Brock Lesnar has made his return to “WWE Raw” — his first TV appearance since his victory at UFC 200. His return won’t be remembered for what was said and done, though. Instead, it’ll be looked back upon for what wasn’t.
Following his victory over Mark Hunt at UFC 200, it was revealed that Lesnar failed two drug tests conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency — which revealed a banned substance. With Lesnar’s future in UFC uncertain — a topic that has made headlines since it was first announced — you may be surprised to learn WWE pretended none of it happened in his “Raw” return.
Instead, Lesnar’s on-screen advocate Paul Heyman referred to him as the “Beast of the Brocktagon” and asserted his dominance over his “SummerSlam” opponent Randy Orton.
WWE prides itself on often being current and addressing things happening in popular culture. For instance, this same episode of “Raw” featured superstar R-Truth playing “Pokemon Go” obsessively. It’s not only silly topics they tackle, though.
On a previous episode of “Raw,” Orton made reference to Lesnar’s drug test woes, telling the live audience there were “no enhancements necessary” when it came to his promise to beat the former WWE and UFC champion.
WWE isn’t dumb and neither is its audience. Everyone knows what Lesnar is dealing with right now and pretending it isn’t happening makes the legitimate beast of an athlete look weak. He’s human, he made a mistake. If he’s the beast he claims he is on a regular basis, he should be able to own up to it.
Besides, he’s got Heyman next to him at all times. If anyone could have spun this story into gold, it’s that man.
And granted, perhaps all talk of the drug test was neglected for legal reasons. Lesnar has yet to admit any guilt, instead offering a statement of “we’ll get to the bottom of this.” With a potential two-year ban from UFC — which is practically a retirement sentence for 39-year-old Lesnar — he may be afraid to say much of anything.
However, WWE is going into their second biggest show of the year with “SummerSlam” and the match between Lesnar and Orton doesn’t feel all that special yet.
Every Brock Lesnar match should feel like a special moment in time. He’s a marquee attraction that doesn’t wrestle often. Having him show a little vulnerability — or even outright defiance — about his issues with the USADA would not only make the tale of this match so much stronger, it would give Orton plenty of material to use for a verbally sparring match with the superior athlete.
Whether that will happen remains to be seen. But, until Lesnar actually addresses what’s happening, it’s going to be on the mind of every single fan.