Likely in a rush to capitalize on UFC 200, where Brock Lesnar went on to win his fight, WWE rushed out a segment on last week’s SmackDown announcing Randy Orton as The Beast Incarnate’s opponent at this year’s SummerSlam in August. The announcement was met with indifference from much of the internet wrestling community. I get why though. Orton has been out for months with injuries and announcing a return match during a pseudo-SportsCenter like segment is very un-WWE. Couple that with the fact that Orton seemed the logical choice since he is currently not on TV. This way, WWE doesn’t show their hands and give away any “brand extension” story lines until the last possible moment. Naming any other opponent for Lesnar that far in advance would cause more speculation about the draft and potentially give away a match result from this month’s Battleground PPV.
All that said, I quickly came up a with a short list of more compelling opponents for Brock Lesnar to face at SummerSlam over a returning Randy Orton.
5 Better SummerSlam Brock Lesnar Opponents
5. Roman ReignsGranted, Roman is out on suspension for violating the WWE Wellness Policy right now. I understand if WWE doesn’t want to go “business as usual”, keep Roman in the Battleground main event, and then pit him against Lesnar at SummerSlam. However, Reigns and Lesnar still have unfinished business dating back to WrestleMania 31. Sure, Seth Rollins saved the day by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract during that match. But, I know I’d like to see an improved Roman Reigns and Lesnar square off down the road. Maybe this year’s SummerSlam isn’t the time to do that based on circumstances. At the very least, it wouldn’t be hard to justify having Reigns challenge Lesnar to a match somewhere down the line; citing unfinished business.
4. Bray WyattI always feel that the Wyatt Family is one well booked feud away from finally breaking out of the box WWE has kept them in. WWE started this feud back at the Royal Rumble, but then either due to Wyatt’s injury problems or just random booking decisions behind the scenes, their WrestleMania match was scrapped. Bray Wyatt getting over on Lesnar in some capacity could be that “thing” that finally allows Wyatt to ascend to the next tier. Not to mention the whole concept of a swamp wizard messing with a real life MMA badass could create some compelling television. With Wyatt healthy right now, it seemed like an opportune time to stoke the flames up in this program again. I guess WWE disagrees.
3. AJ StylesAJ Styles is another guy that is in need of a high-profile match or two to solidify himself and The Club as a top heel faction in the WWE. Whether he gets that from the current John Cena feud remains to be seen. A The Club vs. Lesnar feud seems like a decent way to use some of those precious Lesnar dates and get The Club over in the process. Imagine a scenario where Lesnar gets the best of all three members of the Club, but a debuting Finn Balor turns the tide for his friends and helps AJ get a cheap victory over Lesnar at SummerSlam. Considering AJ likely only has a few more years left in the business, I do hope we get to see a Styles / Lesnar match before it is too late.
2. Seth RollinsMuch like with Roman Reigns, Lesnar and Seth Rollins have unfinished business that goes back to WrestleMania 31. Rollins cashes in, effectively steals Lesnar’s title, and Lesnar then gets “suspended”. Lesnar returns and instead of focusing on winning his title back from Seth Rollins, he gets embroiled in that largely unnecessary feud with the Undertaker. With Rollins now back from injury rehab, it seems like another great time to involve Lesnar in Rollins’ life again. I get why this most likely did not happen for SummerSlam, because it would potentially give away the Battleground main event result… but would it really? Book the match between Rollins and Lesnar for SummerSlam. If you’re booking Rollins to beat Ambrose at Battleground, then suddenly Lesnar finds himself in a title match. If not, you’ve got a match between Rollins and Lesnar that would still be great. Just look at the Royal Rumble triple threat from 2015 as evidence of how great a Rollins / Lesnar match could potentially be.
1. Shinsuke NakamuraWhile this would be more of a page out of the NXT playbook, giving Shinsuke Nakamura his main roster debut in a SummerSlam match versus Lesnar would surely be a spectacle. Nakamura’s charisma speaks for itself and he does have a MMA background as well. Not only would this be an epic way to introduce The King Of Strong Style to the WWE Universe, it’d likely be a stiff as Hell, fun match to watch. These guys even faced off before in New Japan a decade ago. If WWE wants to get really edgy they could build up the Lesnar win in 2006 as part of the feud here and actually mention New Japan history. I do hope at some point in Nakamura’s WWE run that he does cross paths with Lesnar. The whole concept just seems like a way for WWE to print money.
Did I miss someone? Do you think Orton is the perfect Lesnar opponent for SummerSlam? Sound off in the comments!