At WrestleMania XXX, Brock Lesnar became immortal.
The former UFC heavyweight champion did what no man before him had accomplished when he emerged as the “chosen one” to conquer The Undertaker’s undefeated streak and become the "one in 21-1."
As a result, Lesnar’s stock rocketed, and it appeared that the next logical career step would be to have him capture his first WWE world title in over a decade. Reports even began to surface from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter penciling in Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan for this year’s SummerSlam.
But with Bryan’s recovery from neck surgery taking longer than anticipated, that showdown seems off the cards. It looks nigh on impossible that we’ll see him enter SummerSlam as the champion, and the same could be said of Lesnar given that he remains in exile.
But that doesn’t mean that the WWE has given up all hope of the Beast Incarnate being involved in the title picture at the biggest show of the summer. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Raj Giri of Wrestling Inc.), the plan is still for Lesnar to pursue the gold, seemingly at the expense of Bryan:
Dave Meltzer reported in the latest issue of The Wrestling Observer that the original planned main event of Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam is almost certainly not happening. Lesnar is still slated to be in the title picture when he returns, and will likely be facing the winner of the Money In The Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
This is obviously a shame for Daniel Bryan. The former champ looked likely to return to the main event scene upon his return, but with the WWE seemingly intent on utilising Lesnar, he may have to wait his turn.
Of course, given that he’s recovering from a sensitive injury, a physical encounter with Lesnar is probably not the best idea. And furthermore, Bryan’s talent and popularity are too great for the WWE to ignore him forever. He may not be involved at SummerSlam, but don’t expect to see him shunned from the title picture forever.
But if Meltzer's report is accurate, who should we expect Lesnar to face at SummerSlam?
John Cena is the odds-on favourite to come out on top at Money in the Bank, but do fans really want a rerun of another feud we’ve already seen? Sure, their match at Extreme Rules 2012 was awesome, but we’ve seen with Cena before that sometimes it’s best to leave it at that.
A feud with Randy Orton would certainly be fresh, and the same could be said for a program with Sheamus. But I can’t see the Irishman winning the title—he’s already the U.S. champ—and frankly I’m not sure Sheamus-Lesnar would be the box-office draw that the company is looking for. The same can be said for Alberto Del Rio vs. Lesnar.
Which brings us on to the new breed—the likes of Cesaro, Bray Wyatt or Roman Reigns.
Is it too soon to see one of these guys win the title at Money in the Bank? Probably not, as all three men have proved themselves worthy of such an honour.
But it’s after Money in the Bank that we’d then run into problems. With Lesnar expected to win the title at SummerSlam, it would be foolish to have Cesaro, Wyatt or Reigns hold the strap for just a month.
Similarly, SummerSlam isn’t the right place to have one of these new guys defeat the man who conquered The Streak—that needs to be saved for WrestleMania.
As a result, I don’t see either of these three being involved in the WWE title picture beyond Money in the Bank.
If Lesnar really is set to win the WWE title at SummerSlam, then my money would be on either Cena or Orton becoming the next world champion in something of a transitional reign.
But what do you guys think about this?
Is it fair that Lesnar will be in the WWE title scene at the possible expense of Daniel Bryan? And if the Beast does challenge for the straps at SummerSlam, who do you think he’ll face?
Please feel free to comment below with your feelings on this one as well as any thoughts you may have on the article itself and the issues that were discussed.