Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from MMA competition after defeat to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141.
Typically, this has set the Internet abuzz with rumours of a return to his old stomping ground, wrestling's premier company, WWE. While any scenario in which he returns to WWE is unlikely, the event at which he is most likely to again step into the squared circle is WrestleMania 28.
If that were the case, whoever he faced would find themselves in a match that would receive as much, if not more, hype than the main event between the Rock and John Cena.
Lesnar, one of the most talented heavyweights in wrestling history, could no doubt have a great match at the event. But who could he have that match against?
This article lists 10 opponents who Lesnar could steal the spotlight with at WrestleMania 28.
In dire need of some legitimacy as a main event level wrestler, Alberto Del Rio would do well to feature opposite Brock Lesnar at the flagship show of the WWE calendar. What's more, if he could beat Lesnar, renowned as one of the most formidable men to ever stand in the squared circle, he'd be well set for another run at one of the World Championships.
Regardless of stories surrounding backstage heat, it's pretty clear WWE are intent on pushing Brodus Clay in some shape or form in the coming months; initially, it looked like that push was going to be massive. If plans on that level still exist, having this monster take on Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania would be an awe-inspiring spectacle, if not a clinic of fast, technical wrestling.
They're both Paul Heyman guys, after all.
This match could be fantastic. Fans buy into Punk as a main event talent, because, well, he's just that; but so far as champion, he hasn't faced an opponent that's bought as a main event talent. Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler are upper mid-carders, at best.
Brock Lesnar, though, is another kettle of fish, and watching the Next Big Thing take on the current big thing in WWE would be an intriguing bout.
Perhaps even more than Del Rio, The Miz is in dire need of some legitimacy; to be frank, he's just impossible to perceive as a tough guy.
For people like CM Punk, who is, and Alberto Del Rio, who could be, they have their MMA styles and submission to fall back on. Unfortunately, Miz has none of that. He has his voice, but little else. To become a mainstay of WWE that fans buy into, he needs a big scalp. That scalp could be Brock Lesnar's.
Despite getting over as one of the top five faces of the company in recent months, it's hard to remember the last time WWE actually gave Sheamus something to do; even his angle with the now-injured Christian was barely a storyline.
Facing Brock Lesnar would be a good option for Sheamus, to finally catapult him into the highest stratosphere of WWE (along with the likes of Cena) and give him his first massive win as a babyface. The match would be interesting, since Sheamus has been billed a lot like the face version of Lesnar lately; dominant and unforgiving.
A lot of people wanted to see this during Lesnar's tenure with WWE, but he was exclusively a SmackDown superstar for all that time, while Kane was on Raw. Now, it could be something we see, with a newly masked Kane being treated like a big deal again.
He is the Big Red Machine once more, a man perceived as one of the most dangerous monsters in WWE history. Likewise, Lesnar is considered to be at that level. It would be a battle of epic proportions.
"Legend Killer" Randy Orton wouldn't have stood a chance. Now, "The Viper" Randy Orton can be considered a legitimate threat to Brock Lesnar. Both part of the new generation that carried WWE during the "Ruthless Aggression" era, Orton and Lesnar never had a high profile match, though they crossed paths very early on in Orton's career.
Now, this match would be a blockbuster that could probably match, if not eclipse, the hype attached to John Cena/The Rock. At the least, it could definitely be a superior wrestling match.
The greatest wrestler in the world? Maybe; but you'd never know it in WWE, where pure ability comes second to charisma and appearance.
Still, the creative staff are giving Bryan his opportunity, and he'll no doubt reward them with some stellar matches. At WrestleMania, a face-off between Bryan and Brock Lesnar would definitely turn heads. It's rare that Bryan is ever the larger competitor in WWE (land of the giants) but his sheer ability often levels the playing feel.
Seeing as how Lesnar is perhaps the most technically gifted big man in WWE history, it would be interesting to see how the "American Dragon" could fare.
Of all the matches WWE fans didn't get to see, this is one of the best. Sure, it'd have been better in 2002-04, when both men were in their prime; still, they could easily steal the show now.
There is even foundations for a good angle between the two, with Triple H being a loyal company man and Lesnar being the star who bailed at the first opportunity of pastures new. An in-ring general whose backstage pull too often eclipses how good a wrestler he really is, Triple H could easily have a good match with the still-talented Lesnar.
Yes, alright, it's hardly the most original suggestion.
But if Brock Lesnar is to make his WWE return, there is nobody more suitable for him to face at WrestleMania 28, unless Kurt Angle jumps ship from TNA in the coming weeks.
The big question surrounding an Undertaker match is whether at this point in his career, it will be his last; in that case, a win over a star of Lesnar's magnitude would be a fitting end to a legendary career. Plus, the fact any Undertaker match will be the joint biggest draw on the card (with Cena/Rock) suggests the payday would be enough to give Lesnar reason to sign on for the match.
Have I missed anyone? Or have I included anyone not worthy of facing Lesnar? If so, tell me here in the comments section or on Twitter