It’s official. The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, has retired from MMA and has re-signed with the WWE, as announced in this surprisingly endearing ESPN interview.
There’s generally a stigma among current wrestling fans with regards to part time performers being in the main event, “stealing” spots from guys who bust their butts on Vince’s grueling regular schedule, but Lesnar has sidestepped a lot of that criticism. It’s frustrating to not have your top title on every Raw, but letting Lesnar remain a special attraction has made his appearances feel really special, and despite his excellent heel work, getting to see the man slowly fall back in love with the art of pro wrestling has made him something of a fan favorite.
Now that we know this Sunday’s Wrestlemania won’t be his last, we took to Twitter to ask fans what matches we want to see Brock wrestle. We compiled the list and have divided the prospective proponents into groups based on the likelihood of these dream matches becoming reality. Let’s begin!
The Sure Things
The one match we can pretty much bet on is Brock vs The Rock at Wrestlemania 32. Whether or not it’ll be for the title is kind of besides the point, as this match would be a license to print money. Would it necessarily be any good? I doubt it. The Rock is a lot better at being a movie star than a wrestler these days, but I’d pay to see him get german suplex’d an obscene number of times.
Another no brainer is the Daniel Bryan “David & Goliath” bout everyone but the higher ups seems to want. It’s not quite as set in stone as The Rock’s eventual comeback, but I refuse to believe we live in a world where Brock is under contract for the near future and doesn’t cross paths with the leader of the Yes! Movement.
This one might be a bit of a dark horse, but I’m DYING to see Brock mix it up with Randy Orton (aka #DAGAWDRANDYORTON) and depending on what happens with Roman Reigns come Sunday, this one could come sooner rather than later. Orton’s shown in the last year and a half how great he is in the ring when properly motivated, and he’s going to need a good foil once this Authority feud wraps up. Why not his former OVW colleague Brock Lesnar?
Also, if you think we’re not somehow going to get Brock vs Rusev, you’re severely wrong. The “1 in 21-1” up against the best monster heel WWE has built up in ages? That’s the type of shit that writes itself.
The Wishful Thinkings
In a perfect world, the opponents lined up for Brock won’t just be based on marquee booking possibilities, but on pure in-ring entertainment as well. With Brock’s special standing, used primarily on big PPVs, he’ll most likely only be engaging in Big Fish feuds, but imagine a world where he occasionally gets to mix it up on Raw. You wouldn’t want to do it more than a few times, otherwise you’d waste the prestige of him being a unique attraction. Let’s say we could occasionally throw him at the end of a special Raw or two.
Can you imagine Lesnar going ten minutes of TV time with Luke Harper, one of the best big men workers in the world right now? Or having a Hoss Apocalypse with Sheamus? Hell, I’d even like to see him get in there with The Big Guy Ryback, assuming Mr. Reeves doesn’t accidentally injure Vince’s meal ticket or anything. Don’t even get me started on Cesaro. In a better timeline, he’d be in the upper tier of guys who could potentially headline ‘Mania with Brock, but, with his current place in the company, it doesn’t seem in the cards. Still, Brock in the Giant Swing? Priceless.
The Pipe Dreams
Now, each contender on this quadrant of the list has a major contingency that would have to occur for their respective dream matches to come to fruition.
For Kevin Owens, all he’ll really have to do is keep going full steam ahead at the rate he’s been going since debuting in NXT, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll become a legitimate enough presence on the main roster to warrant sharing a ring with Brock before his new contract is up.
For Samoa Joe, he has to officially sign with the WWE as an active wrestler and not a Performance Center trainer, and then maybe make it to the main roster with a ferocious quickness. (This might also require Vince McMahon’s untimely demise)
For Sami Zayn, much the same situation as his frienemy Owens, only Hell might also have to freeze over. If it did, though, expect the kind of underdog battle you’d get from Lesnar/Bryan but with an even steeper hill for the babyface to climb. Anyone who saw Zayn lose the NXT Title at Takeover can imagine how much sympathy he could elicit from the crowd taking all of those german suplexes.
The Long Shots
This is strictly Hail Mary territory, but what if Stone Cold Steve Austin came back for One More Match at Wrestlemania and had it against the kid he refused to put over in a King of The Ring qualifying match back in 2002? Austin didn’t want to burn what could be a serious money match off on Monday Night Raw back then, but in the ensuing 13 years, I can’t think of a headlining bout that would get more asses in seats.
Hell, while we’re throwing pennies into wishing wells, Kurt Angle still wants to end his career back home with the WWE. Who better to have a retirement match than the man he’s shared legitimate classics with?
And if he ever gets tired of living it up in Hollywood, maybe Batista would like a go at another wrestler turned MMA enthusiast.
The sky is the limit and in the crazy world of professional wrestling, anything is possible. Hell, maybe we’ll finally get Punk/Lesnar II…