On Friday afternoon, Brock Lesnar’s advocate, the former big boss of ECW, and all-around wrestling genius Paul Heyman tweeted out that Lesnar would be cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Seth Rollins this Monday on Raw. On the surface, this sounds like excellent news. A Universal Championship match between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar on free television? Sign me up! However, I believe this is just a marketing ploy, and one that is symptomatic of the real problem with WWE.
Brock Lesnar Won’t Cash in Money in the Bank This Monday Night
I’m gonna go on the record here and say that I don’t believe there will be a Universal Championship match on Raw this week. Even though WWE is advertising it as such, sharing Heyman’s post, circulating it throughout their online network, including their own website, there’s little to no chance it actually happens.
Part Time Beast
Why do I think this is the case? For a couple of reasons. Firstly, Brock Lesnar hasn’t wrestled on Monday Night Raw since July of 2002, when he beat Tommy Dreamer in a squash on WWE’s flagship show. The biggest issue that WWE fans have with Lesnar is his part-time schedule. People love Brock, as we’ve seen with the dozens of boombox in the bank briefcase memes, but he only shows up once every few months, only wrestles at pay per views, and leaves Raw title-less.
McMahon, Oh Man
Secondly, they’ve already set up a back-up story with the McMahon family “disliking the way Lesnar has disrespected the briefcase” like they didn’t A. allow Damien Sandow to turn it into a piece of chocolate, or B. put Lesnar in the match at the last second in the first place (in kayfabe, obviously). Heyman said they didn’t announce when they’d be cashing in the briefcase, so if you really think it’s going to happen, you’ll likely have to watch all three hours.
Card Subject to Change
Thirdly, the card is always subject to change, but Seth Rollins has already been advertised for his match with actual human Ambien, Baron Corbin at the Saudi Arabia show, Super Showdown. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Lesnar does cash in this Monday, but for a match against the winner of the Corbin/Rollins match at Super Showdown.
The SmackDown of It All
Finally, I really think that Brock Lesnar has another WWE Championship reign in his future, especially as the product barrels towards it’s move to Fox. They want a more legitimate show that can draw ratings, and hypothetically, Lesnar is the answer to both of those problems. As fantastic as Kofi Kingston is, the WWE still don’t see him as a bonafide main eventer, and eventually the novelty of his title run will wear off for them.
With the ludicrously insulting “wild card rule” in effect, Lesnar could hypothetically win the Universal Championship and still end up on SmackDown live, but I just don’t see it. It makes more sense for SmackDown’s biggest star to have SmackDown’s most important belt.
Love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar is the biggest draw that WWE has, and in kayfabe, him being able to force a championship match whenever he wants should mean that whenever he strikes, he’s almost guaranteed to win. I’m sure there are thousands, if not millions of fans that will tune in this Monday to see if Paul Heyman comes through on his promise. Regardless of whether or not he does, the fans will have still tuned in.
The Real Problem
And that’s just it. WWE has no problem lying to their target demographic. In true carny fashion, they’d rather lie to get you into the door and leave you disappointed than actually deliver an enjoyable product. Instead of using the best roster in the history of professional wrestling to put on great “sports entertainment” shows, they’d rather deceive their fanbase by promising something they know in advance they can’t deliver.
And this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. They also advertised Alexa Bliss vs. Trish Stratus, Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman, and John Cena’s Royal Rumble debacle over the last year or so. The company that, even despite recent developments, still has a stranglehold on it’s industry continues to cut corners at the expensive of their target demographic.
Fresh off AEW’s fantastic pay per view debut, Double or Nothing, and a Jon Moxley interview that doesn’t paint WWE in a very good light, you’d think they would be trying a little harder to put on a passable show. We’ve been told for 20 years that Vincent Kennedy McMahon craves competition, but now that he has it, the only entertaining thing he’s producing is a 41 year old mixed martial artist dancing to a boombox that doesn’t make noise and a 47 year-old R-Truth defending a title that doesn’t matter.
And you know what the really funny part is? Even if I’m wrong, even if Brock Lesnar cashes in on Seth Rollins and becomes the Universal Champion yet again? Then the entire second half of this article is still right, because the WWE Universe will be stuck with an absentee champion for most of the year on their flagship show.