It’s a match that’s been in the makings since the Raw after WWE Payback when Lesnar destroyed Punk with a brutal F5. It’s a match that was confirmed when Paul Heyman turned on Punk this past Sunday at Money in the Bank.
It’s also a match that is going to be incredibly difficult to book.
Although Lesnar is portrayed as an unstoppable monster, he’s a pedestrian 2-2 in PPV matches since returning to the WWE. Thus, he could use a big win to get him back on track and reestablish him as the most dominant force in the company.
Meanwhile, Punk is back to being a babyface again, and after being screwed out of a future WWE title opportunity at Money in the Bank, he could certainly use the victory to get back on track, too.
So, what does the WWE do? Does it give the win to Lesnar or Punk, and how does the creative team go about it?
With all sorts of potential match endings to Punk vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam, let’s take a look at the best possibly ways that this match could end.
Heyman Inadvertently Costs Lesnar
Heyman’s relationship with Punk has totally crumbled because of the former ECW chief's own doing, so imagine the irony if his relationship with Lesnar falls apart for the exact same reason.
Let’s say, for example, that Heyman tries to interfere on Lesnar’s behalf at SummerSlam, only to end up inadvertently costing him the match instead. This could lead to a very interesting scenario involving Lesnar, Heyman and Punk as well.
Lesnar obviously wouldn’t take too kindly to Heyman accidentally screwing him out of a match, so this could potentially lead to Lesnar turning on Heyman if that’s the route that the WWE wants to go in.
An entertaining scenario could play out in which Heyman, who’s just lost Punk through his own doing, could lose Lesnar as well, leaving him feeling like his world is crumbling and leaving Curtis Axel as his one and only client left.
There’s been no real indication that the Heyman/Lesnar pairing will end anytime soon, but if the WWE wants to make that happen (and especially if it has plans to turn Lesnar babyface), then this is a logical way to set in motion a storyline that sees Heyman’s world fall completely apart.
Lesnar Cheats to Win
Considering that Lesnar hasn’t won totally cleanly since returning, it would be surprising to see him beat Punk at SummerSlam in 100 percent clean fashion.
Likewise, it would be pretty surprising to see Punk beat Lesnar cleanly because, well, Punk isn’t Triple H or John Cena.
So, how about a finish where Lesnar cheats to win? After all, he is a heel, isn’t he?
If the WWE really wants to make Lesnar a more despicable heel than he already is, the easy route to take is to have him do something cheap to pick up the victory over Punk—whether that’s using the ropes, pulling the tights, hitting a low blow or using a foreign object.
This type of finish might not go over well with more hardcore fans, but it would get massive heat on Lesnar and Heyman and turn Punk into a more sympathetic character than he already is.
If Lesnar vs. Punk is going to continue past SummerSlam, having Lesnar cheat to win is a very realistic option that keeps the feud going. If not, then the WWE will probably go in another direction.
Punk Wins Cleanly
Punk beating Lesnar clean might seem unlikely, but then again, does it really?
Both Cena and Triple H beat Lesnar 100 percent cleanly, and the common link between those two and Punk is that they’re all top babyfaces. Yeah, Punk may not always benefit from the type of booking that Triple H and Cena get, but he’s a top face these days, nonetheless.
It seems like the WWE has no issues with putting its top babyfaces over Lesnar, essentially saying that—despite being portrayed as unbeatable—Lesnar is really just a major draw and special attraction who brings that big-fight feel to the WWE.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. After all, it makes more sense for Punk, a full-time top babyface, to win than it does for Lesnar, a part-timer who only wrestles a few times a year.
Therefore, putting Punk over Lesnar cleanly at SummerSlam would be a great way to build up some more momentum for Punk after his loss at Money in the Bank.
Also, considering that Punk has lost four PPV matches so far this year, it would give him a much-needed major win over a very credible opponent.
Heyman Costs Punk…Again
At Money in the Bank, Heyman purposely cost Punk an opportunity to win a Money in the Bank briefcase.
At SummerSlam, Heyman could very well cost Punk. Again.
While it will be Lesnar who takes on Punk at SummerSlam, the real story here is the broken relationship between Punk and Heyman. With Lesnar likely to disappear after SummerSlam again, it won’t be Punk vs. Lesnar that continues into the fall.
It’ll be Punk vs. Heyman that lives on as one of the WWE’s biggest storylines after SummerSlam.
An easy way to ensure that that happens is for Heyman to do at SummerSlam exactly what he did at Money in the Bank and purposely cost Punk his match against Lesnar.
Not only would this put even more heat on the already hated Heyman, but it would get more sympathy for Punk and make his eventual triumph over his former friend even more special.
After all, this story will eventually end with Punk standing tall over Heyman. But that moment will mean so much more if Punk overcomes a number of obstacles in order to get there.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
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