CM Punk and Brock Lesnar have been a main event pairing we've waited for since Paul Heyman brought his monstrous client back to the WWE Universe. It's been a dream match for years, and the rivalry is already delivering great programming.
The tension between Heyman and Punk during the last month has been palpable and boiled over during the Money in the Bank main event. Heyman's promo on Raw following the attack was brilliant. It hit all of the perfect notes and delivered in framing Punk as a fan favorite.
His message—that Punk doesn't have a family or friends, that all he has are these pathetic people who chant his name—was expertly executed. It further connected Punk to the crowd without him pandering with childish humor or smiling. Heyman is truly a master.
Brock Lesnar's beatdown following the promo was also well done. He was merciless, yet nothing stopped Punk. Punk was resilient. He was relentless. But in the end, he was too injured, and Lesnar was too powerful. It makes you want to see him overcome the odds.
And that is why, at SummerSlam, CM Punk must lose to Brock Lesnar.
WWE knows that there is more money to be made off this feud than a single show. Much in the same way we saw a three-match series between Lesnar and Triple H, we should get several pay-per-view matches out of this rivalry.
In the end, this is the series that should make CM Punk the megastar he could have been if booked better the last few years.
At SummerSlam, despite the hype and anticipation, Punk and Lesnar will not close the show. It will be the second main event on a card that also features John Cena defending the WWE title against Daniel Bryan, with a potential Randy Orton cash-in to send the viewers off with a cliff hanger.
The company likes to send viewers off happy, especially on big shows like SummerSlam or WrestleMania. This could be pardoned in favor for a major swerve, such as a cash-in title change.
Since Punk and Lesnar are not the last match of the night, it gives the WWE more flexibility. It makes it more likely for the heel to defeat the crowd favorite.
The finish wouldn't be clean. Heyman would certainly be involved. Maybe after a ref bump, Punk has Lesnar up for the GTS, but Heyman hits him with a low blow. Ref comes too, and Lesnar F-5s Punk for the win.
Incensed, Punk wants another shot at Lesnar, but Heyman refuses. Punk faces Curtis Axel at Night of Champions for the Intercontinental title, when Heyman interferes again to cause a disqualification. Punk than destroys Axel as Heyman watches.
Heyman manages to negotiate his way around Punk, getting a rematch through Over the Limit before signing Punk vs. Lesnar, Hell in a Cell, where Punk defeats Heyman's monster.
Lesnar and Heyman retreat, tails between their legs. Punk goes on and wins the WWE title, but Lesnar returns and attacks Punk. In December, we get a vicious TLC main event for the WWE title, marking Lesnar's first shot at the belt since his return. Punk wins the decisive rubber match before carrying the WWE title into WrestleMania.
I'll reiterate that CM Punk, while being the clear-cut second biggest star in WWE, is not yet a made man. I do not believe that WWE is confident enough in Punk to be able to carry the company right now.
An extended feud, including PPV main events in signature gimmick bouts featuring the WWE title against a mainstream name like Brock Lesnar, would establish Punk as maybe not quite Cena, but damn close.