Call it wrestling or sports entertainment, either way it lives up to the hype

August 06, 2012|By Adam Testa

In recent years, the debate on whether WWE superstars should be classified as "wrestlers" or "entertainers" has raged on across television, social media and casual conversation.

At times, it's been used as part of storylines, with performers like CM Punk and Chris Jericho mocking the use of the words "sports entertainment." But on tonight's Raw, fans saw the semantics at play in a different manner.

Look at the careers of Shawn Michaels, who was being recognized in his hometown of San Antonio, and Brock Lesnar and there's a world of difference. One is Mr. "WrestleMania," and the other is a former UFC champion.

Yet they stood across the ring from each other on Raw, with Paul Heyman speaking on Lesnar's behalf. Heyman went as far as to call Michaels the greatest "entertainer" in WWE history.

But even that, he said, couldn't compare to Lesnar's abilities as a fighter and a warrior. Michaels responded by saying he has faith in his longtime friend - and frequent enemy - Triple H to take care of business.

And Michaels will have a front-row seat for the action, as he plans to be in Triple H's corner.

The segment ended without much drama, as Triple H emerged and Lesnar left, with Heyman cryptically indicating that they'll be seeing Michaels before SummerSlam. It will certainly be interesting to see what that means.

WWE has done a good job with the slow build to the Triple H-Lesnar match, and Heyman deserves a lot of the credit, as he's carried the program on the Lesnar side to this point.

The Rock-John Cena program leading up to this year's WrestleMania was the first attempt at a long-term build with limited appearances by one of the competitors, and it was apparently a success, as WWE seems to be adopting that strategy with Lesnar, as well as The Rock's Royal Rumble challenge.

After losing the Cena at Extreme Rules, Lesnar needs to look dominant in order for his return to be considered anything but a flop, so here's hoping Triple H does the right thing come SummerSlam.

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