Brock Lesnar and The Big Show are headed for a huge showdown at WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Sunday, January 26. The match stems from heat between the two men that began on Old School Raw that aired on January 6, and that heat continued for the two weeks afterward.
And now that fans have had those two weeks to process everything they've seen in anticipation of this match, the issue becomes whether or not it will live up to the hype. The truth is that this one could very well exceed the expectations of the WWE faithful.
The first real contact between Lesnar and Show came of course on Old School Raw. Lesnar and Paul Heyman stood in the ring, openly defying any WWE Superstar to step up to face The Beast, when Mark Henry appeared.
Henry had evidently taken exception to what the two men had to say and decided to test the shark-infested waters of Lesnar's ring.
But by the end of the spot, Henry was nothing more than chum for the larger fish that was The Big Show. Show came to the ring and confronted Lesnar, basically tossing him around like a rag doll. The moment likely came as a shock to the system for many fans who fully expected Lesnar to do what he typically always does: destroy.
For the first time in recent memory, Brock Lesnar went from superhuman to very human. Gone was the man called The Beast, and in his place was nothing more than a minor speed bump in the path of The World's Largest Athlete.
This was a great way to set up the rivalry, a very surprising prelude to the match that some WWE fans did not believe they would see. And the surprises did not stop there.
On January 20, Monday Night Raw once again featured a major showdown between Big Show and Brock Lesnar. This time around, fans surely expected Lesnar to have an answer for The Giant, a response to being physically manhandled before.
But the only response Brock Lesnar gave was to be thrown over the top rope to the floor below.
Big Show is now 2-0 on physical confrontations with Lesnar. By all rights, he looks stronger than Lesnar does, and that means that Show should be the favorite to go over at the Royal Rumble. Who would have thought that WWE would go this route when the two men first came into contact with each other?
The fact is that Lesnar routinely looks dominant. Every time he has been brought back over the past two years, he has more than lived up to The Beast nickname. From his feuds with John Cena to Triple H to CM Punk, Lesnar has consistently been the aggressor. He is pure rage and fury, a man who does not stop despite what his opponent throws at him.
Lesnar is a killing machine, a Superstar who wants to maim and obliterate everything in his way. And he usually does.
But now, Lesnar has hit a wall. The Big Show is not easily intimidated and refuses to be bullied. He is the one Superstar who can counter Lesnar's raw aggression and brute strength. For the first time, it appears as though The Beast has met his match.
This is perhaps the biggest reason why their match will exceed expectations. Fans are accustomed to seeing Lesnar have his way with every opponent he faces, and now that is not the case. Now, his opponent is not only fighting back, but he has pushed Brock back on his heels.
Now, there is some real drama in a Brock Lesnar match. The fact is that WWE has planted the seeds of doubt among fans that Brock would simply just walk in and walk out with a win and not even break a sweat. This time, Brock is on the ropes and does not appear to have an answer for the challenge before him.
And the truth is that this match will be a hard-hitting contest. Heavy punches, power moves, high-impact maneuvers. This one will be action-packed. The combination of Lesnar's MMA style mixed with Big Show's heavy-handed brawling should be very entertaining for fans.
Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show could have been set up as a one-sided match. It could have been all about Lesnar, with very little focus placed on Show. But now that the tables have been turned, fan anticipation is likely higher than expected. And that will lead to a match that will exceed expectations.