Fantasy-Booking Brock Lesnar's Return to Wrestling with Both WWE and AEW
The odds of Brock Lesnar working for any wrestling promotion other than WWE are slim at best, but ever since Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com revealed a year ago that the former MMA star is no longer under contract, fans have speculated about him joining All Elite Wrestling.
That is the world we live in now. Whenever one person leaves WWE, people wonder if they will go to AEW, Impact, New Japan Pro-Wrestling or tour the indie scene.
The Beast Incarnate is one of the unlikeliest candidates to jump ship because he is paid so much money to work so few matches, but the saying "never say never" is used in pro wrestling so often that fans can't help but speculate.
We never thought The Rock would return to wrestling, but he did just that in 2011. Most people never expected to see Lesnar back with WWE before he returned in 2012. We even saw Bret Hart make amends with Vince McMahon and Co. after the Montreal Screwjob, so anything is possible.
Whether he returns to WWE or makes a shocking move to join AEW, Lesnar will be a draw wherever he goes. With that said, let's do some fantasy booking for his potential return to WWE or his AEW debut.
Heel in WWE
Lesnar is a natural heel because his size and power allow him to dominate most competitors, even those who are bigger than he is.
If he did make his return to WWE in the fall, the best thing management could do would be to pair him up with a babyface who would benefit from being in the ring with someone on his level.
One popular option the company has would be to put him in a feud with a man he previously fought in Japan, Shinsuke Nakamura.
The current King of SmackDown has been used regularly in recent months, but it's been too long since he had a storyline or feud that put him at the top of the card. Lesnar is the one opponent who can guarantee he will be seen as a main eventer.
An easy way to set this up would be having The Beast attack Nakamura without warning during a random episode of the blue brand. Paul Heyman could then give us a history lesson the following week, letting us know about their shared past in Japan and why Lesnar would go after the former intercontinental champion.
Bleacher Report's Phil Lindsey wrote about their history for DailyDDT.com last year.
The King of Strong Style would respond the following week saying Lesnar was never a true champion in Japan because he refused to defend the belt when asked by management. It would add some real-life background to the feud because he did refuse to defend the IWGP Championship at one point.
This would all build to a grudge match at WrestleMania 38. With no titles on the line, this would be all about personal pride and honor. In a perfect world, Nakamura would defeat Lesnar in under eight minutes to counterbalance the outcome from their first match in the Tokyo Dome.
Babyface in WWE
While Lesnar has definitely been the fan favorite in some of his feuds, he has rarely been a clean-cut babyface. At most, he works as a tweener character who gets cheered by the crowd while still acting the same way he would as a villain.
One way to position him as the good guy would be to put him in a feud with the biggest heel in WWE right now: Roman Reigns.
These two have fought before, but The Tribal Chief was always the hero in those encounters. He is no longer the valiant babyface he once was, though, so their dynamic would be completely different this time around.
The added storyline of Paul Heyman being torn between his two biggest clients would add an extra level of drama to the situation. If he was conflicted about who to side with during their match, it would make the outcome a lot less predictable.
Would he side with the man who has been running the blue brand with an iron fist? Would he side with the guy he has mentored for most of his career? Would he wait to see who won before making his choice clear? There are several ways this could play out.
The unpredictable nature of this feud is what would make it different. WWE storylines tend to be easy to follow, and that often makes it straightforward to see where they are going.
If WWE set up a program with Heyman at the center of things, it wouldn't be so cut and dried. If WWE wants to sell a few more playsets, it could even hang Heyman in a shark cage above the ring. Just a thought.
Heel in AEW
As unlikely as it seems, the possibility exists for Lesnar to end up in an AEW ring. The odds are about as slim as Marko Stunt becoming a starter for the Chicago Bulls, but as long as the young company exists, there is a sliver of a chance.
If the unthinkable happened, the smartest way to use him would be as a traditional heel. He is too dominant to be an underdog, too famous to be repackaged and too good at playing the bad guy.
AEW has smaller wrestlers than WWE on average, but a few big men do exist who could give The Beast a real challenge. Guys such as Luchasaurus, Powerhouse Hobbs and Lance Archer have the size to put up a good fight, but Brian Cage stands out as the best option.
Not only does the 37-year-old have the same kind of explosive power that has served Lesnar well throughout his career, but he also has the speed and agility of a much smaller competitor.
Since Cage recently split from Team Taz, Lesnar using the ECW legend as his manager instead of Paul Heyman would be the perfect way to get his foot in the door. The story writes itself from there.
Cage runs through all of Team Taz. He takes out Ricky Starks, Hobbs and even Hook, Taz's son. Then, when it looks like he has finally vanquished his former stable, Taz brings out his secret weapon. The Beast arrives and decimates Cage, setting them up for a future match at a pay-per-view.
The two gargantuan grapplers would spend a few weeks trying to get their hands on each other, but security and other wrestlers would prevent them from making contact again before their big showdown.
The first match ends with Taz helping Lesnar steal the win, that way Cage can regroup and get the comeback victory in their second encounter. A steel cage would help keep everyone else out and provide an unforgiving environment they can use to cause more damage to each other.
Babyface in AEW
Out of the four scenarios presented here, this one is easily the most unlikely. Lesnar joining AEW is a massive long shot on its own, but doing it as a babyface is almost unimaginable.
If it did happen, though, the only option would be for him to battle the biggest heel stable in the company: The Elite.
A series of four matches is how this would play out. The first would be The Beast against Karl Anderson. This would be the easiest challenge and allow Lesnar to squash an opponent to get off to a good start.
The second would be against Doc Gallows. As the biggest member of The Elite, he would be a greater threat to the former UFC champion. It would be more competitive, but it would still end the same way as the first.
The third contest would need to be a handicap match against The Young Bucks. Nick and Matt Jackson would have to use every trick in the book just to keep this from being a total squash. Due to outside interference, this would end in a disqualification.
That would lead to the big showdown between The Beast and AEW world champion Kenny Omega. This is where Lesnar's ability to have great main events would come into play. While some of his performances consist of just a few moves, there are many instances of him having outstanding matches at big shows.
The result would be where things get tricky, though. If AEW puts the belt on Lesnar, fans would complain about a part-timer holding it, just as they do whenever he has a WWE title. In order to avoid those comparisons, Omega would either have to cheat to win or they could fight to a draw.
Again, this is as unlikely as anything you could imagine in pro wrestling, but it's still fun to fantasy-book this kind of absurd situation.
If Lesnar joined AEW, how would you like to see him booked?