Top 5 Opponents for Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam
SummerSlam is considered to be the biggest show, other than WrestleMania, on the WWE calendar. The August pay-per-view is the epicentre of the company's big summer storylines, at a time of year when it isn't just the weather that makes wrestling crowds hot.
With that in mind, WWE is keen to have all of its biggest box office draws appearing at the show. Therefore, it seems incredibly likely that Brock Lesnar will make his highly anticipated return at the event in Los Angeles on August 17.
Lesnar was last seen on the episode of Raw after WrestleMania XXX. The previous night, in New Orleans, he had shocked the entire wrestling world by bringing the Undertaker's 21-0 undefeated streak to an end.
Although he has not appeared on WWE programming since then, Lesnar has remained a huge part of the wrestling landscape. His advocate, Paul Heyman, has been far from shy of reminding the WWE Universe that it was his client who conquered the streak.
However, who Brock Lesnar's opponent at SummerSlam will be still remains a mystery. Many assume that he will be challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but until the Money in the Bank PPV, the strap is vacant.
WWE Creative is in limbo, but there are a number of obvious choices for their coveted part-time star's next titanic clash.
Honourable Mention: Undertaker
This one seems unlikely, but Undertaker deserves a mention just for the sake of pure fantasy booking.
It has become a simple truth in recent years that Undertaker does not lose at WrestleMania. This year, however, after eating three F5 finishing moves, 'Taker was pinned cleanly in the middle of the ring. A legacy of almost 25 years was conquered in three seconds.
After such a shocking moment, it seems only right that the Deadman should get his rematch against the Beast. On surprise factor alone, this would make SummerSlam a must-watch event.
Unfortunately, Undertaker's physical condition leaves a lot to be desired, and he would likely struggle with another intense match. It seems unlikely that he will appear on WWE programming until WrestleMania season rolls around again.
The shortage of top babyface competitors in WWE right now means that Sheamus is one of the best possible challengers for Brock Lesnar.
It goes without saying that Lesnar would not come back to challenge for the US title, so the "Celtic Warrior" would have to drop that belt between Money in the Bank and SummerSlam. However, in terms of mere bragging rights, the two guys could easily put on a great match.
On paper, they are very evenly matched. Sheamus is billed as being 6'4" and 267 pounds, whilst Lesnar stands at 6'3" and weighs 286 pounds. They are similar sizes, and both have styles that are more akin to fighting than wrestling.
Lesnar would likely be looking for a competitor with a more elevated stock than Sheamus, but the "Great White" could prove to be a real challenge for the returning Beast.
4. Bray Wyatt
The Beast Incarnate vs. The Eater of Worlds.
That's a clash that would send the buyrate of SummerSlam soaring upwards. A marquee feud with John Cena, including a singles bout at WrestleMania XXX, has elevated Wyatt's star to the highest it has ever been.
He has since earned a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match at the Money in the Bank PPV. After challenging for the top accolade in the business, a feud with Lesnar for monster supremacy could be the next rung on the ladder for one of the hottest new stars in WWE.
Heel vs. heel feuds are tricky to pull off, but the prospect of Wyatt and Heyman exchanging promos is mouth-watering. If there are two men in the company who could sell this feud right now, it's those two.
3. John Cena
John Cena places in third on this list for only one reason: He seems the most sensible option to leave Money in the Bank with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Cena hasn't officially been added to the Ladder match yet, but there are two remaining spots and it seems like a no-brainer that he will fill one of them.
The man who walks out of the event as champion will likely only wear the belts until Daniel Bryan's return. This role would hurt a new champion such as Bray Wyatt or Cesaro, but Cena's stock would not be damaged at all by a short reign and a feud with the formidable Lesnar.
Cena is polarising, but he is capable of putting on great matches, and a feud between him and Lesnar could certainly carry the summer months.
Since winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX and becoming a "Paul Heyman Guy," Cesaro's career has been on the upswing.
The Swiss Superman is finally getting over with fans as a singles heel and has been bolstered by a rivalry with Sheamus, in which the two stars have traded victories. Despite Cesaro's successes, it seems that his advocate can only talk about one man: Brock Lesnar.
A jealousy angle between the two bruising Superstars is clearly in the offing, whether that pays off in time for SummerSlam or at WrestleMania 32 next year.
The chance to beat Lesnar would put Cesaro over very strongly and would necessitate the face turn that his character strongly suggests. This feud could be the way to finally push Cesaro into the stratosphere as one of the top guys in the WWE.
1. Daniel Bryan
Ever since WrestleMania, there has only been one man that people really want to see in the ring with Brock Lesnar.
Daniel Bryan is the man that the WWE Universe has hand-picked as the face of the company. He has beaten just about everyone there is to beat, except the man that put an end to the Undertaker. For months, Bryan vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam seemed like a certainty.
However, with Daniel Bryan's neck surgery comes a spanner in the works. It is possible that he will not be fit in time for SummerSlam, and if he is, it is unlikely that he will appear as champion unless booking magic intervenes.
Despite the issues surrounding the booking of this match, there can be little doubt that this is the match fans want to see. With WWE stock plummeting in recent months, WWE Creative has to book where the money is.
And the money is definitely in the Beast vs. the Beard. Book it now.