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Discussion Starter #1
So, Brock Lesnar's goal is to bring legitimacy back to WWE. It's a vague mission statement to have, as legitimacy could have several different meanings here. Is this a ploy to pull the wool over everyone's eyes and try to make people believe pro wrestling is real? Is it a metaphor for some kind of reestablishment of kayfabe? Is it just a character that heavily references his past inthe UFC, or is it all just a way to mark some kind of shift in WWE's audience focus, be it adual-pronged attempt at gaining new fans by catering to both kids and young males or by switching focus completely (the latter would bea mistake, in my opinion)?
Regardless, the road to"legitimacy" is a tricky one to divine. When done horribly wrong, you get late-era WCW, where guys were heavily implying that everything else was scripted but THIS CONFRONTATION RIGHT HERE IS REAL. Any kind of trite argument abt "exposing the business" aside, that almost always leads to bad television. That being said, I feel like they're on a right path here.
The difference in how they're presenting Lesnar is a great start. The video package last night encapsulated that shift in how they're presenting Lesnar. It had a very "studio interview" feel, similar to the kinds of production values found at MMA companies like UFC. If the goal is to portray Lesnar as an iconoclast, then they've gotten off to a hell of a start.
That being said, what if the legitimacy isn't what Lesnar is bringing to WWE, but what WWE is bringing back to Lesnar? Or maybe it's a duallysymbiotic relationship. Lesnar has been in the world of"real" fighting for a dog's age, and no matter what anyone says, in pro wrestling, characters have to have character. They can't just be asskickers who kick ass and do nothing else. Lesnar professes to be an asskicker, but there's definitely a character there. He's just a good ol' homespuncornfed farm boy at heart whonever learned to channel his rage into useful channels other than beating people up. There's room to develop there. While in UFC, that's not really necessary (although fans of MMA tell me that the most monetarily successful fighters are often the ones who have pro wrestling-style characters), it's crucial to be able to have something to hang your hat on in the squared circle.
Conversely, Lesnar helps WWE develop a prototype for"legitimate" characters. They failed first with Ken Shamrock,then Steve Blackman and thenagain with Santino Marella in terms of making them just guys who beat people up. They all needed some kind of evolution in order to start succeeding at a higher level, with Marella going through themost drastic of changes to getwhere he's at today. With Lesnar though, they have someone different, someone who has cache with both wrestling and fighting fans and who has ability to be a pro wrestling character.
So maybe we're all looking forlegitimacy in the wrong places.Still, it's interesting that WWE would even bring the term up.Lesnar's quest has been entertaining so far, but can he be the one to deliver"legitimacy" back to WWE?​
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