Well it’s finally here…Summerslam week, with both Raw and Smackdown Live looking to put the finishing touches on the buildup. Speaking of those touches, there was an interesting one made for Brock Lesnar. Heading into his match with Randy Orton Sunday, there really hasn’t been a defined face and heel. Until last night on Raw, where we might have seen Brock Lesnar the heel.
Is Brock Lesnar the Heel for Summerslam?
“I don’t give a s**t about your kids”
That was what Brock Lesnar said to sports entertainment’s “hottest free agent” Heath Slater on Raw. Lesnar and Paul Heyman were in the ring for what looked to be your run of the mill Heyman promo, until Slater interrupted. It was pretty jarring to see the literal opposite ends of the totem pole interacting with each other. Slater said he saw a match against Lesnar as a chance of finally getting signed.
He begged for match with the Beast, asserting that he needed the match. Everyone in the building including Slater himself, knew that he would get his head kicked in. But the One Man Band had to do it, he had kids to feed, kids who were relying on him.
It was quite powerful stuff from Slater and it really highlighted his promo ability. So powerful in fact, that it caused a rare occurrence, Brock Lesnar spoke. He could respect what Slater was saying, he had kids himself. The free agent came into the ring and what you see above was the response he got.
Almost Too Sympathetic=Brock Lesnar the heel
What he also received was a couple german suplexes and an F-5 for his troubles. Now Lesnar was thunderously cheered for all of his actions, especially the line regarding the kids. But, there must have been some at home who felt just little sympathy for Slater. He put in a tremendous performance and really came across as genuine in his delivery.
If this storyline involved anyone but Lesnar, he would not have received cheers. This was the plucky underdog picking a fight with the big bully for a noble cause. How are we expected to cheer for the bully?
Having Lesnar dismantle Slater as he did, could have been done much more effectively, without Lesnar coming off as heelish. Have Slater come out and cut the same goofy promo he always does and have Lesnar beat him up, and everyone is happy. This is so obvious that it leads to believe that Slater coming across as sympathetic was an intentional move. Maybe this was WWE’s attempt at Lesnar being a heel.
Does this match on Sunday really need a face-heel dynamic? Probably not. It would have done well just by the names involved alone. But it is admirable of WWE to add another wrinkle going into the showdown on Sunday.