Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in a Fatal 4-Way match Sunday at SummerSlam to retain the Universal Championship. Lesnar got the win after an F5 to Reigns and landing the pin.
There's no question Lesnar earned the win in what announcer Michael Cole called one of the most physical matches he's ever seen. After repeatedly getting bodyslammed into tables by Strowman, Lesnar had to be stretchered out before returning to claim victory.
Lesnar had to pull out plenty of tricks to ensure the win, including distracting the ref and breaking up a pin just before a three-count. The fan reaction was mostly positive, with Strowman drawing rave reviews for his physical style and highlight reel moments:
Lesnar withstood a big-time challenge from Joe at Great Balls of Fire, which created some uncertainty regarding his SummerSlam opponent.
Reigns announced prior to Great Balls of Fire that he would challenge for the universal title at the biggest show of the summer, but his loss to Strowman in an Ambulance match conceivably hurt his chances.
Joe also wanted another shot after pushing The Beast Incarnate to the limit, so Raw general manager Kurt Angle set up a match between Reigns and Joe for the No. 1 contendership.
No winner was determined, however, as Strowman returned and took out both Superstars just over one week after Reigns smashed an ambulance into a trailer with The Monster Among Men inside.
Strowman looked no worse for wear, however, and announced his intention to run through the entire roster en route to his ultimate goal:
After the No. 1 Contender's match was ruled a no-contest, Angle booked a blockbuster match for SummerSlam in the form of a Fatal 4-Way pitting Lesnar against his three biggest competitors in Reigns, Joe and Strowman.
Lesnar and Paul Heyman weren't thrilled with Angle's decision, and they made it clear that they would leave WWE in the event of suffering a loss.
While none entered SummerSlam with a win over Lesnar on their resume, they all posed significant threats to The Beast's throne.
Reigns came agonizingly close to taking down The Conqueror at WrestleMania 31 before Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to make it a Triple Threat and win the WWE Championship.
Joe largely got the better of Lesnar physically leading up to Great Balls of Fire and attacked him prior to the match. The Samoan Submission Machine managed to control much of the bout; however, Lesnar battled back to retain successfully.
Lesnar and Strowman have never had a one-on-one match, but they have had their fair share of run-ins, and Strowman is one of the few Superstars capable of dwarfing Brock.
There was a great deal of intrigue surrounding Sunday's match since WWE created what was seemingly an ideal environment in terms of being able to take the title off Lesnar without forcing him to take the fall.
Lesnar has long had a penchant for overcoming the odds, though, which gave the contest an anything-can-happen feel.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).