Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wrestling Six Packs: Opponents for Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series

The above relationship would be a perfect catalyst for a huge Brock Lesnar main event at Survivor Series
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Brock Lesnar is almost assuredly going to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion sometime before the fall sets in. Whether he does so at SummerSlam or Night of Champions, he most likely will be carrying the banner for WWE into WrestleMania XXXI in Northern California early next year. While he probably won't have the ubiquity of past Champions, he will certainly be around for a few title defenses. He'll more than likely defend at the Royal Rumble, maybe even against a returning Daniel Bryan. He'll be plunked into the Elimination Chamber match as a last shot for someone other him or the Royal Rumble winner to headline WrestleMania. But what about Survivor Series? The second-oldest pay-per-view on WWE's calendar provides a huge question mark for Lesnar's prospective opponent. A prospective third (technically fourth) match with John Cena, assuming a rematch is on the table for Night of Champions, seems boring but not out of WWE's purview at this point. Still, I have six options I'd like to see happen just a little more than a potential fourth in the series of clashes between the WWE's two resident titans.

1. Antonio Cesaro

To be frank, this match was the one I thought WWE should have built towards at SummerSlam. The counterargument is that Cesaro would have been "hurt" by such a short title reign. Firstly, reign length is immaterial if a story was there to be told, and secondly, losing a title to Brock Lesnar is nothing to be ashamed of. The tale of the two Paul Heyman guys clashing is still on the table for Survivor Series. WWE has the autumn to build Cesaro back up to the force he was post-WrestleMania, and honestly, no other wrestler on the roster aside from Cena is more intriguing an opponent for Lesnar. Forget the story implications for a second; Cesaro is a freakishly athletic, insanely strong wrestler who physically can match up against Lesnar with no questions asked from anyone watching. Not only would the bout be chock full of emotion and tension, but it would be a bona fide HOSS FIGHT in the annals of those elephant seal-like wrestlers slamming into each other for the fans' amusement.

2. Mark Henry

Henry and Lesnar would also produce one hell of a HOSS CLASH in a prospective main event. No wrestler projects as fearsome an aura as a motivated Mark Henry, not even Lesnar. The Hall of Pain has been on the shelf for far too long. Aside from in-ring thrashing, Henry has strong motivation to want to chase after Lesnar. At least twice, Lesnar has murked the World's Strongest Man without getting his receipt. Henry doesn't seem to be the kind of guy who forgets easily. Imagine the pop that will erupt when Henry finally shows he can back down the Beast Incarnate.

3. Undertaker

Like most observers, I was disappointed with the Lesnar/Undertaker match at WrestleMania this year. While I was more than happy to see The Streak end, the match itself fell way short of expectation. Part of that may have been due to a concussion that Taker suffered early on in the match. I know asking the old man to step into the ring for match NOT at Mania could be asking for a lot of trouble, but Taker and Lesnar have a natural rematch on the table. Obviously, the outcome would be in less doubt than the fate of a pizza in front of hungry middle schoolers at a birthday party, but rather than seeing these two face off at Mania again, I would rather they close the book at a different event, one with less scrutiny. Besides, the Streak rematch would put a lot of juice behind a pay-per-view that WWE has seen fall by the wayside a bit in past years.

4. Ryback

WWE right now is not only missing the boat on Ryback, it's missing the entire fleet. However, no one is unsalvageable, especially not someone as well-rounded and talented as The Ryback. Besides, what wrestler on the roster is as close to being a mirror to Lesnar as the former Skip Sheffield? Ryback is a cocky, muscular destroyer of faces, much like his cornfed, Jimmy John's-sponsored would-be counterpart. WWE would have to do some rehab work on his character, but Ryback is more than capable of getting back his mojo.

5. Dolph Ziggler

Speaking of getting back one's mojo, Ziggler has recently rededicated himself to finding his panache and flair, which makes him an attractive option to step into a World Championship-level feud with someone like Lesnar. He's the kind of brash show-off who exudes confidence. While that character might not play as well as a babyface against, say, Cena, it's the perfect kind of underdog to go against the juggernaut himself. Plus, Ziggler would bump his ass off for Lesnar in a main event setting. This match is made in wrestler heaven.

6. Dean Ambrose

Two different kinds of babyfaces thrive against the kind of death and destruction brought by Lesnar. Ziggler's bravado provides the first, but the unhinged crazy of Dean Ambrose would be the other kind of eminently likable and believable option against Lesnar. Who better to try and bring down The Beast with nothing but crazy eyes and a refusal to stay down than a guy who has hidden himself in trunks for long stretches of time just for the chance to exact payback on a former friend who jilted him? An Ambrose/Lesnar Survivor Series main event would be intensely unique and uniquely intense, and I would love every second of it from the time it was announced until the final bell.