It’s rare to see a true dream match these days, but whenever Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk happens, that’s exactly what it will be for the WWE and its fans.
After what transpired between Lesnar and Punk on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, it’s quite clear that that dream match will actually happen, too. According to a report by PWInsider.com (via gerweck.net), the highly anticipated match will take place at this year’s SummerSlam pay-per-view.
No matter when Lesnar vs. Punk takes place, however, the result will be the same: It will be huge for the WWE.
A Punk-Lesnar match is something that has been talked about essentially since Lesnar returned to the WWE and sided with Paul Heyman, only for Punk to side with Heyman as well. Almost instantly, the stage was set for an eventual feud between Heyman’s two biggest clients.
There was, however, an air of uncertainty around Lesnar vs. Punk ever coming to fruition because both were/are such great heels that the thought became that WWE might not want to risk turning either one of them babyface.
But Punk’s absence and subsequent return have changed that.
Punk is back to being one of the most popular babyfaces in the WWE. Meanwhile, Lesnar—due to a combination of his awesomeness and alignment with Heyman—is one of the WWE’s best heels, even as a part-timer.
The upcoming collision between the two isn’t such a big deal just because of their obvious star power, though. It’s about more than the fact that their match will generate a massive PPV buyrate.
Punk vs. Lesnar will be huge for the WWE because it features two major stars, sure. But it will also be huge because it’s a realistic story that works, especially in a WWE that lacks them.
Hardly anyone ever had any interest in the 2012 feud between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio because there was no driving force behind it that made us care about it.
Ryback vs. John Cena was a pretty lackluster feud overall because there never seemed to be any sort of legitimate conflict between those two.
Fandango vs. Chris Jericho wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been because—instead of the WWE building up some sort of actual beef between the two—their rivalry centered around, of all things, dancing.
What was similar about those three rivalries was that they all lacked the element of realism that would allow the fans to suspend their disbelief and emotionally invest themselves into those feuds.
Luckily, however, that element of realism is already there for Lesnar vs. Punk.
Is Lesnar really a “Paul Heyman guy?” Yes, he really is.
Is Punk really a “Paul Heyman guy?” Yes, he really is.
Right off the bat, those two facts are working in the favor of the Punk vs. Jericho rivalry because—unlike the obviously scripted feud between Jericho and Fandango—the beef between Punk and Lesnar and/or Heyman seems realistic…even if it isn’t.
On this week’s Raw, Punk and Heyman openly conversed about Heyman being the one man who saved Punk’s job during his time in developmental. That, of course, was based on what Punk actually experienced, which is why he was able to suck the viewers in during that promo.
Whether something is real or not, being able to make it seem that way is absolutely crucial in pro wrestling. The Punk-Lesnar feud is great in that if features many real elements—Heyman’s relationship with both guys, for example—as well as elements that may not be real, but appear as if they are.
That is a key ingredient to a great rivalry, and it’s turned what could have been just ordinary wrestling rivalries into deep personal struggles that are able to enthrall and engage the audience.
Punk vs. Lesnar will do that—both because of the star power of the two men involved and the deep emotional issues between them.
When those two ingredients are combined, you get a feud that will be more than just another rivalry.
It’ll be a rivalry that goes down for the ages as one that was absolutely huge for the WWE and everyone involved in it.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!