Here comes the Pain! Brock Lesnar returns to WWE in WWE '12, the latest installment in THQ's long-running WWE video games series.
Remember WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, the 2003 edition of THQ's long-running WWE video games series (formerly known as WWE SmackDown!, later renamed as WWE SmackDown vs. Raw, and now known simply as WWE)? Enthusiast of wrestling games might remember the title for numerous reasons. Most significantly, many will remember the title for being hailed by fans as one of the best wrestling games ever. In addition, apart from being the final WWE game under the SmackDown! name, Here Comes the Pain is also the first to feature "WWE Legends" into the roster, the introduction of the Bra & Panties match, the First Blood match, and the Elimination Chamber, the first WWE game to not feature one of The Rock's catchphrase, the game also marked the final appearance of Brock Lesnar, then known as "The Next Big Thing". And we all know by now that Brock Lesnar has long been the "Big Thing" despite moving away from his wrestling career, having captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship in his career in mixed martial arts. And all that faces made the announcement of Lesnar's return to the beloved wrestling game series all that sweeter.
Hit the jump to check out the announcement trailer which, in a funny way, still hail Lesnar as "The Next Big Thing."
In an exclusive interview with Jon Robinson at ESPN, the three-time former WWE Champion, Former IWGP Heavyweight Champion (during his short tenure at New Japan Pro Wrestling), and former UFC Heavyweight Champion, weighed in on his somewhat surprising appearance in the much-anticipated game:
Jon Robinson: What does it mean to you that you're being brought back to the ring in "WWE 12" as a legend?
Brock Lesnar: What does it mean to me? I think it's an honor to be back. You know, I never had any really true hard feelings for WWE. It just wasn't for me. I think during the time that I spent there, I dominated the show. I was probably one of the true athletes in the company and for them to have me back in the video game, I think there's some mutual respect between the both of us that says, "Job well done" and "You are and were one of the great ones."
Jon Robinson: There are so many guys in the WWE right now that you never had a chance to wrestle. If you could come back and wrestle any guy at Wrestlemania who you've never previously had a match with, who would it be?
Brock Lesnar: Ironically it's probably the guy that walked out on me. The guy that took his ball and went home. A guy that I was supposed to face and I think that he was just plain downright scared to get in the ring with me because he was one of those guys that was on top and saw a huge threat in Brock Lesnar at the time. That's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I worked with everybody and anybody that was anybody there and if I came back, I think the guy that I would come back to fight is "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Jon Robinson: There were so many rumors floating around last year about you possibly facing Undertaker at Mania. What would the match have been like?
Brock Lesnar: I was a true wrestler. I was a Division I national champion. I came into the business wanting one thing and one thing only, and that was to be the champion, and I wasn't going to let anybody stand in my way. I think there was one guy that had a problem with that and that was Undertaker. If I were to have gotten in the ring with him I would have ripped his arm off and f------ beat him with it.
Jon Robinson: Do you have any say over your character in "WWE 12?" How do you want him to play?
Brock Lesnar: I don't need a say in my character, my character is a badass, and that's who I am and that's who I'll always be -- the baddest man on the planet, Brock Lesnar. I don't have to have any say in anything. It is what it is. I'm one bad dude.
Jon Robinson: Do you have any regrets about leaving WWE?
Brock Lesnar: I don't have any regrets. If I had any regrets, it would have been that I wish I enjoyed my time there a little bit better. I'm not a very good yes man, and I'm not very easily controlled.
Jon Robinson: Do you ever think you will go back and have one last WWE match?
Brock Lesnar: I think I will. I think under the right circumstances I will. I think if Vince McMahon and I were able to sit down at the same dinner table and break some bread that we could come up with some kind of game plan. At the end of the day, I'm an ultimate fighter. That's who I am and that's who I'll always be. I was an entertainer but at the end of the day, I'm still as real as it gets. I think a lot of things have to fall in the right places for something like that to happen.
Jon Robinson: What was your favorite WWE match that you were a part of? What made it so special?
Brock Lesnar: One match that really sticks out for me, there's a bunch of matches with all the guys that I worked with. For me, when I got in the ring, I approached it as being real, because I was a real character. I didn't have a gimmick name, I didn't have a gimmick finish. I was just thinking about this today, because I knew that I was preparing myself for an interview -- I put a lot of guys out of the ring because I was real. Looking back, I think that's what made me successful in the industry.
But looking back at one match, probably my most favorite match is the match that never happened. And that was the match that I was expecting to have with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. I was really looking forward to that match.
"Ripped The Undertaker's arm off and fucking beat him with it?" As incredibly boastful as how that sounded, we are pretty convinced that Lesnar is the only person capable of doing just that. And his taunting comments to Stone Cold' Steve Austin just seemed to be a blatant "worked shoot" to me. Are they building up a potential angle down that line? We are still sitting on the dream anti-hero match-up between CM Punk and Stone Cold.
Nevertheless, ever the internet-savvy "toughest SOB", Austin responded at his Twitter account:
So @DCBROCKLESNAR was talking trash about me...very interesting. Gonna finish my beverage and mull this one over...catch y'all tomorrow.
Trying to go to sleep..but this @DCBROCKLESNAR thing is winding me up a bit...relax....breath...relax...breathe....no use..to be continued..
For more on Lesnar's return to WWE (in the game), do check out IGN's interview with Lesnar, where he elaborated on his antagonizing words on Stone Cold. In the meantime, hit the jump to check out some new screens featuring Lesnar beating the crap out of today's rookies (the likes of "The One-Man Rock Band"), released by THQ for the announcement.
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