It was announced this week that Brock Lesnar would be appearing at WWE Battleground and Raw the following night in the build up to SummerSlam. Lesnar was last seen at the end of March and his since been serving a suspension served by Stephanie McMahon after attacking Michael Cole, amongst others, after Seth Rollins denied him his WWE title rematch. The question now is what lies next for "The Beast Incarnate" in the next two months?
Brock Lesnar announced his decision to remain with WWE for a further three years on 24 March after meeting with Vince McMahon and Paul "Triple H" Levesque at the previous evening's Raw taping. Long-term it was looking likely that it would be Brock vs Rock at next years WrestleMania (a match Vince originally wanted for this year when Lesnar returned) but Ronda Rousey's appearance and desire to appear again may put that on the back burner.
While trying to second guess McMahon's plans some things to remember are that although Lesnar is no longer working as a heel this could easily change again and there is no way they are going to do anything to make him look weak, they have invested far too much money in him. I have championed the conqueror of the streak on these pages previously and he continues to deliver the most exciting matches and moments in WWE programming, so it is vital that he is used correctly at the second biggest WWE event of the year SummerSlam. Here we take a look at potential opponents and outcomes for the four time WWE champion.
The most obvious and most likely match to happen at the moment, unless WWE decide that they are not willing to have a part-time champion again just yet and keep Lesnar away from the title picture for now. Brock does of course still have his title rematch in the bank and I can't see Rollins getting a clean win over "The Beast". I had no problem with having a part-time champion and it certainly wouldn't be as much of an issue now that all the other titles are being treated with more respect. And if McMahon decides he wants Brock back in the title match either Brock regains the title and WWE try to resurrect its campaign for the Roman Empire to conquer, or Seth to win with help from his friends. And perhaps not the friends you would expect....
Since the semi-reunion and the incredible reaction it got at Payback there have been lots of rumours about a full time reunion, and it seems even more likely now that the idea of a Wyatt reunion has been dropped. If The Shield reunite and screw The Authority then Lesnar could turn heel and be Triple H's hired gun used to take them down. It has taken more than one man to keep Lesnar down before and in The Shield he may finally meet his match. A one vs three feud is certainly another way WWE could have Brock put someone over without weakening his status.
Although not as full time competitor these days Triple H still likes to book himself into big matches on the big PPVs, as was demonstrated this year when he took on Sting when Steve Borden and the general public were more in favour of a match against the Undertaker. If The Authority deny Lesnar his title rematch then it may be decided that he has a showdown with the man in charge.
Orton is currently without any kind of story now that Seth Rollins is feuding with his former Shield buddies and this has been a match a long time in the making. The two came through at Ohio Valley together but have never headlined a PPV against each other and it would make for a fascinating encounter. The methodical, slick "Viper" against the brutal wrecking machine that is Lesnar. Both are currently faces though so it would require something to happen creatively to create a reason for the two locking horns. Unlikely to happen for now but a definite at some stage of Lesnar's 3 year deal.
There are not many who can compete with Lesnar physically, but he perhaps could be defeated in a battle of the mind games. Wyatt is looking to get his career back on track and picked up a much needed win against Ryback at this month's Payback PPV. Wyatt could torment Lesnar to his breaking point and could get the win using some kind of theatrics in the style of his WrestleMania opponent The Undertaker. This would give Wyatt the storyline and big name scalp allowing him to step into the main event scene and follow in the footsteps of "the Phenom", while also maintaining Lesnar's status as the prime physical specimen. An intriguing idea but very unlikely.
If an absolute miracle happens and Owens is allowed to defeat the bullet-proof John Cena at Elimination Chamber then he will immediately be the number two heel in the company after Rollins. If he then begins a reign of terror it could be left to Lesnar to come back to stop the newcomer in his tracks. This is extremely unlikely but it does appear that Owens is going to get a mega-push and it doesn't get any more box office than a match against Lesnar.
What is for definite is that Brock Lesnar is the biggest draw in wrestling and it was vital WWE kept him during what is a transitional period for the company. While the likes of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose battle to establish themselves as "the man" and Seth Rollins grows into his role as WWE champion, the company still needs one or two of the old guard to act both as mentors and to put bums on seats.
Let us know who you would like to see Brock Lesnar face at SummerSlam and why in the comments section below.