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Brock Lesnar's opponent for Summerslam, WWE's second biggest event of the year, will be revealed this Thursday on Smackdown.
The news will most likely filter through on Tuesday as that is when Smackdown is taped, before it airs a couple of days later. There is plenty of intrigue as to who will square off against the Beast Incarnate - after all there are only a select few on the WWE roster who have enough about them to challenge such a conquering force.
Should Lesnar win his upcoming UFC return fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 200 on Saturday, he will be white-hot going into the Summerslam event in Brooklyn, New York - the same place where he dueled with the Undertaker last year.
If he is unsuccessful, many people will question Brock's drawing power and overall appeal going into the big event, but he's clearly not fazed. When posed that exact question on a UFC conference call, his response was "I really don't give a s**t".
One thing is for sure, is that Lesnar's opponent must be big for it to be announced so far in advance as well as the fact that there aren't many people who could put up a fight against someone who screams legitimacy when it comes to wrestling/sports entertainment.
But who exactly will be selected to lock horns with a man whose last clean loss in WWE was three years ago? Here is a look at some of the options.
First off, we have the eerie Bray Wyatt, who seemed destined to take on Lesnar at this year's Wrestlemania. Wyatt, flanked by his sheep (literally), ambushed Lesnar in the build up the Royal Rumble back in January before eliminating the beast from the match, after he had already dealt with them. But 'the eater of worlds' appeared to be suffering from a back injury and plans changed, instead Lesnar destroyed Dean Ambrose infront of 100,000 people in Dallas. Lesnar was pencilled in to face Wyatt at a special event in March, but the match was then changed to a handicap match against Wyatt and his ally Luke Harper resulting in no altercation between the two, as Wyatt never entered the ring.
This match-up is still very fresh and there have been murmurs that Lesnar would like to work with Wyatt, a complex character who could play off Lesnar extremely well.
Few people can match Brock Lesnar's athleticism, raw power and freakish strength. One man who can challenge those physical qualities is Cesaro, who may well be, pound-for-pound, the strongest man on the WWE roster. Every time he steps into that ring, he delivers. His name has been floating around for a couple of years as someone who could knock off Lesnar, but for different reasons, the two have never met, even though Heyman served as an advocate for 'the Swiss Superman' for a period in 2014.
Currently, Cesaro may not be presented as a main event talent but he could certainly hang with Lesnar if given the chance. With this one, there's potential to create something special in the ring.
There aren't many dream matches left in WWE these days, but that is certainly on the bucket list of fans is Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton. The two have met once before, but at a time where the two were just starting off in sports entertainment. Now, in 2016, a program between these two future hall of famers would be a breath of fresh air. Lesnar thrives off competition and they don't come much better than the Viper - a 12-time world champion. Orton is scheduled to return imminently and seeing him in action against an in-demand Brock Lesnar at Summerslam is money. Just imagine Orton reversing Lesnar's trusted F5 into a deadly RKO... Oosh.
Kevin Owens consistently kills it on a weekly basis, he is incredibly versatile and makes work of anything given to him by WWE. Anything he does is must-see. A match with Lesnar is also must-see and would be a great way to elevate former NXT Champion Owens, who is more than deserving of the match. In fact, he has been lobbying for it for quite some time. Fans got a tease of Lesnar and Owens back in January and it's a match that definitely needs to happen at some point. It's unlikely to happen in August's summer extravaganza but a Owens-Lesnar feud would be pure gold both on the microphone, with Owens engaging in verbal battles with Paul Heyman and then looking to match the intensity that Brock brings in the ring.
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar have unfinished business together, they slugged it out in Wrestlemania 31 main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship before they were both robbed by Seth Rollins, who successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. The build-up for that match was flat but the match was anything but, all that was lacking as a definitive outcome. Both men were in a triple threat match for the right to take on Triple H for the same prize at Wrestlemania 32, where Reigns prevailed by pinning Dean Ambrose. A second bout between the two will definitely happen, but with Reigns' recent suspension, will it happen at Summerslam? Who knows.
I'm not normally a big fan of bringing back old-timers for one match, but the story is already there for another contest between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. The last time they met was in the main event of Wrestlemania 20 but it didn't deliver as both men were unmotivated and on their way out of the company. A rematch has been speculated for a long time and recent activity with WWE 2K17 has only fueled the rumours - Goldberg is the pre-order bonus for the game while Lesnar is the cover star for the game.
Goldberg is approaching 50 but has talked about the prospect of having one last match. A war with familiar foe Brock Lesnar at Summerslam might just be what the doctor ordered. Spears and suplexes galore if this one happens.
Words by Josh Lawless
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