When Brock Lesnar signed a one-year deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) over the WrestleMania 28 weekend, questions were immediately raised regarding how exactly the company would handle Lesnar's eight-year absence from professional wrestling.
The actual story is that Lesnar left to try out for the National Football League (where he failed) before moving on to mixed martial arts (MMA), where he succeeded in a manner not seen before. In fact, once he signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), he became the biggest draw in the history of the entire sport. Lesnar headlined the historic UFC 100 event opposite Frank Mir and helped sell 1.6 million buys on pay-per-view (PPV), which is well ahead of the WWE record set by WrestleMania 28 just this past April 1 in Miami.
So when Lesnar came back home to the promotion that first made him a star, many wondered whether or not Vince McMahon and company would acknowledge his successes with the UFC. Sure enough, just last week on Raw, Lesnar cut a promo putting himself over as the reason UFC has reached such dizzying heights. It was a brilliant strategy, mostly because it's rooted in reality. Brock may not be the sole reason the UFC is as big as it is, but he was unquestionably the biggest star in the short history of the promotion.
And because WWE first made him a star, perhaps they feel as though using Lesnar in the manner they have is simply a receipt. Brock has been booked as the shoot fighter with real skills who was a fighting champion back to bring legitimacy to the WWE. In many ways, they've subtly attempted to say that John Cena is bigger than anyone in UFC. Lesnar conquered the UFC world, now he's back to fry some bigger fish, even if that's not actually the case.
Having Lesnar acknowledge his past inside the Octagon is one thing. Having him dress the part is another. As you can see in the picture of this post, Lesnar's new ring attire is essentially the same as it was with the UFC, logos and all, save for the wrestling boots.
I suppose it's no real surprise that Lesnar's first match against Cena at Extreme Rules on April 29 has no rules. Might as well take the gimmick the full nine yards, right?