Brock Lesnar won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from John Cena at SummerSlam on Sunday, August 17. In a bout that can perhaps best be described as a squash match, Lesnar practically destroyed Cena to capture the gold and the top spot on the WWE mountain.
While fans attempt to absorb what they saw at SummerSlam, the biggest question now becomes the following: What happens next for the new champ? Cena may have a rematch at Night of Champions, but assuming Lesnar retains, WWE really has no Superstars who can legitimately challenge him.
Lesnar's rather shocking win on August 17 is likely still sending waves among WWE fans all over the world. The WWE faithful surely expected a brutal fight between Lesnar and Cena, much like they saw at Extreme Rules back in 2012.
That match, in particular, is probably still on the minds of fans who remember the viciousness Lesnar displayed from the moment the opening bell rang. Cena had a hard time keeping up during the bout and appeared to be on his way to losing in the end.
But WWE's top Superstar was able to withstand Lesnar's attack and ultimately won the match.
Cena's infamous resiliency was the story of that match, and when his arm was raised in the end, his critics were certainly none too happy. Two years later, SummerSlam took place, and fans are now looking at a new champion in Lesnar, while Cena is fighting for second place.
The story of Lesnar versus Cena at SummerSlam was not one of resiliency but of dominance. The Beast Incarnate delivered brutality from start to finish, and the longer the match went on, the more fans began to wonder when Cena would recover.
The bout had been in Lesnar's favor from the start, but the crowd knew Cena would eventually make his comeback. It was expected and was surely only a matter of time.
However, the comeback never happened. Two F-5s and 16 German suplexes later, WWE had a new champion and a top guy lying flat on his back. Cena's critics were finally appeased. For perhaps the first time in his WWE career, he had been completely dominated by an opponent.
Night of Champions is on the horizon, and when it takes place on September 21, Cena will get his rematch against Lesnar. If he is unable to regain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then who is left for the Beast to face?
Randy Orton is perhaps the first name that would come to mind for many fans. He has held the company's top prize on 12 separate occasions and featured in main event matches all over the world. The Viper is no stranger to the bright lights, and if there is anyone in the company with the right amount of edge and athleticism to counter Lesnar, it's Orton.
Roman Reigns is another possibility to face Lesnar for the title. Reigns is part of WWE's next generation, and for many fans, there is no better choice to elevate to the top of the company. His run with the Shield put him on the map, and his current feud with Orton is helping establish him as a true threat in the singles division.
Chris Jericho is perhaps another option to face Lesnar. Y2J has held the company's top championship on six different occasions and is an all-time great. Though he does not match up to Lesnar physically, he would definitely still be able to entertain as only he can.
The Big Show could also challenge the Beast Incarnate for the title. Show has size, power and credibility on his side. He looked good in his rivalry with Lesnar several months ago and came close to beating him at the Royal Rumble. Show could be the man to topple Lesnar and take the championship.
But Orton is currently a heel working with The Authority, while Reigns is working to attain his own level of credibility. Jericho is a part-time Superstar, and Big Show has already lost to Lesnar once before. With the exception of the Rock, who is not around right now, Cena is perhaps the best option to oppose Lesnar in the short term.
And if Cena fails in his bid to regain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then there is really no one left who can legitimately challenge Lesnar. The most important title in the industry is around the waist of arguably the most dominant Superstar that WWE has ever known.
Lesnar is the new WWE world heavyweight champion, and he is on top of a company that has no real threats on the roster to take his belt from him. If Cena cannot get it done at Night of Champions, then fans could be looking at a very long title reign.