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SMARK COUNTRY: A Part-Time Beast Incarnate

The schedule for the final slate of WWE televised shows for this year has been released. The December 8th edition of Monday Night Raw, featuring the 2014 Slammy Awards, will also see the return of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. In my humble opinion, there is no excuse for the top guy in the company to be off of television for as long as he is.



There are many people who are fans of Brock having the strap and I will concede that it was a needed change of pace as the title picture has grown stale ever since Daniel Bryan abdicated the championship due to an injury. But, and this is coming from a HUGE fan of Lesnar’s, this title run just isn’t working.

People look to Lesnar’s sound annihilation of John Cena two months ago at SummerSlam as proof point that the audience was behind the uber heel, Lesnar. But that pop was only due to the enormous anti-Cena sentiment. I am the furthest thing from a fan of babyface Cena, but a squash match at the main event of one of the four biggest pay-per-views of the year, where the top draw of your company is the one getting squashed, is the definition of blundering as far as booking is concerned.

The problem is compounded when you factor in the issue of scheduling. Lesnar’s contract, which he signed in 2012, was a part-time contract with only a limited number of appearances per year. This is not a huge problem, as others in the past such as Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and even the Undertaker, have performed a limited number of shows per year. But their age, injuries and other personal factors went into them negotiating those contracts. Brock has seemingly recovered from the illness that sidelined him from competing in UFC. When you are carrying the championship, all major storylines begin and end with you. Much like Hulk Hogan’s title reigns in the 1980s, Brock’s limited number of appearances hampers storyline potential and almost makes it feel like the title is vacated. 2014 Money in the Bank winner Seth Rollins might not ever get another opportunity to cash in the precious contents of his briefcase until Brock loses the belt.

If the WWE actually made their other championships more significant and had maybe a best of seven series for the Intercontinental Championship, or a ladder match for the Tag Team Championships, the hole in the World Title picture wouldn’t seem so blatantly obvious. But these would only be minor fixes. Brock’s contract expires shortly after Wrestlemania XXXI next year. There has been no word of any negotiating going on. WWE was smart to cater to some of Lesnar’s demands as he is a huge draw and there’s no denying that. Let’s hope that if they do decide to re-up Lesnar’s contract, that World Wrestling Entertainment utilizes him in a more effective manner.
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