Booking a Shock Brock Lesnar Return at WWE SummerSlam 2020

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Booking a Shock Brock Lesnar Return at WWE SummerSlam 2020

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    It sure feels like Brock Lesnar won't be at WWE's SummerSlam this year. 

    Key word there being feels, of course. 

    Lesnar is a SummerSlam monster. He's put on a handful of classics at WWE's second-biggest event of the year for a long time. During this odd audience-less era, the promotion could certainly use someone like him to draw attention to the show. 

    But WWE hasn't promoted The Beast Incarnate for the show at all and typically speaking, he's always advertised because the company wants to squeeze the most out of his appearances. 

    That leaves some wiggle room for a shock appearance, though, which would be one way for WWE to immediately boost ratings for weekly shows such as Raw.

    Here are a few booking ideas to get Lesnar back in the mix at Sunday's pay-per-view.

Attacks Shane McMahon

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    On one hand, nobody really wants a Lesnar vs. Shane McMahon feud.

    On another, The Beast returning and targeting Shane-O-Mac because his advocate, Paul Heyman, got fired isn't the worst way to drum up a feud. 

    And as uninteresting as an actual match might be, McMahon being the one to incur Lesnar's wrath would keep the former universal champion out of the main event scene and away from guys like Drew McIntyre.

    It would be a story that has layers and potentially could see Heyman back as at least an in-ring talent. 

    Consider McMahon a leaping pad in this scenario, too, as the big-wig can throw any number of Superstars in Lesnar's path, leading to something much bigger down the line. 

Targets MVP

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    This one might seem a little odd on first pass. 

    But if WWE wants to keep Lesnar away from top titles but still have him competing for gold, he could always disrupt something like the Apollo Crews vs. MVP match for the United States title. 

    Lesnar-MVP is one of those dream-booking feuds fans never really got, and WWE laid the groundwork for it at the Royal Rumble. The two got in some good action during the main event there after Lesnar did some hilarious dancing to MVP's theme. 

    Of course, the grander goal of such an attack on MVP would be simple—setting up a heavyweight bout down the line with Bobby Lashley

Heads to the Underground

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    WWE has a solid thing just starting with the Underground during Raw. 

    It's a nice set piece to make the three-hour flagship show feel less of a slog, and it's different enough that some Superstars who wouldn't normally get pushed can do so. 

    And while pushing new names is nice, there is one guaranteed way to make sure a new idea like Underground is a resounding success for a long time: Add Lesnar to the mix. 

    The idea is simple, too. The Beast emerges from the crowd when Hurt Business or somebody else asks for challengers. He runs roughshod over everyone until Lashley steps up. And just like that, fans finally have their dream matchup. 

    Call it a double-whammy: Fans will flock to Raw in droves, helping the show and Underground, while also building up something special for a later date via a main event that doesn't even need a title involved. 

Disrupts the Main Event

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    Knowing Lesnar and knowing WWE, if he's showing, it's happening where a top title is involved. 

    And The Beast has plenty of reason to interfere in the main event between Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre. 

    The Scot dethroned him, has the WWE title he lost and has since been clearly established as top dog in the company. Orton is an older veteran adversary doing some of the best work of his career right now. 

    At some point, WWE is understandably going to want to do Lesnar-McIntyre again. The former wants his revenge and will target the guy who took him down, and the latter still needs his big moment in front of a live crowd. 

    When live crowds actually return to give McIntyre that moment is hard to say, so maybe Orton is the better play here. Edge is still presumably on the shelf for a while due to injury, so Lesnar gunning for a fellow veteran and modern legend just to give fans one unforgettable feud and match—while making them tune in weekly—is a big win for fans and the company. 

Does It Happen?

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    The reality is, it has been pretty predictable for a while now that Lesnar won't be appearing on SummerSlam unless WWE dramatically changes how it approaches his work. 

    The company still hasn't even hinted at a return for The Beast, so his doing so would fly directly in the face of its exhausting promotion of his other prior appearances. 

    But again, a shock Lesnar appearance would do massive numbers on social media and provide a similar shock to ratings, likely the very next night on Raw. And if handled right—especially if he's going against Lashley or one of the main event participants—the ratings boost could carry over to multiple weeks. 

    If it happens, expect it to occur on an Underground segment or in the main event. If nothing else, it would be a massive boost to what already looks like a solid, if not short card on Sunday.