Superstar Breakdown: Brock Lesnar
With WWE in such a constant state of flux due to constant changes in creative direction and superstar injuries, it’s important to look back at the wrestlers of the present and see how they’ve impacted the company and what their future holds.
In this new series here on SportsKeeda, we take an objective look at one wrestler on the roster and determine where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and what we can expect for them in the foreseeable future.
We start this series with one of the biggest stars in WWE right now: the reigning and defending WWE Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar is one of WWE’s biggest assets. He’s one of only a handful of wrestlers to have not only excelled in Vince McMahon’s promotion, but also develop a major crossover appeal thanks to his success in Mixed Martial Arts.
Although his initial two-year run in WWE between 2002 and 2004 was full of successes, he has achieved significantly more prestige and has become far more important to WWE over the past five years. Below, we’ll find out why.
Lesnar is in peak condition, as seen by his excellent physique. But a wrestler's look is more than having just big muscles. "The Beast" has one of those faces that just scream ‘intimidation’ without him even having to actually speak a single word. One look at him and you’ll head for the hills.
Even walking up to him outside the ring takes a lot of guts, as the man is equally as menacing when he’s not actually doing anything wrestling-related.
In the ring, Lesnar looks like a legitimate fighting athlete as opposed to ‘just another wrestler’. His shorts, gloves and short boots are all MMA-oriented attire, which gives him even more of an athlete’s look.
These attire choices actually suit him very well, especially when they complement his wrestling skills, which we’ll get to next.
Brock Lesnar is a once-in-a-lifetime wrestler. While he does possess immense physical strength, that isn’t his main selling point. Lesnar’s other main asset is his explosive speed and agility.
Despite weighing close to 300lbs., Lesnar is lightning-fast and can take someone down and lock them in a wrenching submission hold in short order.
His in-ring style – which is minimal on actual theatrics and more focused on MMA and amateur wrestling-inspired take-downs and submission holds – makes him less of an obvious ‘WWE superstar’ and more of an explosive and unpredictable beast.
If you watch a Brock Lesnar match, you’ll notice that he doesn’t do what most other wrestlers do in their matches. Lesnar doesn’t go through the same motions and an identically-structured match as the ‘weekly stars’.
You never see Lesnar go through the exact same motions in each match like John Cena, Roman Reigns, Bayley, etc. Instead, Lesnar hits a few German suplexes, and destroys his opponents with a devastating F-5, or if necessary, a wrenching Kimura Lock.
While some might be quick to dismiss Lesnar’s wrestling ability as static and lacking in dynamism, Lesnar is actually a very successful wrestler, and has managed to make so much out of so little.
Lesnar actually uses fewer moves (relatively-speaking) than either John Cena or Roman Reigns, both of whom are frequent targets of fan criticism of having ‘5 moves of doom’.
But Lesnar can still get a huge reaction out of even the simplest move, which shows just how good Lesnar is as a wrestler, and how good WWE’s booking can be if there aren’t so many restrictions forced on the company’s actual wrestlers.
Promo Skills & Charisma
This is perhaps the one area in which Lesnar really falters. He has never been a great speaker, even when he was a rookie. He was placed on SmackDown during his initial run for very good reason: that show was taped at the time, so WWE could edit any mistakes its wrestlers made.
As a speaker, Lesnar isn’t particularly good, although that was never the point with him. His career has been linked inextricably to Paul Heyman, who has done a wonderful job of being Lesnar’s mouthpiece for years.
Heyman does most, if not all of the talking for Lesnar, selling him as a true larger-than-life monster that’s better than everyone else.
But Heyman doesn’t just throw hyperbole out there just for the sake of doing so; Heyman’s words have significant weight to them, given Lesnar’s previous booking and successes both inside professional wrestling and outside it.
When Lesnar himself does actually speak, it’s a rare moment and usually has some extra weight to it. Lesnar’s voice is equally-intimidating, and he can get a lot out of saying only a few words.
As for charisma, Brock isn’t one of those people that can control a crowd with emotions or promos (because he really doesn’t need to do either of those things). Instead, all Lesnar has to do is wrestle and do what he does best, and people will gravitate towards him.
Lesnar has benefitted from being presented as a ‘special attraction’ in WWE. He doesn’t appear regularly, and his matches are very special, even if they’re few and far between.
So when he does appear -- even if it’s just for a promo -- it’s a big deal, and his matches are also treated that way.
Lesnar is a certified main-eventer, whose crossover appeal makes him a major draw to casual fans and hardcore viewers alike.
The only downside to all of this is that Brock’s star power is so pronounced right now, yet WWE isn’t using that to really make a star out of someone else by putting them with Lesnar. They had a chance to do this with Dean Ambrose, but that ended up being a major disappointment.
Brock Lesnar is undoubtedly a major star in WWE. His wrestling ability is nearly-unmatched, and his unique combination of power and explosive speed more than make up for his lack of speaking skills.
Indeed, when it comes to the actual in-ring work and the ability to make a lot out of so little, every WWE superstar should try to emulate Brock Lesnar.