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WWE SmackDown Results: Brock Lesnar Destroys Kofi Kingston, Cements Himself As The Face Of The Blue Brand

WWE SmackDown Results: Brock Lesnar Destroys Kofi Kingston, Cements Himself As The Face Of The Blue Brand
Brock Lesnar defeated Kofi Kingston on the inaugural episode of WWE SmackDown on FOX in less than 10 seconds and instantly reignited a UFC-turned-WWE feud with Cain Velasquez to officially ignite the era of “The Beast” on the blue brand.
Although nothing has been made official as of yet and the 2019 WWE Draft doesn’t begin until this week’s episode of SmackDown, Lesnar’s surprisingly quick victory over the heart and soul of The New Day–combined with SmackDown advertisements promoting the former UFC star –have all but confirmed that Lesnar will be the centerpiece of SmackDown moving forward. Lesnar recently began to work more WWE dates than usual , and though it’s unlikely that he ever works anything even remotely resembling a full-time schedule again, it’s clear that WWE has big plans for Lesnar and intends on using him as SmackDown’s biggest star on its new home, with a potential renewed rivalry with Velasquez–who has yet to officially sign with WWE –set to carry SmackDown for the foreseeable future.
FOX officials have been making every effort to land as many big stars as possible on SmackDown. Both Raw and SmackDown
really want Bray Wyatt to become part of their brand during the WWE Draft, while the blue brand has long been hoping to get Ronda Rousey and build around her as a focal point of the show. However, Rousey’s uncertain WWE future has resulted in SmackDown setting its sights on Lesnar, with the idea being that if Rousey is considered to be WWE’s biggest draw,
Lesnar is probably a close second . Truth be told, FOX officials likely wanted both Lesnar and Rousey on SmackDown due to their UFC tie-ins, but when Rousey’s future got a little fuzzy, Lesnar became the blue brand’s primary target and Velasquez followed suit.
And like it or not, WWE is moving on from the days of Monday Night Raw being the company’s No. 1 brand, which likely means a heavy focus on former UFC stars on the blue brand.
FOX is a significantly bigger network than the previous home of SmackDown, USA Network, which is targeted more toward a niche audience than FOX, one of the most widely available networks in the country. WWE sees SmackDown on FOX as a golden opportunity to make “sports entertainment” a more mainstream product due to FOX’s ability to cross-promote WWE with Major League Baseball and the NFL, so it is a virtual inevitability that Raw is going to get the short end of the stick in this week’s draft. The widespread belief is that SmackDown will be the primary brand for most of WWE’s biggest stars–including Lesnar, Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch and Velasquez, assuming he eventually signs–while Raw will serve as WWE’s new No. 2 show and the place to be for second-tier main eventers (think AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, etc.) and more character-based performers like Bray Wyatt and The Miz, though even those latter two have been
linked with a move to SmackDown.
With FOX wanting WWE to present SmackDown as a more “sports-oriented” program and feel more like a traditional sport, those blockbuster superstars with legitimate athletic backgrounds and/or mainstream appeal are likely all going to end up on SmackDown in next week’s draft, as was evidenced by Velasquez’s surprising appearance and attack on “The Beast,” who is going to benefit substantially from those changes.
Long one of the highest paid stars in WWE , Lesnar is now working under a longer contract than usual that expires in either May or June 2020, at which point he will likely be able to negotiate another massive deal with WWE. How well Lesnar performs on SmackDown and how well he draws as WWE Champion would seemingly have a huge impact on the type of deal WWE offers him next time around, but even though
WWE’s disappointing key metrics suggest he’s having little effect in terms of drawing fans into the product, WWE always seems to be willing to break the bank to keep him around even in a very limited capacity.
This time around, however, there is more pressure on Lesnar to deliver, especially given the makings on a blockbuster feud with the relatively unproven Velasquez.
The expectations for SmackDown on FOX are very high, and as the new WWE Champion who replaced a poorly drawing but popular one in Kingston, Lesnar is going to bear most of the weight of those expectations. Many fans have grown accustomed to Lesnar dominating the world title picture and holding those titles even when he’s not around, but WWE may not want to risk having Lesnar as a long-term absentee champion anymore, which could mean one of two things: Either Lesnar will be around more often, or he won’t be WWE Champion for long.
Of course, WWE will be tempted to give Lesnar a lengthy title reign because he’s easily the company’s biggest active star, but if ratings are disappointing, it’ll be interesting to see how WWE and FOX respond.

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