CM Punk's showdown with Brock Lesnar is nearly here, as WWE SummerSlam is right around the corner. August 18 is the date when the Best in the World will meet the beast incarnate while Paul Heyman watches from ringside.
Punk's win/loss record speaks for itself, as he has beaten some of the biggest names that WWE has ever known. But what would a victory over Brock Lesnar do for Punk's overall legacy in the industry?
Chris Jericho, John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show and Jeff Hardy have all feuded with Punk, and each man has come up short. Punk has proven over the course of his WWE career that he definitely has what it takes to entertain on the main event stage and the better his competition, the better the match.
Punk is a great worker and is very consistent with his performances, but there is just something about the way he does business when he's in the ring with a top name. Punk likely sees it as a chance to just have some fun and live up to the moniker that he made famous.
After all, the Best in the World has to show off, right?
And I, for one, believe that is just what he will do at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. This is another opportunity for Punk to show what he can do on the worldwide pay-per-view stage, and he will surely take advantage of it.
But this is not just any opponent he's stepping into the ring with. This is Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman's personal killing machine who is only happy when he's inflicting pain on others. The former UFC champion doesn't care about his legacy. He's not necessarily concerned with chasing championships. All Brock Lesnar wants is to break people in half.
And he does a pretty good job of it.
But, is that why this match is so important for Punk's legacy? Does Lesnar's name and his gimmick as the unstoppable war machine make a better challenge for Punk than anyone else WWE could have put against him? The company has set Punk up with its biggest names over the past few years. Is this just another example of that?
Triple H, The Rock and the Undertaker are three legendary Superstars who helped carry the company at various moments, most notably during the Attitude Era. They are icons of the industry, and for any Superstar to say that they could hang with these guys is a very big deal.
Punk not only did his part against each legend, he proved himself and improved the match with his work. However, unlike the matches he worked with Jericho, Cena, Orton, Show and Hardy, Punk lost against Hunter, Rocky and Taker.
So with the exception of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Brock Lesnar could be the last top guy that Punk has yet to face. But what will the end result be? Will we see Lesnar be presented as the brutal, unmerciful fighter who can destroy anyone only to do the job for Punk?
I believe that not only will Punk go over in this match, but that it will be very big for his career. Some have been questioning how Punk would match up against Brock, mostly because of the considerable difference in physical size. The fact that Brock was a legitimate MMA fighter is an even harder mountain to climb for Punk, whose only offense that is not strictly pro wrestling is his repertoire of submission moves.
But if Punk does manage to beat Brock, it needs to happen in a very plausible way. For me, a straight-up three count is just not realistic, and honestly a tap-out may not ever be in the cards for Brock Lesnar. However, if Heyman were to inadvertently cost Lesnar the win and Punk escaped with his life, he would be seen as the crafty, wily veteran that he is. Brock doesn't lose face, and Punk gets yet another notch in his belt.
For many fans out there, Punk is WWE's No. 2 Superstar, second only to John Cena, and he has been that way for quite some time. With that being the case, the fact is that Punk should win his match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Because any fans out there who doubt WWE's commitment to Punk or his ability to pull his weight with Brock would surely be silenced with a win for the man who held the WWE title for 434 days.
Punk's legacy will become even richer and more impressive than it is now. And I believe that is how it should be.
A CM Punk win at SummerSlam would automatically propel him up the ladder in WWE. A title shot against John Cena or perhaps even Alberto Del Rio is certainly not out of the question. In fact, I believe that most fans expect him to be in the hunt again very soon.
And even if that opportunity did not come right away, Punk would still be highly regarded as a made man in WWE, a guy who is trusted to perform in very high-profile matches and comes through every time. Punk would unquestionably be the company's No. 2 Superstar once again, and an eventual championship run would only strengthen his position.
CM Punk and Brock Lesnar will do battle at SummerSlam on August 18. For Brock, this match is all about following the orders of his friend, Paul Heyman, who wants to see Punk punished for betraying him. For Punk, this match is about adding to his already impressive legacy in WWE.
And I believe that it most certainly will.