COMMENTARY | The hits just keep on coming for the WWE. On the Dec. 30 edition of Monday Night Raw, Brock Lesnar made his return to the WWE as Triple H's big announcement. Shockingly, Lesnar's return comes just a few days after he was rumored to be going back to the UFC.
Thankfully for the WWE, Lesnar returned to the squared circle instead of the Octagon, and if you really think about it the idea of Lesnar going back to the UFC made no sense.
During the week before the Dec. 28 UFC 168 pay-per-view, UFC President Dana White was asked about Lesnar's potential return to MMA. White wouldn't confirm or deny the news, but there was plenty of talk about Lesnar possibly going back to the UFC. At one point on Friday Dec. 27 Lesnar was the top trending topic on Yahoo and the discussion revolved around the rumors of his UFC return.
But why would Lesnar leave the WWE when he is making great money to be part of the WWE and not have nearly the same risk to his body in doing so?
ESPN the Magazine once reported Lesnar made $5.3 million in 2010 when he was the top draw in the UFC. He only fought twice that year, but was no doubt the biggest name in MMA at the time.
As it stands now, Lesnar appears on WWE TV roughly 10-15 times a year and is required to wrestle only a handful of matches. Since returning to the WWE in April 2012, Lesnar has competed in a handful of matches and while it's unlikely that he's made $5 million since then, it may be closer to that number than we think. We'll never know for sure as the WWE doesn't release paydays for their talent.
Unfortunately for Lesnar, he lost his last two UFC fights and lost badly. With it clear that he was on the decline in the UFC, Lesnar's days of million-dollar paychecks were numbered. In the WWE however, Lesnar can continue to earn major paydays regardless of the outcome of the matches.
At 36 years old, Lesnar isn't likely to recapture his success in the UFC and as a result won't earn nearly as much money as he once did. With the WWE he can continue to make lots of money for years to come without fear of some young gun taking his spot.
Lesnar's biggest issue with the WWE was always the crazy schedule and requirements of being on the road. In his latest deal with the WWE, he can be at home most of the year and still be a huge draw for the company. By headlining WrestleMania and SummerSlam each year, Lesnar's limited schedule will allow him to remain a part of the WWE's biggest events without committing him to the hectic schedule of the WWE all year long.
Whether you agree or not with the limited appearance deals the WWE has been giving guys like Lesnar and Chris Jericho, it can't be denied that Lesnar is a major draw.
No one can blame MMA fans for getting excited about Lesnar's potential return and at some point, Lesnar may still go back to the UFC for one more run. But for the time being, it appears Lesnar will remain part of the WWE and truthfully that's the smartest move he could've made.
Matt Durr is a reporter from Michigan who has watched professional wrestling since he was 3 years old. Not just a WWE fan, Matt enjoys Ring of Honor and Japanese wrestling. He has covered University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University athletics for Annarbor.com. Follow him on Twitter @mdurr84.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brock Lesnar