The Ultimate Fighter ratings reveal the ultimate irony of Brock Lesnar.
I don’t know who was all involved with the decision making process of putting Brock Lesnar in the Ultimate Fighter this season, but I would assume that at least some did with the feeling that Brock “knows how to promote a fight” based on UFC 100 and the ensuing mainstream coverage and controversy that followed. Many attribute this to his time and experience in the WWE as “learning how to promote” through “fake wrestling” methods. As it turns out the ratings for Brock Lesnar’s reality TV debut have been pretty lackluster and all around disappointing. So how can this be, after all those years “learning from Vince McMahon”? This is the irony of Brock Lesnar. He brought in legions of “fake” wrestling fans to his PPV shows but the truth is, he’s more real than most MMA fighters.
I’m guessing some execs at Spike figured since Brock did such a great “hype” job against Frank Mir, they could just plug in Junior Dos Santos and do even better, after all Brock comes from the WWE where he learned how to “fake promote fights” with his “WWE style” promos after UFC 100. Honestly, this gives way too much credit to the WWE who are actually not very good at getting people to pay to watch individual matchups. If he truly did this WWE style, he would’ve had at least three brawls with Mir on free TV before their PPV show, besting him every time, accompanied by weeks of uninteresting scripted promos that somehow made you less and less interested in seeing them fight. And somewhere in the middle he would’ve broken into Frank Mir’s house and held Mrs. Mir (played by one of Randy Orton’s wives) hostage in Mir’s tour bus while claiming that Frank Mir’s son was actually his, and UFC 100 would’ve drawn approximately 100,000 worldwide buys.
But what this really boils down to is that despite his resume, Brock Lesnar is not a “worker”. He does not “hype” fights, exaggerate accomplishments, fabricate heat with his opponents, or anything else the great “con-men” of wrestling like Hulk Hogan and Dusty Rhodes have done traditionally. Perhaps that’s why he wasn’t long for a wrestling career? From everything I’ve seen, the guy is a straight shooter. And when someone grates him legitimately like Frank Mir did, the beast comes out. And when the beast comes out, it’s awesome and draws money, because it’s very real. But because he’s real, he can’t just turn it on or off like some people expect him to be able to do.
So while some may have expected for Brock to flip Junior Dos Santos off, while taunting and screaming at his team, what we’re seeing is an old school Dakota wrestler taking this task very seriously and doing his best to train his team and improve their wrestling skills. He also seems quite cordial with Junior Dos Santos, and honestly after a couple of episodes how could you not be? Junior comes off like the most gentle, kind, giving person in the world and Brock respects that. If you want fireworks, you put the nice guy against a real antagonist like Frank Mir or Josh Barnett, not Brock.
So after Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans are done complimenting each other in the ring weeks after the most hate filled season of TUF ever, and after Anderson Silva yells shit in Vitor Belfort’s face at their weigh-in, only to reveal the next day how Vitor is one of his favorite people, and once Nick Diaz finishes telling Frank Shamrock he actually worships him but was just promoting the fight, and Jorge Rivera finishes another youtube video on Michael Bisping, don’t look to the “fake wrestler” Brock Lesnar to take fight promotion to another level with Junior Dos Santos, because it’s not going to happen.