Brock Lesnar Wins WWE Universal Title; Will Fight AJ Styles at Survivor Series

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Friday to win the vacant Universal Championship, marking the second time he has held the title. 

Lesnar took advantage of acting Raw general manager Baron Corbin hitting Strowman with the Universal title prior to the start of the match, and he went on to hit Strowman with five F5s en route to victory:


#TheBeast @BrockLesnar is angry, and he just F5'd @BraunStrowman OUT OF THE RING! #WWECrownJewel https://t.co/DWZAXlCHpO

After the match, WWE announced that Lesnar will face WWE champion AJ Styles for the second year in a row at Survivor Series later this month.

Crown Jewel was originally scheduled to feature Roman Reigns defending the title against Strowman and Lesnar in a Triple Threat match, but WWE had to go in a different direction following Reigns' announcement on Raw last week.

Reigns revealed that he was first diagnosed with leukemia 11 years ago before telling the WWE Universe that it had returned. The Big Dog noted that while he is confident that he'll beat the disease again and return to WWE, he had to relinquish the Universal Championship to focus on his recovery.

That left Raw without a top titleholder, so the decision was made to move forward with a singles match featuring The Monster Among Men and The Beast Incarnate.

Strowman and Lesnar have no shortage of history with one another dating back to last year's SummerSlam when Lesnar beat Strowman, Reigns and Samoa Joe in a Fatal 4-Way to retain the universal title.

The Beast then faced Strowman in a singles match at No Mercy 2017, and he prevailed with relative ease before going on to make several more successful title defenses.

It wasn't until this year's SummerSlam that Lesnar finally dropped the Universal Championship to Reigns, ending a 504-day run with the title.

Strowman was involved in that match, as he stood ringside after announcing he would cash in his Money in the Bank contract on the winner.

He was unable to do so after taking offense from both Lesnar and Reigns, but he did cash in on Reigns at Hell in a Cell.

That bout was ruled a no-contest when Lesnar broke into the cell and left both men laying in the middle of the ring.

Strowman had been playing a heel for several weeks by teaming up with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler to feud with The Shield, but he reversed course after Reigns' leukemia announcement in an apparent effort to establish himself as the new top face on Raw.

Meanwhile, Lesnar's status with the company is uncertain as he eyes a return to the UFC and a potential fight with heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.

Given the mainstream enormity of a Lesnar vs. Cormier fight, the decision to put the title back on Lesnar may be a result of WWE's desire to cross-promote with the UFC.

Even so, Lesnar as universal champion likely means the title won't have much of a presence on Raw in the immediate future.


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