Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top Ten Cases: WWE 2012 Year-End Awards - Most Shocking Story of the Year

My Pick:  Brock Lesnar returns to WWE
In a company that saw Sable, Hulk Hogan, and Bret Hart return after less-than-cordial departures – and big debuts like Eric Bischoff – it takes a whole lot to consider a return “shocking,” and Brock Lesnar may be the closest thing.  It isn’t even so much because of the messy manner in which Brock left, it’s also the lack of motivation for him to return.  Bret Hart had pride in his legacy.  Hulk Hogan needed to return to the spotlight.  Sable, I would think, desired to remain relevant.  And Eric Bischoff just seemed to enjoy the showmanship of professional wrestling.  Brock Lesnar didn’t seem to possess any of those qualities.  There just didn’t seem like the stars were aligned in regards to a Brock Lesnar return.

Yet ever since Brock Lesnar’s departure in 2004, rumors have constantly swirled that he would return to WWE.  Hell, at one point WWE.com even posted a story about Lesnar coming to Titan Towers, presumably to return to the company (although that went nowhere).  From there, obstacle after obstacle made it seem like a return was unlikely.  First there was his lawsuit against WWE.  Then there was his tenure in UFC, where Dana White made it clear that he would not be wrestling for WWE while under contract.  Then there was his intestinal illness, which made physical competition at all questionable.  The occasional name drop on WWE programming and that random altercation with the Undertaker at a UFC event were mere teases that never developed into anything.

But that changed just before last year’s WrestleMania, where it was announced that Lesnar had signed a deal with WWE that would include a handful of dates and matches.  It seemed like a great deal, and people were legitimately excited to see how the “Next Big Thing” would fit in with this new world.  People were fantasy booking matches against John Cena, Sheamus, and CM Punk, and possible renewed feuds with the Undertaker, the Big Show, and the Rock.  And while the success of the execution of Lesnar’s return is open to debate, you simply cannot argue with the fact that fans WANT to see him back – even after being gone approximately 4 times longer than the span of time he actually competed.

What You Said – Brock Lesnar returns to WWE
One of the “Other” answers that a surveyor provided was Jerry Lawler’s heart attack, and I really regret not thinking of that as a nominee.  I may have even selected it, to be honest (I make my picks before reading any of the votes).  I’m actually a little surprised that John Cena becoming the first person to fail cashing in on the Money in the Bank contract only received one vote (while Triple H getting a haircut earned 9!)  Finally having somebody fail after over 10 winners (with every single person who cashed in the briefcase winning the title), and it being your biggest star, is fairly significant.  However, most of you agreed with my answer, as Brock’s return to the WWE received 44% of the votes.

Brock Lesnar is a pretty interesting case, actually.  While it seemed unlikely he’d ever return – for the reasons I stated above – you can rest assured that every single year, people will be imagining scenarios that lead to his return.  And as I alluded to earlier, he really only competed on television for about two years and has been gone for about eight….and yet fans still exploded when he made his return.  Speculation indicates that Lesnar is going to resign with the company.  Let’s just hope we get a bit more out of WWE’s buck this time around.

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