Who Is the Best Opponent for Brock Lesnar at WWE SummerSlam 2020?
For SummerSlam 2020 to be The Biggest Party of the Summer once again, it needs to have as many big attractions as possible, with or without fans in attendance.
Among the top Superstars who make an event feel special is Brock Lesnar, who only makes a few appearances each year.
Assuming WWE is able to get him to return to action for August 23, he will need an opponent who can stand up to him and feel like a worthy-enough challenger.
Thankfully, a handful of Superstars may be up to the task.
While nothing has been hinted at in regard to his return, let's break down some of the best possible opponents for Lesnar at WWE SummerSlam 2020.
The Ideal Opponent: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley has talked about wanting to fight Lesnar for more than 12 years, yet despite them being on the same roster for two years, their paths have yet to cross.
Instead, WWE busied Lashley with storylines involving his "sisters" and Sami Zayn and a love affair with Lana, among other nonsense, rather than granting him his wish.
Lately, Lashley's credibility has gone up considerably. While he's nowhere near the level he once was and lacks the momentum he had during upon his return, now is the best time for this to happen.
MVP and Paul Heyman would be great verbal sparring partners in the corners of their clients, who just need to stand there, look like the monsters they are and wait to clash.
Since WWE held its first NXT Fight Pit match with Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher, perhaps Lashley vs. Lesnar could use the same structure to allow for a more MMA-based style to their match.
That would be a marquee match for SummerSlam that could appeal to the UFC fans who are only casual wrestling viewers, as well as intrigue the more dedicated members of the WWE Universe.
The 'NXT Big Thing' Opponent: Keith Lee
On July 8 during the special Great American Bash edition of NXT, Keith Lee will face Adam Cole in a Winner Take All match with the victor walking out with both the NXT and North American Championships.
Considering the teases that Karrion Kross has his sights set on Cole and may want vengeance for Lee breaking his sand timer, it's likely the match will end in some sort of no-contest that prevents either Superstar from obtaining both belts.
However, if Cole manages to win, that would leave Lee in a bind. He wouldn't have his own belt to defend anymore. Nor would it make much sense for him to beat Cole for the NXT title.
At that point, he might as well transition to Raw or SmackDown. And if that were to happen, a feud with Lesnar could put him on the map from the very start.
Just as WWE has been hokey in dubbing Edge vs. Randy Orton "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever" and calling WrestleMania "too big for one night," there's room for some wordplay with this feud too.
As Lesnar was The Next Big Thing, Lee—one of the largest Superstars in NXT and a standout candidate to build a company around—could be billed "The NXT Big Thing" and come out of this feud looking like the Lesnar of the next generation.
The Payback Opponent: Braun Strowman
Discounting Royal Rumble matches, Lesnar and Braun Strowman have locked horns six times with the same result for each match: a Lesnar win.
It didn't matter whether it was a singles match or if Kane, Roman Reigns or Samoa Joe was involved. Lesnar was still victorious, either retaining or winning the Universal Championship.
WWE didn't plan on Strowman holding that title with the original WrestleMania card, but once he stepped in to replace Reigns against Goldberg, he took on that responsibility.
Beating Goldberg was impressive. Taking out Bray Wyatt at Money in the Bank was another boost to his credibility. But his Handicap match against The Miz and John Morrison was a step backward.
A great way to raise Strowman's stock and prove to fans he's not a paper champion who only won the belt as a last-minute replacement would be if he could get back a win from all those losses he took against Lesnar.
It wouldn't even the score, but a clean victory over one of the company's most protected headliners in Lesnar would do wonders for Strowman.
Of course, if WWE would just give the belt to Lesnar again, this would need to be avoided at all costs.
The Celebrity Opponent: Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury dipped his toe in the WWE pool when he fought Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel 2019. Since then, he's spoken numerous times about how he would like to return for future appearances.
One of the targets he's called out is Lesnar, which would be right up WWE's alley if all parties could agree to work together.
WWE loves bringing in celebrities for major events like WrestleMania and SummerSlam in an effort to draw in fans from other avenues.
With the COVID-19 pandemic leaving sports fans starved for content and WWE struggling to bump the ratings, now would be a great time to pull out a big trick like Fury vs. Lesnar.
It would be a talking point, lead to increased media coverage, look great on a marquee and provide a unique challenge for The Beast Incarnate, who's done it all.
The match could be awful, but the big-name attraction would serve its purpose from the promotional hype alone.
The Most Realistic Opponent: Drew McIntyre
The least inspiring pick, but the most realistic option of them all, would be Drew McIntyre.
It's exactly the sort of low-effort, easy-to-book feud WWE loves to capitalize on whenever possible.
The hard work to set up the match happened from January through April. Now all WWE has to do is remind fans of that rivalry, have Lesnar attack McIntyre in the hunt to take back his title and wait.
That would solve the problem of not having to build a new No. 1 contender on Raw too.
It's unlikely, but if there's any shot of having fans in attendance for SummerSlam, the argument could be made that this is WWE's attempt to give them the match they wanted to put on for WrestleMania.
McIntyre would have a subdued but still great crowning achievement to be cheered by thousands while taking out The Beast Incarnate.
That probably won't happen, though, with cases of COVID-19 spreading throughout WWE. That means there's a strong chance Lesnar isn't on this card at all and that no opponents are even in discussion to step in the ring with him for a long while.
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.