WWE pays a mint for every Brock Lesnar appearance, and for most of them they trot him out there to bounce around the ring and say nothing while his advocate Paul Heyman does all the talking. For awhile this was all well and good, as Heyman has been a maestro on the microphone really dating back to his days in the early 90’s in WCW when he carried around a brick cell phone and agitated everyone, but lately the formula has been wearing thin.
On Monday, WWE made the ill-advised decision for Heyman to try to get the crowd in Lesnar’s hometown of Minneapolis to boo the beast incarnate, as he’s nominally supposed to be the heel for his Survivor Series scrap with Goldberg. As you can see above, this didn’t exactly work. Heyman got flustered and the promo cut off abruptly. Yesterday, word trickled out that Vince McMahon was livid with the crowd’s reaction and “pulled the plug” on the promo.
On Monday night’s post-Raw edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Bryan Alvarez related the behind-the-scenes story of what was happening during that segment. “Backstage, Vince blew a gasket, [saying] ‘These goddamn fans!’ And he played Brock’s music, and they just ended it. And Paul and Brock went to the back, and that was the end of the segment. This was not how it was supposed to end, but Vince pulled the plug right in the middle of it.”
Sounds true enough; WWE still hasn’t totally realized that they don’t have to be scripting pure good and bad guys against each other anymore. This purported reaction from Vince McMahon is related to the decision-making process of how they keep trying to shove Roman Reigns down our throats by booking him as a face, when he should be a menacing heel with limited microphone time. The production can feel very patronizing at times.
With Goldberg and Lesnar, it would be compelling if they just let the crowd be organically split on who to root for and left it at that.