After 504 days, Brock Lesnar is no longer Universal Champion.
Lesnar lost the title to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam Sunday night, bringing the title back to the show on a regular basis. This also lets Lesnar head off to UFC for his expected mega fight against Daniel Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Is Lesnar done with WWE? Probably not. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back for WrestleMania 25 to take on Braun Strowman. But, this chapter of his WWE career is over leaving me to ask myself: what is Brock Lesnar’s WWE legacy?
It’s a tricky question to answer. Lesnar has spent a combined eight years as a WWE superstar, with stints from 2002-2004 and 2012-today. He is a five-time world champion, has been WWE Champion four times and Universal Champion once. He has not held any other titles in WWE.
Before Lesnar came back in 2012, his legacy was “what if?” He had only spent less than two years on the main roster but was easily one of WWE’s biggest stars of the Ruthless Aggression Era. But Lesnar couldn’t handle the daily grind of like as a wrestler outside the ring and decided to walk out after WrestleMania XX to try out for the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL.
His return in 2012, however, gave him an opportunity to write a new chapter in his WWE career. His initial comeback was great, taking out John Cena the night after WrestleMania 28. People forget this, but Lesnar was on Raw every week during that feud with Cena.
And then Lesnar lost. Two weeks later, he would start his current part-time run.
It would take Lesnar another year before he had another great match, this one against CM Punk at SummerSlam 2013. This would set off a run worthy of the title “The Beast,” as Lesnar would not lose again until WrestleMania 31 in 2015.
During that time, he broke the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30, hit 16 suplexes on Cena en route to the WWE Championship, and threw Reigns around like a rag doll before Rollins cashed-in his MITB briefcase to win the title at WM31.
Lesnar was only pinned twice after losing to Triple H at WrestleMania 29: Goldberg at Survivor Series 2016, and Reigns Sunday night at SummerSlam. He also lost to The Undertaker at SummerSlam 2015 after passing out via submission, but that decision was marred in controversy.
So what is Lesnar’s WWE legacy? Where does he rank amongst the all-time greats? He’s spent a combined 1,083 days as a world champion for the company, but his lack of title defenses in his last two reigns are what inflate that number a little bit. He’s been a huge attraction for WWE, especially after he had a successful UFC career.
His crowd reaction recently has been a mixed bag, especially in the past few years. I think a lot of fans got tired of seeing Lesnar, especially when he would defeat new talents like Dean Ambrose, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman. Yet every time he came to the ring, he drew a reaction. Not many people on the main roster can say that at this point. People were always fascinated as to what he would do next, which is what makes him such a draw today.
Lesnar’s WWE legacy is a hard one to figure out right now. If anything, he’ll go down as one of the polarizing superstars in WWE history.