WWE spent most of the summer portraying Brock Lesnar as a man who has no respect for professional wrestling or its fans. While that's enticed some of the WWE Universe to boo The Beast, Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross thinks it was a misguided effort by Vince McMahon and his crew.
In an interview with WrestleZone Good Ol' JR dished on why he thinks WWE took Brock Lesnar's character in a questionable direction. To Ross, using Lesnar as someone who is aloof and potentially adversarial to fans was an odd way to demonize the Universal Champion
"I would not have taken that approach. I do not believe in doing a negative sell. I just don't think you get anything out of it. I think it's the wrong kinds of emotions that you are attempting to create. I believe that, in my view, I would have taken a different route. That doesn't mean that their route is wrong it just means that I don't get it yet," he said.
It's hard to say if the WWE Universe "gets it," either. While fans are certainly turning against Lesnar, it's not for anything he's done on WWE programming. Instead, Lesnar is drawing negativity for not being there. Oddly enough it feels like some fans are boing not because of Lesnar's convenient schedule, but that we don't see him enough. Because regardless of how you feel about Lesnar, the man is a spectacle and one of the most reliable WWE Superstars in history. Who really wants to see less of that?
Ross did leave room for WWE's current strategy to work, however. But at this time, he isn't seeing a promising finish line.
"I am assuming that something is going to be settled at SummerSlam. It's certainly building a lot of interest, anticipation and armchair booking. Maybe we'll look back and say, "The damn thing worked." It's something I would not book because of the simple fact that somebody is using a negative," he said.
While many fans have sworn apathy, the finish of SummerSlam's main event is something we all want to know. As at WrestleMania 34 and the Greatest Royal Rumble, we're all expecting Lesnar to finally drop his Universal Championship.
But it may not be the foregone conclusion we've all assumed.
On Tuesday, a new rumor emerged claiming Lesnar met with Vince McMahon in order to extend his current contract. That certainly runs counter to any narrative having Lesnar bouncing from WWE in favor of a UFC career while simultaneously adding doubt to what may be an obvious SummerSlam's conclusion.
We'll see how things go, but SummerSlam is a big night for WWE. A Reigns win puts him atop to company—a coronation WWE has delayed for three years. A cash-in by Kevin Owens or Bruan Strowman would blow the roof off the building. but a Lesnar win would be a shock that could silence the drunkest audience members.