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Who should challenge Brock Lesnar first?

Monday’s Rude Awakening looks at the options for Brock Lesnar’s first Universal Championship feud, Randy Orton tweeting, and a Roddy Piper mannequin.

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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Braun Strowman is out for at least a month as he recovers from an elbow injury. Roman Reigns is in no condition to be thrust into another main event feud just yet, not after losing to Strowman and suffering a number of story line injuries just a couple of weeks ago. Someone has to fight Brock Lesnar, though, especially with Brock starting to show up fairly regularly beginning in June. (Well, regularly for him.) Figuring out who that is going to be is something WWE is working on, with one of Monday’s rumors even saying that we’ll find out on RAW either this week or next.

Who’s left for that spot, though? Lesnar kind of floats between heel and face, but given he’s barely showing up on television and just annihilated a fan favorite at WrestleMania 33, it’s safe to think he’s probably going to lean more bad guy than good when he returns. That probably leaves us with a couple of wrestlers Lesnar has feuded with in the past — Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins — and one he has not: Finn Balor.

Ambrose lost to Lesnar in a snoozefest at WrestleMania 32, one where Ambrose did basically all of the work of hyping a hardcore match that just didn’t pay off when the bout finally went down. He’s also Intercontinental Champion at the moment: if RAW is picking the next competitor as soon as this week, it probably won’t involve Ambrose or Miz, his scheduled opponent for this week’s show.

Rollins is a real possibility, given he’s a face who technically has never had to pay for cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase on Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. However, Rollins is clearly a face at the moment, and if he’s involved in any way with a match that would make him number one contender, you’d have to imagine Samoa Joe makes sure Seth isn’t the winner.

That likely leaves Balor, the first Universal Champion who only gave up his title due to an injury suffered during that match. Balor defeating Rollins and whomever else WWE throws together into a number one contender’s match, tournament, or what have you would make a lot of sense — especially since he’s already won one such event in the past, which put him in position to be the first Universal champ in the first place. As for how the cruiserweight-sized Balor would fare against Lesnar? We’ll just have to wait and see how big the rocket WWE has strapped to Finn is.

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