Brock Lesnar's dismantling of John Cena in the main event of SummerSlam was one of the most vicious beatings in recent memory. There may never have been a more one-sided title match on a major WWE pay-per-view event. Lesnar's dominating performance over the company's poster boy sets the stage for a fascinating scenario.
Lesnar's contract status is not known by anyone outside of the WWE, but we do know it's not a regular schedule. Lesnar will probably not be on every week, and he may not even appear on every pay-per-view. Such an arrangement is a challenging situation for WWE Creative, which usually leans on title matches as the focal point of the show.
It also makes Lesnar, who already serves as a special attraction for the WWE, a greater draw with unparalleled mystique on the active roster.
We do know that, like all champions, Lesnar will eventually lose the title. After witnessing his demolition of Cena at SummerSlam, there will not be an easy choice for this title transition. Let's take a look at some options.
Cena is entitled to a rematch. He's the former champ, and in the world of professional wrestling, the champ is always contractually obligated to get the first shot after losing the belt.
This would set up a third match in the Cena-Lesnar trilogy since The Next Big Thing returned. Cena won the first match in a non-title contest. Lesnar beat the tar out of him but lost when Super Cena rallied with chain in hand to beat the monster.
Now, the two each have a victory. A rubber match would be a major draw. And, much to the chagrin of the IWC, Cena could very easily get that win.
If Cena gets the next shot because he is the most recent title holder, then Daniel Bryan should receive a shot upon his return due to being the uncrowned champ. It was SummerSlam last year that Bryan ascended to the top of the WWE hierarchy by defeating Cena for the championship before having it snatched from his grasp by Triple H and Randy Orton.
Now, with the monster Brock Lesnar holding the strap, Bryan has another mountain to climb when he returns. I don't expect to see Bryan back until late in the year at earliest. My hope is to see him back in the ring in time for a run to WrestleMania.
Bryan defeating Lesnar would further cement him as a major figure in this era of the WWE. His underdog story would be exacerbated by the power and destruction Lesnar has demonstrated this year.
The latest blue chipper picked to lead the WWE is clearly Roman Reigns. The former Shield muscle has retained the SWAT gear, the music and the ring entrance as he's become one of the top faces in the company.
Still raw in the ring, Reigns has the superstar look that Vince McMahon dreams about and a developing charisma that could carry the company. The thought of Reigns unseating Lesnar would instantly make him a made man in the WWE. As the guy to defeat "the one in 21-1," Reigns would be the first superstar of the next generation to beat the Next Big Thing since his return.
Reigns needs time to improve in the ring, though. His match with Orton was solid but hardly what you'd expect from a guy you want to draw fans for the largest wrestling company in the world. However, the prospects of seeing these two bulls lock horns would be a box office hit.
Until The Rock was injured in his last match against John Cena at WrestleMania and he inked some of the most lucrative movie deals of his career, he was likely on a collision course with Lesnar for WrestleMania 30.
With Rock taking a year away from the ring, it's a distinct possibility McMahon is crunching the numbers to see what it would cost to get his greatest Hollywood, mainstream success story in the ring with Lesnar for a title match.
The confrontation would call back to Lesnar's first WWE title run when he defeated Rock at SummerSlam in 2002. At the time, Lesnar was the youngest WWE champ in history, and Rock was on his way out the door to begin his movie career.
While most groan at the thought of Rock returning, leapfrogging the talented guys on the roster today and pinning the only man on the roster capable of making a new talent into a megastar, it doesn't make it any less likely McMahon would bite at this idea.
Whom do you want to see challenge Brock Lesnar for the belt?