Seth Rollins’ Universal title win over Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam continues to be the buzz of the wrestling world. The match that many fans didn’t care about beforehand surpassed expectations and was a great final chapter in the Beast versus Beastslayer saga.
But as entertaining as the match was, it also revealed a fact that some fans may not have realized yet. This wasn’t just a top win for Seth Rollins and a rare loss for Brock Lesnar. This was a brawl between two pro wrestlers and not a fight to the finish against an unstoppable monster. Brock Lesnar was stopped. More importantly, he was human.
To understand the gravity of what this match means for Rollins and for WWE, fans must first remember how The Beast Incarnate has been booked. In the world of WWE, Brock Lesnar is a force of nature, a natural disaster in leather boots. It’s extremely difficult to slow him down and nearly impossible to beat him.
He’s a one-of-a-kind killer, a being that’s more machine than man. He’s twisted and evil, relying on his animalistic tendencies and taste for blood. Long time WWE fans remember him as the phenomenon that took the company by storm in 2002. Modern day fans know him as the most indestructible predator that the business has ever seen.
So how does WWE book a man like that, except to put him over at every turn? How else could the company feature him? Brock had to win all of the time, despite what his critics said. A great segment of the WWE faithful hated Vince McMahon for always spotlighting Lesnar, but what other choice did he have?
Once Lesnar’s Beast Incarnate persona was fully realized, the company had painted itself into a corner. Booking him to lose at a certain point was no longer an option and perhaps it never was. However, everyone must lose eventually and the same is true of WWE’s German Suplexing Juggernaut.
But how? How do you beat a man that’s unbeatable? For the men who have done it, the answer is simple. The only way to defeat Brock Lesnar is to take him out of the hunt and the only way to do that is to even the playing field.
Most of the time, that happens with weapons. Steel chairs, chains, steps, kendo sticks and sledgehammers have all been used to either gain an advantage, or score a pin, on Lesnar. Low-blows have also been utilized on multiple occasions, by Seth and even The Undertaker. Any combination of these extreme tactics can lead to the fall of the monster.
Of course that fall is only temporary. Brock eventually gets back up and when he does, he’s even scarier than before. He adapts to the attacks and he learns to overcome the pain. He always comes back and he almost always wins the next round. But this time, it’s different.
Seth Rollins did not use a weapon at SummerSlam and he didn’t deliver a low-blow. He didn’t take Lesnar by surprise and he didn’t do anything illegal when the referee wasn’t looking. Rollins walked into SummerSlam, fought Lesnar on his own terms and walked away as the new Universal champion. Seth got a clean win over Brock Lesnar and he lived to tell about it.
So what does this say about Brock? The fact that Seth met Lesnar on his own level and won, speaks volumes about The Beastslayer. It could be argued that WWE’s faith in Seth is at an all-time high and this win is proof of that. Rollins is the best of the best now, because he beat The Beast and didn’t need to bend any rule to do it.
But maybe the biggest takeaway from this match is the fact that Seth Rollins is not a Hall of Fame legend like Goldberg. He’s also not WWE’s anointed top guy, like Roman Reigns. Rollins is a high profile star that needed a win in the main event and he got it. Brock is not often asked to drop a clean pin to anyone, but he’s now done it for Seth Rollins. It’s definitely a statement on WWE’s part and it may be something more for Brock Lesnar.
Is this a sign of things to come for Lesnar? While it’s completely unrealistic to believe that Lesnar will begin losing on a regular basis, it is however reasonable to assume that Brock is not the unyielding warmonger that WWE has presented. At the end of the day, he’s a performer portraying a character and doing whatever is asked of him.
Critics will continue to hate Brock for the wrong reasons and WWE will likely continue to book him for all the right reasons. Lesnar may or may not remain the invincible destroyer that fans love to hate. But it’s clear that when the time is right, Brock Lesnar will do business and that’s exactly what he’s done with Seth Rollins.
Popular opinion states that WWE has pivoted away from the top guy system, but that may not be true after all. Seth Rollins is the closest thing to being the face of the company than anyone else on the roster right now. Part of the reason for that is the work that Rollins himself has contributed. But the other part is due to Lesnar’s willingness to work with Seth and put him over when it matters the most.
No matter what happens from this point on, the fact is that Seth Rollins will keep doing what he does best and Brock Lesnar will do the same. With any luck, fans and critics alike will recognize that and respect each man for his effort despite who wins or loses.