The Best Feuds for Brock Lesnar When He Returns to WWE
The WWE Universe has grown accustomed to the idea that every time Brock Lesnar loses a championship, it's unknown when or if he'll return to the company.
Inevitably, he comes back and picks a new victim to toss around the ring for about five minutes at one of the major pay-per-views of the year.
By now, though, he's run through most of the roster.
Thankfully, he's such a big name that WWE would likely ignore the brand split in choosing his next opponent.
So, which Superstars would be the best options to pair up with The Beast Incarnate once he makes his return to WWE programming?
Let's take a look at some of the most interesting possibilities who may have a map that leads straight to Suplex City.
Theoretically, there are dozens of fresh opponents for Lesnar who haven't stood across the ring from him in a long time, if ever.
The problem, though, is he's been booked so strong for so long that there isn't anybody on his level, and the number of wrestlers who are a step below him is very small.
No matter how physically large someone like Konnor is, he isn't a credible threat to Lesnar in a match. And nobody will buy into a program between The Beast and Mojo Rawley, who would be destroyed with one F-5.
Therefore, this rules out the entire 205 Live division, anyone who is a complete jobber and so on. Even the people who could pose a challenge still run into some problems.
For instance, Drew McIntyre has the size to put up a fight against Lesnar and would be one of the top choices for a feud if a few more things happen. Namely, the Scot would be better off if he already had a title run beforehand to boost his credibility even more.
Also, one of the two men would need to be the heel in the feud, and if WWE isn't planning on turning McIntyre anytime soon, it would be counterproductive to put them together in any fashion.
Another honorable mention would be Rey Mysterio, who has the clout as a multi-time former world champion and giant-killer, but at this stage in his career, is it really beneficial for him to be ragdolled just to make Lesnar look even more dominant?
Lars Sullivan would be an interesting case, so long as he was WWE's intended winner. Anything short of a victory would be a hindrance to his push on the main roster.
Lastly, had WWE fully tapped into the popularity of Rusev Day, The Bulgarian Brute could have been built up over this past year to be a solid upper-midcarder to be able to put up a good fight against Lesnar.
Currently, he's half of a failing tag team that has no future and that would have to change drastically, and he would need to turn babyface to be considered an option for Lesnar.
When Bobby Lashley returned to WWE last year after WrestleMania 34, a feud with Lesnar felt like it was on the horizon. The All Mighty even expressed his interest in having that match multiple times, and the nature of two big MMA fighters sparring off was easy to sell.
Strangely, despite it being a go-to option, the company avoided it. For whatever reason, this money match everyone saw coming was pushed aside.
Since then, Lashley had to turn heel to get a firmer spot on the roster, which is a dynamic that would have to change if WWE chose him as an opponent for The Beast.
Heel vs. heel with Lesnar doesn't work, as evidenced by Samoa Joe's run-in with him. All that did was make The Samoan Submission Specialist a temporary de facto face, since The Beast defaults into the bigger villain role all the time.
Once Lesnar disposed of him, it weakened Joe for no net gain. Lashley would suffer the same fate if he went into this as a heel.
But if he were to turn face and be built up for the next few months with a lot of wins, he could be the perfect foil for The Beast.
Perhaps it could be booked as Lesnar wanting something of a "shoot fighter" as practice for Daniel Cormier so he can test his skills and gain momentum. Meanwhile, Lashley would want to upset that goal and prove he's the more dominant MMA guy in WWE.
This newfound babyface character is uncharted territory for Kevin Owens, who hasn't even begun to get a stronghold on how he'll adjust his in-ring style, promos and overall presentation now he's no longer a villain.
Once he's had enough time to work out the kinks, though, he would be a fantastic candidate to go one-on-one with Lesnar later in the year.
Not only does Owens have the size to believably lock horns with The Beast, he's someone new and exciting for him to work with. KO knows what he's doing in the ring more so than a good portion of the roster.
The only time they've had a match together was at a house show in March 2017, so this pairing doesn't suffer from the boring repetition of another match with Seth Rollins, AJ Styles or others.
This could especially work well if the feud was built around how Owens used to call himself a prizefighter, as there are few accolades outside of championships that mean as much right now as a win over Lesnar.
Matt Riddle and the NXT Options
There is no chance WWE would send Lesnar to NXT to work a program with the Superstars on the developmental brand.
However, it would be incredibly cool if he was in NXT for a short stint. His presence would boost awareness of the brand and possibly get more casual fans wanting to see The Beast in an entirely different environment.
It wouldn't be that much different from his normal schedule. NXT tapes in advance, which means WWE could have Lesnar for one day and appear in two or three episodes.
Johnny Gargano can seemingly do no wrong, so despite their size difference, he could get a great match out of Lesnar, as could so many others such as Dominik Dijakovic and even Velveteen Dream.
But the key prize would be Matt Riddle, who has gone on record numerous times saying he wants to have a match with Lesnar and retire him. He'll likely keep campaigning for that role as long as he can, but it won't become a possibility until after his graduation to the main roster.
Once Riddle has established himself and proved he is here to stay in WWE for the long haul, he could be one of the top prospects for The Beast.
If that were to happen in NXT, it would go down as one of the biggest things to happen on the brand and something that would give plenty of fans reason to get hooked.
This is all a pipe dream, though, as it may even be a stretch for Lesnar to go to SmackDown any time sooner than October, but it would be far more interesting than another match against Roman Reigns or Randy Orton.
On paper, The Miz stands no chance against Lesnar, but now he's a babyface, this may be a worthwhile match to put on.
The A-Lister has the gift of gab and could cut a passionate promo to convince fans to tune in, rather than write this bout off as being too easy to predict.
Miz could pick a fight with Lesnar over his star treatment and get destroyed by The Beast. That could see him gain even more sympathy, especially if he stood up on his own two feet after the beating.
The A-Lister has spent his entire career being a coward who gets humiliated and this would be a subversion of that, where his courage would outshine any embarrassment and make him even more endearing as a face.
In 2006, Lesnar defeated Shinsuke Nakamura at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Toukon Shidou Chapter 1 event to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
While WWE tends to act as though things that have happened in another company never occurred, it's odd there hasn't been any attempt to put them together for another match.
Nakamura is one of the taller Superstars on the roster and was one of the featured players poised for a top spot as a world champion.
That didn't pan out, and WWE lost track of The King of Strong Style, so he hasn't been a viable challenger for Lesnar in nearly a year. But everyone can be rehabilitated and repackaged, including Nakamura.
All it would take is a babyface turn, a midcard title run that actually matters and a few big wins over established stars such as Daniel Bryan, and Nakamura would be in a good position to fight Lesnar.
Their time in Japan could be a great source of inspiration for The King of Strong Style to have a different type of fight against The Beast than anyone else who is firmly set in the WWE style of putting matches together.
It would at least give Nakamura a boost in credibility for being considered worthy enough to pair off with Lesnar, instead of floundering in the tag team division with Rusev.
The New Day
Last, but certainly not least, is the potential of Lesnar becoming one of the biggest hurdles for Kofi Kingston during his WWE Championship reign.
With the way both have been booked over the years, nobody would realistically think Kingston had any chance of beating The Beast, which would crank up the anxiety that a new champion would be crowned.
Reverting to putting a belt on Lesnar and demoting Kingston to a rank below the main event would be horrible and fans would be beyond nervous that it was in the cards, especially if The Beast ran through Xavier Woods and Big E.
Taking out two members of The New Day before an event only to come up short against Kingston would make for a massive pop and sigh of relief from the WWE Universe.
For anyone complaining it would ruin Lesnar, the question needs to be: If he never loses, what good is building him up? Having someone be unstoppable is only worth something when he's beaten, and it isn't as though The Beast can ever be seen as anything but a top-tier legend at this point in his career.
He's bulletproof, and it might be time to start sharing the wealth by using someone like Lesnar to seal the deal on Kingston as a true main eventer, rather than someone who got lucky enough to become champion by being in the right place at the right time.
Who would you like to see feud with Lesnar when he returns? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.