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SummerSlam is worse without Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar returned to WWE in 2012 on a part-time schedule, and he has received better booking than anybody on the roster since that time. Vince McMahon sees him as the biggest attraction there is, so he always brings Brock in for WWE’s biggest pay-per-view events of the year.

That would normally include SummerSlam, but everything is upside down in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lesnar isn’t scheduled for the annual summer event this year, and recent rumors suggest it’s because there won’t be any fans in attendance.

This stands out to me because Brock Lesnar has been the face of SummerSlam ever since he returned to the promotion in 2012. Here is a list of the opponents he has battled every year since his return:

  • 2012: Triple H
  • 2013: CM Punk
  • 2014: John Cena
  • 2015: Undertaker
  • 2016: Randy Orton
  • 2017: Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns
  • 2018: Roman Reigns
  • 2019: Seth Rollins

Lesnar’s annual match at SummerSlam was the main event in every single year except in 2013, though I would argue his match against CM Punk that year was by far the best match on this list. This means Lesnar has main evented six consecutive SummerSlam events heading into 2020. Simply put, it feels very strange to have a SummerSlam event without Brock Lesnar on the card.

This begs the question, is this year’s SummerSlam card better or worse as a result of Lesnar’s absence? There are positives and negatives, but in my view the card would benefit overall from Lesnar’s presence.

First and foremost, Brock Lesnar being booked for SummerSlam would mean I get more Paul Heyman in my life. I’m a total sucker for Heyman’s mic work and almost always find him to be an engrossing figure when he’s performing on screen.

Second, Raw Underground is now a thing, and Brock Lesnar seems to fit in nicely with that concept. Maybe Brock could have been kept away from the championship scene and instead spent his time F5’ing Shane McMahon at SummerSlam, or getting his weak spot targeted by Dabba-Kato’s new finishing move.

Third, Brock Lesnar is the perfect guy to laugh at RETRIBUTION’s silly antics and annihilate them all by himself in a matter of seconds, instantly ending a storyline that is doomed for failure.

Fourth, Brock Lesnar vs. The Fiend sounds pretty interesting to me.

Fifth, we’ve already seen half of the SummerSlam card on television this month, and it desperately needs something different. Brock Lesnar is something different.

Of course there are potential downsides to Brock Lesnar being booked for SummerSlam, with the main one being that Vince McMahon can’t resist putting championship gold around his waist in shallow suplex spam matches. I’m rolling my eyes at the idea of Randy Orton being WWE champion in 2020, but it would be downright aggravating if WWE put the top title back around Lesnar’s waist right now. If Lesnar was booked for the SummerSlam card, this outcome would be a possibility.

What do you think, Cagesiders? Is this year’s SummerSlam card better or worse due to Brock Lesnar’s absence?

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