A story with heart and hurt will have Brock Lesnar's feud with CM Punk top his work against Triple H.
A year ago, Lesnar clashed with Triple H at SummerSlam. At this year's event, Punk will take Triple H's spot in a feud that will prove to more entertaining, more effective and more memorable.
Punk and Lesnar's contrasting in-ring styles will be intriguing, but it's the buildup that will have Punk vs. Lesnar outshine Triple H vs. Lesnar.
The catalyst for Lesnar and Triple H's feud was Lesnar's anger over the fact that Triple H refused to give into his demands. He wanted power that Triple H wouldn't give him. An attack on Triple H's father-in-law heightened emotions further.
The narrative failed to gain momentum as it appeared too infrequently on WWE TV.
Both men in the feud being part-timers led to inconsistent appearances. The story sputtered as a result. In comparison, Punk's steady presence on WWE Raw will help sell this fight even if Lesnar misses a few weeks.
It's Punk's relationship with Heyman, though, that makes this such an enthralling storyline.
As much as it mattered to both men who won between Triple H and Lesnar, this year's SummerSlam bout matters more. For Punk, victory means gaining vengeance on the man who betrayed him. For Lesnar, a win means Punk fails and Heyman triumphs over righteousness.
Lesnar vs. Triple H had the compelling moment where Lesnar broke Shawn Michaels' arm. Punk vs. Lesnar runs deeper than broken bones, though. As Punk looks to burn everything around Heyman, he may turn into Captain Ahab as Lesnar becomes Moby Dick.
Lesnar plays the attack dog to the vile puppet master, Heyman. Heyman and Punk's broken friendship makes this match deeply personal and ultimately more entertaining.
Aside from frustration at being bullied, Heyman didn't have as much motivation to see Triple H fall. Feeling abandoned by his former best friend and now looking to crush him is a more interesting tale.
Imagine how many more great performances on the microphone Heyman can deliver opposite Punk. Imagine how emotional he will be ringside as he cheers on Lesnar and screams at Punk to stay down.
There's a twisted love in Heyman's actions and it seems that destroying Punk will hurt him as much as delight him. That complexity pushes this match and this feud past what Lesnar vs. Triple H did.
The matchup itself allows Lesnar to truly be a monster.
Lesnar against Triple H was much like Godzilla taking on King Kong—two powerful behemoths trading blows and fighting an intense battle.
Against Punk, Lesnar plays the role he was born to play: destroyer. Punk turns into the underdog, the survivor and the gutsy hero, defiant in the face of his own ruin.
That's a more interesting dynamic that what Lesnar and Triple H had.
Punk and Lesnar is a matchup that brings back memories of Lesnar facing Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out 2004. Like with that battle, the smaller fan favorite faces a difficult task in defeating the larger man. It remains one of Lesnar's best showings.
Expect him and Punk to follow in that tradition.
Lesnar can be his intimidating, destructive self. He serves as Punk's toughest test and his most dangerous opponent.
It won't matter that Punk gives up around 70 pounds to his opponent. It won't matter how much more physically intimidating Lesnar is.
Theirs will be a story that will cut deep, that will leave fans more drained and mesmerized than Triple H and Lesnar ever managed.