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411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction: Should Brock Lesnar Win the Royal Rumble?

January 24, 2020 | Posted by Jake Chambers
Royal Rumble

Welcome to Week 2 of Round 1 of the 411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction Road to Wrestlemania Invitational Tournament!

I’m your host, Jake Chambers. I’ve gathered together 8 writers from 411mania who have all participated alongside me in the Wrestling Fact or Fiction column over the past few months, and I am pitting them against each other in a battle of wrestling smarts and wits, as they dare to explain what they think is totally factual or completely fiction for statements on pro-wrestling history, culture and current events. No middle ground will be tolerated!

Last week we had our first match-up between Kevin Pantoja and Dino Zee, if you missed it check it out here.

This single elimination tournament will feature the familiar format we all know and love along with a few surprises along the way. Polls will also be included so YOU can play a part in who advances to the next round (more on the voting at the end of the column). Now, let’s “tourn” it up and meet today’s participants.

Round 1, Week 2

Our weekly live RAW recapper with patience and panache, Tony Acero
Future 411mania Hall of Famer, man of 1,000 columns, Steve Cook

Statement #1: Brock Lesnar should win the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble Match.

Special Task: Please writer the response as if you are a pitching your idea to Vince McMahon

Steve Cook: FICTION – Ok sir. I know that Mr. Heyman has been insisting to you that Brock needs to go from 1 to 30, eliminating everybody in the process and becoming the greatest Royal Rumble winner of all time. I get the idea, if you want to put Brock over as untouchable and the best of his and any other era, its a tempting proposition.

Here’s the problem: We’ve got WrestleMania coming up. We need an opponent for Brock at that show. If we have him win the Rumble from the 1 slot, there’s nobody in the world we can pitch as worthy competition for Mania. Unless you’re working on technology to raise Andre the Giant from the dead, I can’t think of any believable contenders for a Rumble winning Brock. 

It’s just much easier to have somebody eliminate Brock, then challenge at Mania. So simple, sir. You have Brock run through a bunch of dudes at the beginning, then somebody unfamiliar gets him. I’m thinking an NXT guy, maybe Keith Lee or Matt Riddle because the kids like them, and they could stand up to Brock and it would be believable. But it could be anybody you want, sir. Just not Brock himself.

Tony Acero: FICTION – Vince, I know you think this would be good shit, but one thing I think you fail to realize is just how often you do not see the forest for the trees. You don’t see that Brock winning the Rumble does nothing for anyone, and muddies the waters of a Mania that hasn’t even been built yet. I will cede that there is always a way to write yourself in or out of a problem or corner, but come on man, have you seen how often your writing staff writes a beginning with no ending? A conflict with no solution? A face with no redeemable qualities? You’re better than that; we’re better than that…right? Oh me? What would I do? Well, I’m just an internet writer for 411mania.com…you’d have to pay me a bit more for an actual idea.

Statement #2: If you could see Bret Hart in his prime versus one wrestler today, in a PPV main event, it would be Dean Ambrose.

Steve Cook: FACT – To be honest, if the option was WWE’s Dean Ambrose, there would be a ton of guys higher on the list. Ambrose was sanitized for our protection and the third most viable member of the Shield for much of his time with the company. Now that Jon Moxley is free to be his crazy self, he would be a perfect opponent for the Hitman.

Bret was always best against opponents that matched his intensity. The tougher the fight, the better Bret was. Moxley is a similar fighter to Bret in that way, and is often compared to other men that rate among Hart’s best opponents. He also grew up as a Bret Hart fan, and Bret does very well with people that like him. Moxley is also from Cincinnati, so I’m kind of obligated to pick him here.

Tony Acero: FICTION –  I honestly feel that you could ask anybody who they would want to see Legend X fight, and the answer will almost always be Daniel Bryan. I love what Ambrose is doing in the ring over at AEW. He’s having fun and feels more in control, but he doesn’t even cross my mind when asked about dream matches that could never be. Bryan, on the other hand, can be argued to be a viable opponent for nearly anyone in the past, in their prime. I think a similar question was asked last week, and it was Daniel Bryan my co-writers chose, undoubtedly and without question. The dude, in any iteration of his character, is a beast. We honestly are so lucky he was able to come back from retirement. In terms of him vs Bret, you can’t tell me it wouldn’t be amazing to see these guys go at it for like seventeen hours – or at least one. No, Bryan is the guy for almost any legend vs. present match ever.

Statement #3: Tessa Blanchard winning the IMPACT Wrestling men’s championship was a huge mistake.

Special Task: please write your response within the original 140 character limit for a Tweet

Steve Cook: FICTION – It’s #IMPACTWRESTLING. Why not take a shot? I wrote a column about this. #cheapplug

(ed. He did, it’s right here and it’s excellent)

Tony Acero: FICTION – Yeeesh, I don’t think there’s an answer that would sufficiently express my apathy towards TNA and the decision to make Tessa the champion.


Statement #4: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair as the main event of Wrestlemania VIII would have been an awesome match.

Tony Acero: FICTION – I mean, looking back this was the dream match that everyone wanted. I didn’t. I was six. Looking back historically though, one has to assume that this match – if it did happen – wouldn’t be as much a classic as what Flair did end up doing for Wrestlemania 8. I feel that if Flair got the coveted Main Event spot, it would be like any other Hogan match of the era; plodding and slow till the final few moments that culminated in a leg drop and a win for Hogan. No, for my money, the Flair vs. Savage match was waaay worth it. It had that personal touch that is needed in almost every Mania match. We had a fed up Savage with a dastardly jock type Flair who had photographic evidence that he was boinkin Liz before Randy, and as dramatic as it may be, it resulted in a heated rivalry that resulted in an amazing match – far more amazing than, I think, anything he and Hogan could have done at the time. 

Steve Cook: FACT – I don’t know how many stars it would have gotten. All I know is that a seven year old kid at the time of WrestleMania VIII that was young in his wrestling fandom, I would have been all about Hogan vs. Flair. I wasn’t even familiar with Flair’s work, I hadn’t heard of WCW during the WrestleMania VIII build up. Flair was this annoying dude that attacked people that I liked, and Hogan was the ultimate good guy that took people like Flair and ate them for breakfast. I would have much rather seen that than Hogan vs. Sid, though I was perfectly fine with the Savage vs. Flair feud.

The circumstances behind Hogan vs. Flair in the WWF are so odd when you look back at them in retrospect. As somebody that considers those two men the biggest stars of the 1980s, the idea that it didn’t draw big money in 1991-92 boggles my mind. It seems like a combination of WCW falling off a cliff to the point that Flair wasn’t as big a deal as he should have been & WWF coming off a rough patch with the Gulf War booking & heading into another rough patch with the sex/steroid scandals. By the time 1994 rolled around, WCW fans were ready to get into a Hogan vs. Flair feud.

Statement #5: The Mount Rushmore of WWE (post name change) is: Triple H, John Cena, Undertaker, Randy Orton

Tony Acero: FICTION – I kind of hate these types of questions, because the answer can fluctuate depending on mood and what year you’re stuck watching on the Network right now. I have loved The Undertaker since I was a toddler, and regardless of what that says about my upbringing, it would be hard pressed to find a detracting bone in me against my adoration for the Deadman, even after the past few years of him being unable – ironically – to let his character die. Truly, the only person on this list I can’t fully back is Triple H. The man has done so much for wrestling, so I can’t knock him, but when was the last good Triple H match? And when we are looking at post-WWF, Triple H didn’t really do much, in my opinion, other than have plodding matches that someone somewhere assumed length equates to quality. It doesn’t, and his matches are proof of that. An epic entrance doesn’t make for an epic battle. Orton and Cena, that’s a given. Taker stands the test of time and wins, but Trips? I dunno man…and this didn’t ask me who I would put in instead, so allow me to tiptoe round that shit. 

Steve Cook: FICTION – Where is Brock Lesnar? You can’t tell me that there’s a such thing as a WWE (post name change) Mount Rushmore without the man that was one of the company’s top stars at the time of the name change, and came back and became the focal point of WWE booking in the 2010s. Randy Orton has been around longer & done more things, but he’s never been anywhere near the star that Brock was & is. Take Randy off and put Brock on.

The other three sound fair enough. Triple H has been the big cheese behind the scenes and on camera for most of the past two decades. John Cena was the company’s biggest mainstream star for most of his career. Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak was one of the key components that made WM a yearly stadium show. You might make an argument for Roman Reigns, but I’m not sure which one of those three & Brock you would put him over. All four tried putting him over!

Statement #6: Only wrestlers with “North American” English accents can successfully become mainstream crossover WWE superstars.

Tony Acero: FICTION – Well ain’t this a bunch of horse-shit. No, the biggest reason why those who don’t have “North American” English accents don’t have a mainstream crossover appeal is because the WWE, at one time or another, almost always makes this “foreigner” speak anything but English. Why does every single Japanese character seemingly only know Japanese? Why must they cut entire promos in a language that not enough people know for it to matter? Moving over to across the pond, I’d argue that anyone with a British accent is at least four times as menacing as any “NA English” accent. Wade Barrett had so much OOMPH in his promos, Walter is a menace, William Regal still gives me chills, even as a GM, and all of these guys COULD have crossed over, had they not been battling for pissed-filled tea cups, against John Cena, or still in the undercard of the little leagues (and that is NOT a knock on Walter; he’s killing it!).  

Steve Cook: FICTION – Do we consider Becky Lynch a mainstream crossover WWE Superstar? She’s appeared on magazine covers & commercials. I think it’s kind of borderline myself, but even if you want to say she isn’t, the odds are in the favor of there being a mainstream crossover WWE Superstar with a funny accent somewhere down the line. The world has undoubtedly become more globalized, and WWE’s roster reflects that. Many of your top stars in NXT are from non-North American countries, and of course there’s NXT UK. If WWE doesn’t create a mainstream star that doesn’t look, speak and sound American, they’re going to have some difficulty in the years ahead.

Oh, and if you don’t buy Becky as a mainstream crossover star with a funny accent, how about Conor McGregor? He’s doing ok when he’s keeping his nose clean and focusing on work. I hate to hold him up as an example for how people should act, but WWE can learn from how UFC built him up. 


To determine the victor in each round, the SIX other participating writers will cast a secret vote, along with a SEVENTH, and potentially tie-breaking vote, that will got to the winner of the reader’s poll below.

Anybody can, of course, vote however they like, but I’m introducing these criteria to help guide everyone’s decision:

Persuasiveness = ability to convince you that the writer’s Fact/Fiction choice was the best opinion

Knowledge = demonstration of the history and theory of pro-wrestling (even if not an expert on the topic in the statement)

Use of language = eloquence of the written word; creativity, imagery, comparisons, tone, voice

Plus = mastery of the “Special Tasks”

What a great battle to end the first half of Round 1!

Thanks to Tony Acero and Steve Cook for participating, and good luck to them on the Road to Wrestlemania and their quest for the coveted 411mania Invitational Tournament championship title!