All signs point to Brock Lesnar returning to the Octagon to fight in UFC sometime in 2018 or 2019, and while many WWE fans seem perfectly happy to be done with Lesnar (a sort of reverse-reaction to the way his first time in WWE ended back in 2004), it’s clear Vince McMahon still thinks there’s milk left to be squeezed from the beastly special attraction.
And while it’s easy to dismiss Lesnar’s entire second-run with the company as a boring suplex-spamming waste of time and titles, there have been more than a few excellent and/or memorable matches and moments we’ve gotten from him over the past six years.
Off the top of my head: the brutal and “real-feeling” Cena match at Extreme Rules 2012 (sans the final five seconds), the CM Punk match at SummerSlam 2013, ending the streak at WrestleMania 30, the pantsing of John Cena at SummerSlam 2014, the triple threat with Rollins and Cena at the 2015 Rumble, the excellent and “real-feeling” Reigns match at WrestleMania 31 (which was the beginning of “Suplex City”)...
Okay so it’s been a lot of boring suplex-spamming waste of time and titles since “Suplex City” was born, but there have been so gems since then too: Matches with Goldberg were fun-if-slight and his fights with SmoJo and Braun were almost great. Meanwhile, his one-off with AJ Styles was a reminder that Lesnar can still be great if he wanted (cared) to be.
If he drops the title at the Greatest Royal Rumble (as is expected, but that’s not saying much after this year’s WrestleMania), and never wrestles again, can we say we’ve seen all there is to see from Lesnar? Can we say he left nothing on the table? I don’t think so.
If you ask me there are some matches and feuds he needs to have before walking away from the business for good...
This is a dream match of mine though I have no doubt that if it ever happened it would be a nightmare for me. WWE seems to have so little confidence in Cesaro as a singles-performer, that if he ever got a match with Lesnar it would be another boring suplex-and-pin nothingburger. But in my mind, the WrestleMania XXX version of Cesaro—the one who hoisted Big Show onto his shoulders, walked him from one corner to the other and vaulted him into the upperdeck of the Superdome—taking on Brock Lesnar is a dream. Lean strength vs brute power. A panther vs a silverback. I want to see it, but only if it’s done right.
Yeah no. As much as I don’t want to see this...I really want to see this. Other than maybe Jeff Hardy (there’s a flashback to Spring, 2002 for you), there’s not another superstar who could give up so much size and power to Lesnar while still being seen as a believable threat if only because the people would simply will him to victory. One thing you can guarantee a Bryan/Lesnar match would have is speed. Bryan only goes 100mph and Lesnar is deceptively fast when the opponent calls for it (as his matches with Punk, Rollins and Styles showed, not to mention his old, classic bouts with Angle throughout 2003). The crowd would probably be hotter for it than any other potential Lesnar match. But...nah, let’s not and just wish we had like four years ago or something.
He’s built similarly to Samoa Joe and that was an almost-great match; and though their movesets are different I think it would be a similarly-laid-out match in terms of physicality, not to mention a smarky crowd would be super into it and really invested in cheering for Rusev, since the finish (with Rusev losing) would be a foregone conclusion. With this one though, it’s less about the match and more about the build up. I just think the idea of Aiden English and Paul Heyman interacting is delightful, and dueling “suplex city / rusev day” chants would be great too. It’s not the top of my list, but it’s my list and I want to see it happen just so I can say I saw it happen.
Another David vs Goliath idea, though it wold probably be laid out more like the Syles match than a potential Bryan match. This one would almost have to be a two-parter, with “happy, smiling Irish guy just happy to be here” Finn getting wrecked, then bringing out the Demon to take Lesnar to the limit. It’s a tightrope and a tricky path to walk, however. It would require making the Demon more than just novelty paint. Some real lore would need to be brought in, and that level of storytelling hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since Kane and
...Katie Vick? Oh gosh no forget that Undertaker, circa 1997. It’s the kind of storytelling you might see on vintage ECW or something. But if WWE committed to it as a special attraction/non-title story (which is what Lesnar needs to transition to anyway), then it could not only work but be dynamite.
BRAUN STROWMAN and/or SAMOA JOE (again)
These two matches were hamstrung by the need to “keep Lesnar strong on the way to WrestleMania in order for him to
pass to torch to Reigns beat Reigns and then presumably lose to him a few weeks later in a glorified house show in Saudi Arabia.” Joe lacks the size-matchup that Braun has but he makes up for it in manic intensity. Braun is less refined in the ring but he’s one of the few who can believably throw hands with Lesnar (and even throw Lesnar). Now that he’s unburdened from the Universal Title, a second crack at either of these guys would be very fun indeed.
Just kidding, no one wants to see this.
SOMETHING SOMETHING RONDA ROUSEY
I don’t care if it’s a mixed tag where they team up against a heel like Joe and Shayna Baszler, or maybe Brock and Shayna team up to take on The Rock and Ronda (lol that’s even less likely...maybe Batista? Which means it’d probably be Kurt Angle). I don’t know, but I do know that somehow and in some capacity something with “Ronda and Brock” needs to be done. It would be a colossal missed opportunity for WWE to have access to arguably the two biggest draws in UFC history under one roof and not have them meaningfully interact one way or another.
That’s my wish-list Cagesiders. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments below who you’d like to see Lesnar lock horns with in the future.