Lesnar vs. Reigns: Why the IWC Has a Problem

Lesnar vs. Reigns seems to be set for SummerSlam 2022 and the IWC isn’t happy about it. Ever since Brock Lesnar returned on last Friday’s SmackDown and beat the blue hell out of The Usos and Reigns it has been almost set in stone that the two would be locking up at WWE‘s Premium Live Summer Event, and while this has been greeted in some sections as a good thing—including in the house of your friendly neighbourhood wrestling writer—there are the usual parts of the fandom that have been vocal in their annoyance at it happening. But let’s face it, these f*ckers would get pissed off at a returning Jesus ending all violence, feeding the starving, and taking the planet into a brand new utopia. Frankly, these people just like being pissed off for the sake of being pissed off.

“OH MY GOD”, they scream in all caps as they hammer away on their keyboards while sweating cheese wiz, “WTF IS THE WWE DOING??? NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THIS MATCH AGAIN!!! STOP REPEATING YOURSELF!!! I WILL BE CANCELLING MY PEACOCK SUBSCRIPTION FOR SURE THIS TIME!!!” they lie, before sneaking off to watch Flair vs. Steamboat for the 1,000th time that week.

Yet, as a journalist, I’m supposed to be non-bias, so I feel it’s my duty to look at the two main complaints being lobbied against Lesnar vs. Reigns and try to figure out just why this possible battle is causing such a problem for the IWC.

Brokc Lesnar faces off against Roman Reigns

We’ve Seen This Match 3,987,467,021 Times

This is the predominant and biggest complaint that has lit up comment sections and message boards across the interweb. Dark, horrible places that I swore I’d never go to if I returned to SPOBS, but into their depths, I had to delve, without even the most basic medium armor to protect me. Sorry, been playing a TON of Elder Scrolls Online lately. Where was I?  Ah, yes.

Everyone from the likes of ThorsBlackHammer to AEW4LIF has been bitching and moaning that all we’re getting is the same rehashed bull-honky that Vincent Kennedy McMahon and Co. are—at times rightly—known for.

But are we though? Ever since these two faced off for the first time at 2015s Wrestlemania XXXI, they’ve competed for the belt a grand total of seven times, and it wasn’t until 2018s Wrestlemania XXXIV that they were the only two in the dance. Until then, for three years, they’d been in Triple Threat Matches and Fatal Four Ways. So for the first three years of this rivalry, they faced each other grand total of two times and have since had five more bouts, meaning they’re averaging one a year.

Christ, Austin vs MacMahon did over half of that number in a single 12-month period, yet because it was during the Attitude Era everyone views that feud through rose-tinted specs as one of the greatest of all time. Now don’t get me wrong, the storytelling between The Rattlesnake and The Boss was exceptional, but anyone who tells me that when it came down to throwing punches they’d rather watch The Corporation gang up six-on-one against Austin than any of the matches that Lesner and Reigns have put on, well, then I suspect that their pants may very well be on fire.

No, not everything The Beast and The Head Of The Table have been involved in in-ring has been gold, but it’s been a hell of a lot better than people give them credit for.

It’s Just Two Part-Timers Being Allowed The Spotlight

Well, yeah, and whose fault is that? Every time Brock Lesnar has returned to the WWE it’s always gone the same way. People lose their collective s*it that The Beast Incarnate is back, roar and howl like rabid dogs as he destroys everyone they put in his way, then realize that he’s got the belt and might not be around as much as “a champion should be”, bitch and moan that he’s a part-timer, bring up the fact that he doesn’t love wrestling as much as they do, then roar and howl like rabid dogs when he buggers off again. Rinse and repeat.

As for Roman Reigns, he never stood a chance, did he? Not until he turned into one of the best heels ever to grace the sport. Before then he was just viewed as the least talented one in The Shield who didn’t have the Independent kudos that Rollins and Ambrose brought with them. in fact, I’ve even read idiots…sorry, “fans”…claim that the only reason he’s been pushed as hard as he has is that he’s related to The Rock.

Yeah, I know.

Did it help that the WWE was trying to force him down our throats without a single thought about how damaging that would be to his character? No, of course it didn’t, but to claim that Reigns couldn’t wrestle, as so many were quite vocal in doing, was just stupid.

After he returned from another battle with Leukemia, the fans were a lot easier on him, but it would’ve only been a matter of time before they turned on the guy they saw in the ring, so at Summerslam 2020 Reigns effectively turned heel when he came out after Bray Wyatt had defeated Braun Strowman for The Universal Championship and speared the ever-loving bejesus out of both men. This was followed up after he aligned with Paul Heyman, and The Bloodline was born. Arguably the greatest heel stable of this century, The Bloodline has dominated the WWE landscape for the past two years, and how have they managed this? Quite simple really. Everyone fell in love with The Tribal Chief character and demanded that Reigns beat everybody he faced like red-headed stepchildren. The WWE, seeing the dollar signs that they’d always hoped Reigns would bring to the company, happily agreed and the rest is history.

Then it emerged that Reigns would be working a lighter schedule going forward and, once again, the IWC threw its arms up in the air and started wailing and gnashing its teeth, screaming foul and claiming that the company shouldn’t have the belt on another part-timer, but they failed to grasp the reasons for this.

First off: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. If Reigns isn’t seen as much then his schtick doesn’t get old and boring, so having him out of the spotlight for extended periods means that when he returns he’s going to get cheered or booed—either way is good as he’s a heel, remember—out of the building. Secondly: The dude obviously feels he needs a f*cking break. I can’t imagine that someone who has given so much of himself to wrestling would walk away unless he felt he had to? So what if he wants to take some time off and go shoot a movie? He’s earned that right over the last two years alone, and if it gives him time to heal up and come back in even better condition, then I’m all for it. Thirdly: What else can they do? You all wanted him to crush all that opposed him and he’s done just that. Every challenge to his throne has been defeated. There really is no one left.

No one that isn’t called Brock Lesnar, anyhow.

So, Does The IWC Have A Legitimate Reason to Be Angry?

No, of course it doesn’t, don’t be f*cking stupid. I said in the intro to this piece that there’s a section of the fandom that just likes being pissed off for the sake of being pissed off, and I stand by it. Now, normally I ignore them. This is because I know that the internet isn’t a real place, but this has kind of stuck in my craw.

No, that’s not true either.

If truth be told, I just needed an idea for an article and I saw the chance to take the piss out of a bunch of morons getting riled up about a sport that has a predetermined outcome. I mean, come on, do they go watch a movie and start screaming abuse at the screen? “GOD! WHAT’S MARVEL DOING??? DR STRANGE WOULD NEVER HAVE GONE TO THE MULTI-VERSE LIKE THAT!!! I’M CANCELING MY DISNEY PLUS SUBSCRIPTION FOR SURE THIS TIME!!!”

Yet. I feel that I do have a point to make and it’s quite a simple one. We live in a day and age where there is so much wrestling that there aren’t enough hours in the week to watch it all. So if you don’t like something a company is doing, then go watch something else. You don’t have to sit down religiously every week and make RAW and SmackDown a part of your diet—god knows, I don’t—try some AAA or NJPW. Anything that is not going to raise your blood pressure to a dangerous level and cause you to have a stroke before you’re 40.

And besides, you think they’re angry now? Just wait until Summerslam 2022 when Lesnar beats Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Title. It’s going to be levels of apocalyptic rage not seen since Cornette slapped the s*it out of Santino for laughing at the Boogyman.

And it’ll make just as much sense as well.

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West).

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