Dissecting Rumors on Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho and Top Stars' WWE Futures

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2013

LAS VEGAS - JULY 11:  Brock Lesnar reacts after knocking out Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout during UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

After a wild 2013 Royal Rumble and a follow-up Raw that delivered even more surprises, the rumors surrounding the road to WrestleMania 29 are swirling and the wrestling world is buzzing.

The excitement kicked off with the return of superstars like Brock Lesnar and Chris Jericho, but the talk of future plans for the top stars in the company has the expectations for Elimination Chamber and WWE’s premier show, WrestleMania, through the roof.

Vince McMahon and WWE did a great job building to the Royal Rumble, and it’s clear all of the groundwork laid for the past several months will culminate with one of the most memorable stretches in company history.


The World Heavyweight Championship Plan

While WWE’s decision to give Alberto Del Rio the World Heavyweight Championship was smart for the long-term booking of the Mexican champion, it is clear that the company was afforded that chance because Big Show was just a transitional champion.

As reported by F4WOnline (via Wrestling Inc.), the plans are for Sheamus and Randy Orton to fight each other at WrestleMania 29 for the world title, so it’s just a matter of time before the big, gold belt finds its way around the waste of one of these two men.

Del Rio is not done feuding with Big Show—especially after the champion and his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez were attacked Monday—but the title will likely have to be defended at Elimination Chamber in a six-man battle.

WWE could have Sheamus or Randy Orton win the Chamber match and let the other win the No. 1 contendership for WrestleMania 29 on SmackDown.

That would allow Del Rio and Big Show to continue their personal feud away from the world title scene.


Feed Me…Jericho?

When Chris Jericho’s music hit at the 2013 Royal Rumble and the wrestling legend was announced as the No. 2 entrant in the 30-man battle royal, the WWE Universe exploded with excitement.

There is no shortage of love for the former undisputed champion every time he makes his return to WWE, but the fans want to know which stars Y2J is back to put over (that’s what he does.)

According to F4WOnline (via Wrestling Inc.), Jericho isn’t signed long-term, but will likely be involved in two programs while he’s back with WWE:

As noted earlier, WWE has signed Chris Jericho to a short-term deal. The Wrestling Observer reports that according to multiple sources, Jericho will be working full-time through WrestleMania 29. Following a feud with Dolph Ziggler, Jericho is scheduled to turn heel. Backstage talk at the Royal Rumble was that Jericho will face Ryback at WrestleMania 29 but that's not confirmed.

While a feud with Ziggler would be the natural progression, considering it was Mr. Money in the Bank—and inadvertently A.J. too—that cost Y2J his job, the huge news here is a possible feud and match at WrestleMania 29 between Jericho and Ryback.

Ryback has been talked about as the opponent for Big Show or in a 3-on-1 handicap match with The Shield, but WWE just built this future star as a main-eventer, and he needs a blockbuster WrestleMania match.

That’s where Jericho sells for the huge star and puts him over.


What’s Next for Brock Lesnar?

The biggest piece of news from Monday’s edition of Raw was the reemergence of Brock Lesnar in WWE. With one F-5 to Vince McMahon, it is clear that the company has big plans for the former MMA and wrestling champion.

Lesnar is a bona fide pay-per-view draw, and WWE knows that any event Lesnar is on will sell to not only wrestling fans, but fans of other sports who are interested in the champion and what he does.

While WWE knows it needs to get Lesnar in a high-profile match—most fans still believe it will be a rematch against Triple H at WrestleMania 29—the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Wrestling Inc.) is reporting the two names most talked about as possible opponents are CM Punk and Randy Orton.

The attack Monday on Vince McMahon would be the perfect way for Triple H to return to television and rekindle the feud with Lesnar in order to start the build for their WrestleMania 29 match, but there may be different plans in the works.

As much as Lesnar and Punk would be a wonderful matchup—using Paul Heyman’s deals with The Shield and Brad Maddox as the catalyst for a Punk face turn—the idea of taking the company’s best bad guy and making him back into an anti-hero already isn’t the best plan.

Orton was another name reportedly being considered, but WWE has been teasing a heel turn for the Viper over the last month, and a possible feud with Sheamus for the world title could be on his horizon.

All signs are still pointing to Triple H versus Brock Lesnar again at WrestleMania 29.


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