So last night at UFC 121, Brock Lesnar fought Cain Velasquez in a losing effort. I didn’t see it because 1) I’m not a huge MMA fan, sorry, 2) I was coming home from my godfather’s birthday party and I was dead tired, and 3) Hooters was packed. But my cousin filled me in on some details, including a noteworthy confrontation between Lesnar and his former rival, on-screen (and backstage?), The Undertaker.
WWE main eventer (understatement power go!) The Undertaker and his wife, the lovely Michelle McCool were in attendance at last night’s UFC 121. Taker’s interest in boxing and MMA are well-known, and once accompanied the Filipino pugilist Manny Pacquiao to the ring. Tonight, however, something was a little odd. Watch for yourself.
It got kind of, um, awkward. Seems the two have a little bad blood.
Anyone who paid attention to Brock Lesnar’s career will know that he was, indeed, the “next big thing” and was on the rise with the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista as the next generation of superstars. Brock in particular, who dominated the scene in his first two years, picking up WWE Championship reigns and claiming victories against countless of other wrestlers, including The Rock.
Things became a little heated when Brock and the Undertaker had a series of matches. The Undertaker, donning the image of a biker at the time, feuded with Brock and laid down for him (meaning he lost, you sicko) on more than one occasion. However, the favor was never returned.
You see, it comes down to booking wrestling 101. Wrestling continually has to build up its stars. People will get tired of seeing the same old farts over and over, which is one of the many, many reasons why WCW failed. There will be those who argue against me, but one of the most basic and textbook ways to do this is to have your young star (Brock Lesnar, in this case) win clean over your established main eventer (The Undertaker). It creates drama on screen, it serves as a passing of the torch, and the veteran can teach the rookie a thing or two. But not to spoil the baby, the rookie has to pay his dues and accept defeat at the hands of his rival, the veteran. It’s just common sense. Kind of. For the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, however, this didn’t seem to happen. If someone could refresh my memory though, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Bottom line, there seems to be some grudge between Taker and Lesnar. Taker helped establish Brock as a force to be reckoned with in the WWE, but it seems Brock never thanked him or returned that favor. After their feud ended at No Mercy 2003, the feud was shifted towards the Undertaker and WWE CEO Vince McMahon, who at the time was actually a pretty frequent in-ring performer (at least for someone in his position). Taker/McMahon’s feud ended only a month later at Survivor Series 2003, where the Undertaker “died” in a Buried Alive Match. Taker returned to his roots as a “deadman”, a zombie with supernatural powers that rose from the grave at WrestleMania XX in March of 2004 (rereading that last sentence, I wonder if anyone will take this post seriously). By then, Brock Lesnar was feuding with Bill Goldberg, and both men left the WWE shortly afterwards.
Brock tried out for the Minnesota Vikings (and failed… for fighting too much), toured Japan for awhile, got some new ink, and broke out into the MMA scene. Brock never forgot his wrestling roots, however, but it really, really doesn’t seem likely that he will be returning to the squared circle. But hey, never say never, though I seriously doubt it.
Brock’s loss at UFC 121 is pretty shocking, but I personally think he can get over it. People will trash him in the near future but he’ll bounce back from it. The dude is young and is a chiseled BEAST of a man. Loss can only fuel one’s determination. In fact I regret making that simpleton caption above because I’m pretty sure I’d never want to piss him off. I’m confident Lesnar can rebound from this loss, his career only started in 2008 and since then he’s been one of the biggest (literally) and most lucrative fighters in the industry. He’ll be fine.
But if I could turn back the hands of time to 2003, I would love to be a fly on the wall in the WWE locker room when Lesnar was around.