Brock Lesnar had a match with John Cena in the main event of WWE Extreme Rules last night (Sun., April 29, 2012) in Chicago, Illinois. It was a bloody brawl, a fun battle between two of the biggest stars in the history of the professional wrestling industry.
You won't find much dispute amongst fans and pundits (if there is a such a thing in this particular field) that the match itself was phenomenal. After all, this may have been the greatest sell job we've ever seen from Cena, who legitimately took a beating from Brock so he could get opened up the hard way to bleed all over the canvas at the Allstate Arena.
Lesnar, a beast of a man who looked like Sagat from Street Fighter with his shirt off, also reminded fans why WWE was so high on him eight years ago. He's a monster but he's a monster who can work. The guy is an athletic specimen the likes of which may never come through pro wrestling ever again.
Yes, the match was amazing. But the finish created a debate that provided a window into the fanbase of this here form of entertainment.
Some, like myself, absolutely hated the finish. Others thought the match was good enough to ignore the booking surrounding it. Still others felt as though everything was great and right and WWE could do no wrong.
So who's right in this equation? The answer is everyone.
International Object raised a rather salient point:
Last night, in a theatre, I was flanked by two strangers. On the left was a severe Brock Lesnar fan, and he decried the result of the main event with the typical vitriol of a young twenty-something with too much adrenaline. The guy on the right cheered Cena to the very end, erupting with childlike joy at the finish. These two men were roughly the same age. Should I have listened to either? No. Should I decry either? No. I have my own skin in the game. I'm proud of my own choices. They should be proud of theirs. You should be proud of yours.
I couldn't agree more. In fact, that's part of what makes pro wrestling such a beautiful art form -- it is consumed differently by all those who take it in.
To defend my position (not that I have to), as I got older, I came to appreciate the business side of pro wrestling more than the on-screen product. That's partially because the two blended together and partially because I was always more fascinated by what was happening behind-the-scenes.
I never used to care about how they came to make the decisions they do. At some point that changed and now it fascinates me endlessly.
That's a big reason why Brock Lesnar losing to John Cena bothered me so. But I haven't lost my passion as a man who is simply a fan who enjoys watching the art. I loved the match itself. Both men should be applauded for their effort.
I just digested it differently than many and you know what? That's okay.
It's okay that you digested it differently too. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.