania. Before the discussion of Batista’s return, it should be noted that he did the best work of his career with the heel run prior to his departure from the company. The heel turn and the subsequent program with Rey Mysterio, who can make people look good in the ring, gave Batista’s character substance, instead of the generic presentation from previous years. Batista taking time off for a few years will generate buzz for his return and while an angle with Orton is possible at some point, I doubt it will be a match at Wrestlemania. While Batista had his best run from a character stand point, his work is somewhat limited and it’s doubtful a Batista/Orton main event could live up to the hype of Wrestlemania. That’s not to discount Batista because his name value will draw for the WWE, but the fans that are assuming that he will automatically win the Rumble might be putting too many stock into online reports before Batista actually returns to the company.
Until next week
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