Brock Lesnar is one of the most important performers in all of World Wrestling Entertainment. While it’s not known yet whether he’ll appear on Raw or SmackDown once the brand extension is in place, it remains obvious that he will be a focal point of whatever show he’s on. Granted, he works a light schedule with about 20-25 dates per year, but when he’s out there it’s fair to say that WWE usually makes good use of his talents.
As a once in a generation two sport star that has had success in both MMA and WWE, Lesnar is also one of the most expensive wrestlers that WWE has. He asked for a lot of money and WWE is happy to pay him well into the millions because in their mind he’s worth it. It’s pretty easy to find a 5’10” 200 pound wrestler to take bumps because they are everywhere. A guy like Brock, with his incredible credentials, is rare. That’s why it’s smart for WWE to continue to book him in a strong way.
Lesnar is in a unique spot since he’s set to fight at the UFC 200 event in July, which is one month before his next WWE match at SummerSlam. Assuming he’s healthy for SummerSlam, the big question is who will he face? That likely won’t be known until we are closer to the show. There are a lot of good options, though.
For the sake of the column, the only names included will be those men considered active wrestlers. That’s why there are no fantasy matches involving retired guys like Steve Austin or Shawn Michaels on here. A guy like Kurt Angle isn’t under a WWE deal, so again that would be more of a fantasy thing rather than something that is realistic.
Here are ten names that Lesnar should face and five opponents we don’t need to see Lesnar in the ring with again.
17 Wrestlers That Brock Lesnar Should Face
16 Randy Orton
When Lesnar started in the wrestling business, he trained with some big names in Ohio Valley Wrestling like John Cena, Batista and Randy Orton. While he worked with Cena a lot, he never had a match with Batista on the big stage and the same goes for Orton. With Batista focusing on his movie career, a Lesnar match with Orton makes a lot of sense.
It would be an easy match to set up due to their training history from 15 years ago and their status as two guys that have accomplished so much in WWE since they started. Why not put them together and let the crowd decide who to root for?
There have been rumors over the years that Orton doesn’t want to do the match because of his long history of shoulder injuries. The idea of taking bumps on his head and shoulders due to Lesnar’s suplexes is not something that appeals to Orton, which makes a lot of sense. If it doesn’t happen, perhaps that rumor is true after all.
This match should have happened in 2014. Following WrestleMania 30 with Lesnar sitting on the sidelines for a couple of months, Paul Heyman announced that Cesaro was the next “Paul Heyman Guy.” It was WWE’s way of giving Cesaro a credible manager that could talk for him since Cesaro wasn’t known as the best talker in the business. When Lesnar came back, Heyman’s association with Cesaro ended without any kind of angle or closure. They just stopped appearing on screen together.
Picking up this story would make a lot of sense this year or down the road because Cesaro could talk about how he was a Heyman Guy, then he could say Heyman stopped believing in him (in a storyline sense) and because of that he wants a match with Lesnar to prove he’s the better man. The crowd would eat it up and they would definitely have a great match because that’s what Cesaro does with everybody.
14 Finn Balor
There’s a lot of anticipation about when Finn Balor might get called up to WWE’s main roster and who he might feud with once he gets there. A match with Lesnar is something WWE should consider down the line. If they did it right away it could be damaging to Balor’s character because Lesnar’s booked at such a high level most of the time. It would be better if they built up the match over time as a way for Balor to prove to the world that he’s capable of beating a guy at Brock’s level.
Balor’s style is similar to CM Punk in that he’s a smaller guy, but he’s also hard hitting with a lot of strikes in his offensive game. Lesnar’s match with Punk at SummerSlam 2013 was one of the best matches that Lesnar had. He dominated much of the match although Punk got in a lot of offense and nearly won before Lesnar finished him off. Based on Balor’s athleticism and style, he’s definitely somebody that could have a similar great match with Lesnar.
13 Roman Reigns
Reigns faced Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 31 which was one of the best matches in the careers of both men. It was also a match without a clear winner because Seth Rollins showed up with the Money in the Bank briefcase and left with the WWE Title. The match left us wanting more and here we are over a year later without a rematch.
Lesnar brings out the best in a guy like Reigns because they both wrestle a physical style and they’re athletic guys. Reigns has his haters, but he’s really proven to be quite capable against all different types of wrestlers. Not only can Reigns take the punishment that Lesnar dishes out, he can also give it back to him in a big way. It’s what made that WrestleMania 31 match so good in the first place.
They will probably have a rematch at some point in the next year or two. It would be foolish not to do the match again.
12 Bray Wyatt
During this year’s Royal Rumble match, Lesnar eliminated three members of the Wyatt Family: Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman. Then Bray Wyatt entered the match, the other three guys went back into the ring to eliminate Lesnar and that was it for him in the Rumble. It was supposed to lead a match at WrestleMania, but that plan changed. Is it going to happen? Nobody really knows.
A big reason why WWE wanted to do the match in the first place is because Wyatt is perceived to be a big star, or at least he should be. He’s got the kind of look and body type that really differentiates him from the others. They could have easily told a story where Lesnar gets beat up by the Wyatt Family and keeps coming back until he finally beats Wyatt. Maybe WWE pulled the plug since they didn’t want Wyatt losing another feud.
As is usually the case in WWE, just because something got cancelled doesn’t mean it will be forever. Look for WWE to set up that Wyatt vs. Lesnar match at some point later this year or next year because it’s obvious it would be a good match.
11 Shinsuke Nakamura
There’s something special about Nakamura. Ever since he debuted in NXT on WrestleMania weekend he has built up a massive following thanks to his spectacular entrance, his unique style in the ring and his natural charisma that nobody else currently in WWE can touch. It’s just really easy to like this guy because he stands out from the pack not just because he’s Japanese, but because he acts different in a good way.
Lesnar actually faced Nakamura before, about ten years ago in Japan. It was at a point in Lesnar’s career where he wrestled a few matches in Japan. Nakamura was in his early 20s at that point and wasn’t the polished wrestler that he is now. That match was cool back then, but it would be off the charts today because of their status as WWE stars.
Out of every possible Lesnar opponent there is, this is the one that could produce the best match. It would be even better if Lesnar was the heel against the face Nakamura because then the crowd would be into it more. With Lesnar as a face, it may not have as much heat as it possibly could.
10 Samoa Joe
The current NXT Champion Samoa Joe has done a fantastic job this year in transitioning from a traditional baby face to a dominant heel champion. He’s the guy that has been built up so well by WWE that it’s going to be hard for anybody to beat him. Heel champions often times are booked to be lucky (see Charlotte) rather than good. In Joe’s case, he looks like he belongs as the champion of the NXT brand.
A matchup between Joe and Lesnar would work so well because of the styles they both bring into the ring. Joe is one of the most physical wrestlers in WWE. When he chops, punches or kicks a guy it looks like it hurts. His offense is very believable. Lesnar falls under that same believable category, so that’s why it would work so well.
It’s also a bit of a dream match for a lot of fans too. It just feels like one of those matchups that would really work no matter who the face or heel was.
9 Kevin Owens
Owens is one of the best opponents for Lesnar because he’s a loudmouth that thinks he’s better than everybody else. He’s the kind of guy that is going to talk smack the entire match and when the baby face wrestler like Lesnar gets the comeback against him, it will shut Owens up while making the crowd happy.
It would be a lot of fun to hear Owens doing promos against Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman as well. Owens is arguably the best talker among the wrestlers, so having him in a verbal spat with Heyman would be a lot of fun to watch.
In terms of the match, it would be interesting to see if Lesnar would want to take some of the moves that Owens does. His offense is unique and some guys may not like it, especially somebody at Lesnar’s level. Most likely they would get along great, though. It would be a lot of fun to watch.
8 Seth Rollins
The main event of Battleground in July 15 was Rollins defending the WWE Title against Lesnar. It was a highly anticipated match that ended up as a disappointment because they only got about ten minutes and The Undertaker showed up to attack Lesnar leading to a non-finish. What it did was it left us wanting more. Their other brig match was at Royal Rumble 2015, but that was a three way that also included John Cena.
Considering that Rollins is the best heel in WWE that is also somebody that the company wants to build around for the future, Lesnar is probably the best opponent he could have right now. The fans love Lesnar, but if Rollins is able to hold his own with him and show that he’s on the same level it will give Rollins a new level of respect while possibly making Rollins a good guy in the long term.
It’s a no brainer to do this match. It’s just a matter of when it happens again.
7 AJ Styles
Lesnar works really well with smaller wrestlers and there’s no better little man for him to be in the ring with than AJ Styles. What’s cool about a match like this is that they could do it where Lesnar was in the face role that he’s currently in while Styles is in the heel role he’s in or they could reverse roles and it would be good that way too. They are such incredibly gifted performers that no matter what they were booked as, they would make it work.
This is something of a dream match for a lot of people simply because of where Styles spent the majority of his career. He just came to WWE earlier this year. He wrestles the kind of style that brings out the best in Lesnar because Lesnar could throw him around the ring and Styles would sell everything perfectly. Plus, Styles’ offense is so good that Lesnar likely would have no problem selling for him.
Above all else, Styles may be the guy that gives Lesnar the best match possible. Let’s hope it happens.
6 Wrestlers That Brock Lesnar Shouldn’t Face
5 John Cena
The Lesnar/Cena rivalry has been an interesting one because it started when Lesnar was the top guy and Cena was trying to topple him back in 2003. Nine years later, they went at it again with Cena beating Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2012. Then Lesnar dismantled Cena at SummerSlam 2014 in one of the most dominant performances ever. They had matches after that, including a triple threat at the 2015 Royal Rumble, but should they do it again?
There comes a point where matches are too repetitive to the point that the value of the match is gone. That’s what has happened here. Perhaps if Cena was to win a record 16th World Title there might be more interest in seeing them have a match to see if he can beat Lesnar, but they are at a point in their careers where if it never happens again it’s probably a good thing.
Cena vs. Lesnar has been done enough. Both guys should move on to other opponents.
4 Braun Strowman
In WWE’s eyes, a guy like Strowman is a potential future main eventer that can fill the void of a giant that will be empty when Big Show, Kane and Undertaker finally retire. They see star power in him, so with that in mind they may want to put him against Lesnar as a way to show he belongs.
It would be a bad move to have Strowman in a match with Lesnar because Lesnar isn’t the kind of face wrestler that sells a lot of moves to put the heel over as a powerhouse. Strowman would be better off facing smaller guys. Lesnar’s booked as a strongman in WWE. Having him try to sell Strowman’s poor offense would lead to a boring match that would likely lead to a dead crowd. It’s best to avoid doing this match unless Strowman shows a lot of improvement in the next two years.
3 The Rock
It sounds like a dream match, right? Lesnar against The Rock for the first time since he beat him for the WWE Title at SummerSlam 2002 when Lesnar was just 25 years old. There were rumors that WWE wanted to do it at WrestleMania 30 in 2014, but there was no match. In the past couple of years, there has been news about how movie companies don’t want Rock having a match because of the injuries he suffered in 2012 and 2013. It makes sense considering The Rock is 44 years old.
If The Rock faced Lesnar in a major match, would he be able to avoid injury? It’s hard to know for sure, but the older you get the more injury prone you become and when a guy is as muscular as The Rock, he’s also more likely to get injured. The guess here is that The Rock’s last match was at WrestleMania 29 because the older he gets, the less likely it is that he’ll be put in a match again.
2 Triple H
One of the stupidest booking decisions that WWE made during Lesnar’s return was losing to Triple H at WrestleMania 29. Just because Lesnar was the heel, WWE felt the need to put Triple H over since Lesnar beat him at SummerSlam 2012. Having Lesnar lose that match was one of the most damaging losses of his career. While Lesnar won their next match at Extreme Rules 2013, we all know that WrestleMania is way more important.
There’s no reason to do this match again. While Triple H may wrestle well into his 50s and even beyond (just like father-in-law Vince McMahon), they should put him up against younger wrestlers that he can put over. Another match with Lesnar really doesn’t excite anybody at this point. It would just be a case of Hunter’s ego taking over.
Lesnar’s a veteran that should be working with the younger talent just like veterans worked with him when he was the new “kid” on the block. Another match with Triple H would be a bad idea.
1 The Undertaker
It could be argued that the most famous match that Brock Lesnar ever had was at WrestleMania 30 against The Undertaker. When he ended Undertaker’s streak to become “the one in 21-1” it elevated Lesnar to another level. It took over a year for The Undertaker to get revenge, which led to major matches at SummerSlam 2015 (an Undertaker cheap win) and then Lesnar ended things in their Hell in a Cell 2015 match.
There’s no reason to do the match again because we’ve seen it happen so many times going back all the way to 2002 when Lesnar was a WWE Champion for the first time. Plus, we really don’t know how many matches The Undertaker has left at this point now that he’s 51 years old. If he’s going to wrestle again, a likely opponent is John Cena just because it hasn’t been done on a big stage.
If you want to see Undertaker vs. Lesnar again, too bad. Put on WWE Network and find one of their matches there because it’s not going to happen again.