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Why John Laurinaitis chose Brock Lesnar as the "new face of WWE"
When John Laurinaitis reintroduced Brock Lesnar to the WWE Universe on Raw SuperShow, the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and General Manager of both Raw and SmackDown proclaimed that Brock is the "new face of WWE," a man who would "carry the WWE banner for years to come."
Wait a second … Brock Lesnar? The juggernaut who destroys anything in his path without conscience or regret? Talk about a scary proposition.
"Brock has achieved incredible success on every level. He’s the only athlete to ever win the WWE Championship, the UFC Heavyweight Championship and an NCAA Division I Heavyweight Championship," Laurinaitis explained to WWE.com in an exclusive interview.
Others would argue that it's a curious choice to say the least. The GM of Raw and SmackDown admitted on Raw that Brock is a no-nonsense, ruthless combatant who doesn't care about his entertainment value – only dominating his opponents. That said, bringing Lesnar back to WWE could be a stroke of genius for an executive determined to assert his control over both shows, and WWE as a whole. Likewise, Brock could use Laurinaitis' power to help him make a mercurial rise to the top of the Superstar ranks. No wonder the first thing to come out of Brock's mouth since his return was a big thank you for Mr. Laurinaitis.
"Quite frankly, I couldn't imagine a better man than Brock more suited to be the face of WWE," Laurinaitis told WWE.com. "No offense to John Cena, who’s an outstanding athlete in his own right, but he’s no Brock Lesnar."
Realize this, however: Brock has never been a man who can be contained for long. He is not someone who listens to reason. A decade ago, Lesnar was first introduced to the WWE Universe as "The Next Big Thing" by his then-agent Paul Heyman on the April 8, 2002 edition of Raw. Their relationship lasted less than a year before the two butted heads and Heyman betrayed Brock, evoking a more vengeful side of the monster who seemed hell-bent on trying to crush his former mouthpiece with an F-5 at every opportunity.
Ten years later, did Laurinaitis invite trouble by getting Lesnar to return to WWE? Well, he already got some trouble by lighting a fire under John Cena.
The Cenation leader had a "thank you" of his own for Brock on Raw SuperShow: a harsh slap across the face. What followed was one of the wildest brawls in history as dozens of Superstars and officials had to stop the two rivals from tearing each other apart. Later on Raw, as Cena still had blood trickling down from his busted lip, he accused Laurinaitis of trying to put him "out of business" by letting Brock run loose in WWE again. ( PHOTOS)
If anyone has a right to be furious about Brock's comeback, it's Cena. In the eight years since Brock left, Cena has arguably cemented himself as the true face of WWE, with a record-breaking 10 WWE Championship reigns and remarkable crossover success in both music and film. He's also conquered many of WWE's biggest giants, including Kane and Intercontinental Champion Big Show.
Now, because of Laurinaitis' maneuvering, he has to face the very giant he couldn't slay at Backlash in 2003. But this time around, the circumstances are vastly different. Cena seems hungrier than ever before, eager to rebound from his agonizingly close loss to The Rock in a "Once in a Lifetime" Match. Each attack by Lesnar will likely only increase that hunger as they get set to clash at Extreme Rules – the one night of the year when WWE throws the rulebook out the window. ( PREVIEW)
If Cena has his way with Brock on April 29, Laurinaitis' proclaimed "new face of WWE" might never look the same again.