On one historic day in professional wrestling (and really, pop culture as a whole), The Undertaker's legendary undefeated streak was conquered by The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar, at WrestleMania XXX. Fanatic diehards, casual onlookers, and any outsiders with the slightest of familiarity with The Demon from Death Valley were all stunned and disappointed to see his 21 year old streak come to an end. Social media and even major news outlets all mourned The Deadman's loss and basked in the dominance that Brock displayed that night. His accolades accomplished in both UFC and his initial 2002-04 WWE run were enough turn Lesnar into a mega-star, but being the 1 in 21-1 solidified Lesnar's career as something that will be talked about for decades to come. Brock Lesnar used the momentum of defeating The Undertaker to go on an undefeated streak of his own (apart from Undertaker getting his win back at Summerslam 2015 under shady circumstances).
Some may argue that Lesnar suffering losses to John Cena and Triple H upon his 2012 return dampen this new streak of his, but regardless, he has been slaughtering every opponent put in front of him ever since beating Taker at Mania. For the last couple of years, Brock Lesnar has taken the likes of John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns to Suplex City. However, as with all streaks, Brock Lesnar's streak is bound to come to an end and Suplex City will one day inevitably burn to the ground.
With him being at the top of WWE's food chain at the minute, a win against Brock Lesnar can do wonders for anyone's career. WWE know that and have been tremendously careful about protecting Lesnar and his streak, waiting for the right person and moment to break it. 2017 could prove to be the right moment, but there still leaves a question mark in the air as far as who should be the right person. With Brock Lesnar's growing interest in a full time comeback to the octagon after his brief return this year against Mark Hunt, he could pack his bags from WWE at any time. If WWE want a new star to emerge following a win against Lesnar, they have to pull the trigger fast. At the time of this writing, Brock Lesnar is scheduled to face a returning Bill Goldberg at this Sunday's Survivor Series event and many have predicted Goldberg to win. Just in case Goldberg is not the 1 to beat the 1 in 23-1, here are a few names on WWE's roster who should.
15 AJ Styles
At this year's Royal Rumble in January, AJ Styles shocked the world by finally appearing on WWE soil. 9 months later, he won the WWE Championship; becoming the first wrestler to win world titles in WWE, TNA, and NJPW. Reaching WWE's upper echelon in a relatively short time span, it seems that WWE have enough faith in Styles to go all the way with his push. Maybe, just maybe, they also have faith in him to be the one to beat Brock Lesnar. Considered by many to be the greatest wrestler in the world today, it would be fitting for Styles to not only face the man who some consider the greatest fighter in the world, but defeat him as well. The only thing stopping Styles from being chosen to beat Lesnar is that Styles doesn't really need the win. He's made himself a top star in every company he's wrestled in and while a win over Lesnar may make a select few people more aware as to who Styles is, he's already hugely popular and a win won't elevate his company status much higher than it already is. With that in mind, vanquishing The Beast would just be another nice accolade for The Phenomenal One.
14 Roman Reigns
Apart from being the least popular choice on this list, there are several reasons against Roman Reigns defeating Brock Lesnar. When WWE originally wanted Reigns to beat Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 to christen him as the new face of the company, the fans turned on it. Going into the show, WWE tried to book them as two gladiators on equal footing who would finally collide in the main event of Wrestlemania, but the fans weren't buying it. WWE had no choice but to book Lesnar to ragdoll Reigns like a child in the ring for almost 15 minutes straight until Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and stole Reigns' thunder. Despite Reigns improving tremendously in the ring over the past couple years, most fans still don't want to see Reigns as the face of WWE. However, if WWE ever decided to pull the trigger on turning Reigns heel, then going through Brock is the way to go. The crowd reaction to Reigns beating Brock would be the equivalent to the thought of John Cena ending Undertaker's streak. No one wants to see it, but if WWE feed into that infectious crowd response, it could make a top heel out of The Big Dog.
13 Big Cass
While he's currently enjoying a tag team run with his buddy Enzo Amore, Big Cass is guaranteed to have a top role as a singles star whenever he makes the transition. Although we cannot comment on his in-ring work due to the fact it's been mostly limited to hot-tag comebacks, he has proven to be solid on the mic. Earlier this year when he had to go a few weeks without his partner following Enzo's injury, Cass impressed many with his mic chops as a singles star. If 2017 sees Cass shine in the ring as well, we may see a Big Cass singles run sooner rather than later. We may also see Cass in the running to face Lesnar. Thanks to the size of Cass alone, it goes without saying that Vince McMahon wants to one day push Cass as a top star. A win over The Beast would instantly make Cass the star that Vince wants him to be. Don't be surprised if we see it in 2017.
12 Hideo Itami
When he first entered WWE through NXT in 2014, Hideo Itami (formerly international superstar, KENTA) was hyped up as one of the biggest signings in WWE history. It was widely predicted that his WWE career would take off soon enough and with plenty of success. Since then, he's been in a rut of sorts. A slew of badly timed injuries has halted many of his planned pushes. These injuries have also kept Itami down in NXT for the better part of two years, where he'll likely stay thanks to his latest injury that will have him on the shelf until early 2017. These untimely injuries may have earned Itami a backstage reputation with being injury prone and has certainly stalled much of his momentum. However, if WWE can look past that, then perhaps a win for the International Sensation against The Anomaly would make up for years worth of lost momentum.
11 Seth Rollins
Since returning from injury this year, WWE has been slowly building towards making Seth Rollins the face of their company (or at least Monday Night Raw). The only problem is that before he can be taken seriously as the top star, he must defeat the top star: Brock Lesnar. As Ric Flair always famously said, "To be the man, you've gotta beat the man." If WWE wants us to see Seth Rollins as "The Man" he always calls himself and the new face of their show, then he first must defeat WWE's biggest box office draw, Brock Lesnar. The last time the two squared off at Battleground 2015, the crowd rooted for a heel Rollins' fiery babyface comeback but alas, thanks to interference from The Undertaker, the match ended without a proper winner. If WWE were to revisit this feud sometime next year and the company is still serious about making The Architect a top face, then Rollins needs to be the one to burn Suplex City to the ground.
For anyone who has not been watching NXT as of late, a new mysterious stable debuted in Orlando last month under the name Sanity. The group features a few psychotic rookies in Nikki Cross, Alexander Wolfe, and Sawyer Fulton all led by the ex-TNA star, Eric Young. The four have the potential to be a fresh, interesting main event stable whenever they reach the main roster if booked properly. Imagine how high their status would be if they defeated Brock Lesnar in some sort of handicap or gauntlet match. They would truly be a force to be reckoned with. If this were to happen, this would be a win-win situation for all competitors involved. If Sanity were to topple The Beast Incarnate, Sanity gets an impressive victory without taking too much away from Lesnar. Lesnar (or Heyman, more appropriately) could make an excuse that he had the numbers disadvantage. That way, Lesnar maintains most of his star power while creating new stars in Sanity.
9 Baron Corbin
Since arriving to NXT in 2012 and now to the main roster the night after Wrestlemania 32, Baron Corbin has slowly been improving his repertoire as a wrestler. The 3 time Golden Gloves Champion and former NFL footballer has been slowly rising through the ranks of WWE and before he can reach the top, he may need a win over Brock Lesnar. Not only would a win against Brock Lesnar do wonders for Corbin's career, it would also help legitimize the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. WWE never capitalized on the momentum that previous winners, Cesaro and Big Show, got from winning the match and thus the battle royal just feels like a filler match for Mania. Although, if this year's winner was elevated above the level of Brock Lesnar, it raises the stakes a bit in terms of making the ATGMBR a match where future winners are guaranteed to move on to become future megastars, much in the same vain as King of the Ring.
8 Finn Balor
Speaking of kings, the Demon King himself should be in contention to face and defeat Brock Lesnar. Most importantly, Finn Balor's Demon must conquer the Beast. Finn Balor is already primed to be one of Monday Night Raw's top stars whenever he returns from his shoulder injury, but a win against Brock Lesnar not only would help elevate Balor beyond brands, but elevate his Demon persona. Since debuting the attire in NXT back in 2014, WWE has been trying to get across that whenever Balor brings out The Demon, he's virtually unbeatable. A win over someone who is just as virtually impossible to beat as Lesnar is would certainly be the perfect way to emphasize the importance of Demon Balor. Whenever Brock gets inside of a wrestling ring, fans know immediately that bad things are going to happen and someone is going to get hurt. If he were to defeat the Beast while decked out in his signature war paint, Demon Balor could generate the same feeling and create a new box office superstar.
I feel like this is when I've lost the majority of my audience. Wait! Come back! I can explain!
Yes, Kalisto isn't exactly a believable choice, but everyone loves an underdog. It's a story as old as time and no matter the circumstances, watching David trample Goliath will always receive an incredible reaction. A Kalisto-Lesnar scenario would be no different and there wouldn't be a soul in the arena who wouldn't be actively rooting to see Kalisto get the victory. If anyone's worried that Lesnar wouldn't be keen on losing to a 170lb luchador, just remember that this is the same guy who said he "really don't give a shit" how losing could affect his drawing power. As long as he's getting paid, Lesnar may be willing to lay down for anybody. Plus, WWE has been looking for their next Mexican star. They're already in dire need of one following Alberto Del Rio's second departure from the company. Kalisto receiving a huge push following a win over a huge star like Lesnar would surely make Kalisto into WWE's next Mexican megastar instantly.
5 Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe has been one of the more popular choices for Brock Lesnar to eat a pin from, and with good reason. For the better part of his career, Joe has always been booked as a ruthless monster much in the same vain as Brock has been booked in the past couple years. His presence gives off this essence of a Samoan badass who doesn't give a damn if he cripples his opponents as long as he comes out as the victor when it's all said and done. Again, that's Lesnar in a nutshell. A match between these two would be fantasy warfare in the making. The two of their movesets against each other could complement each other for a brutal, submission based match. While the Samoan Submission Machine made a big enough name for himself on a global scale that it can be argued that Joe doesn't need a win over Lesnar to validate his star status, if WWE wanted someone who came off as a legit contender against Lesnar, Joe is one of the better options.
4 Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura has already made a name for himself overseas in international markets, but he still needs a nudge to make him a household commodity in American markets now that he's made it to WWE. Of course, that isn't saying that Nakamura is some completely unknown export in America. It's just that most of Nakamura's American fanbase belongs to niche hardcore fans and niche products don't sell very well. Global ones do and the best way to make Nakamura a global commodity is from a win over Brock Lesnar. Not only will it guarantee a lot more eyes on Nakamura from the United States, but it'll come off as a believable win thanks to Nakamura's MMA background. While far from physically imposing, Nakamura can match Lesnar in wrestling based offense. The two actually faced off about a decade ago in NJPW with Lesnar taking the W. Therefore, there's a story there of Nakamura getting his win back, which could lead to an even more exciting rubber match.
Cesaro may not look like the most physically imposing threat to Brock Lesnar's streak, but in terms of sheer strength alone, Cesaro would be a believable adversary to topple The Beast. Not to mention that thanks to the two superstar's connection to Paul Heyman, the story writes itself on paper. The man who Heyman failed as a manager versus The Conqueror who Heyman marketed to the top of the food chain. The only thing stopping Cesaro from being booked in such a marquee match is his lack of charisma. His clunky mic skills have made WWE hesitant of pushing him over the past few years, but in a "New Era" which seems to focus more on the sports side of sports entertainment, WWE cherishes wrestling ability more than ever. Given his excellent in-ring prowess, a mega-push could still be in the cards for The King of Swing and what better way to introduce Cesaro's coming out party than by having him mow through a juggernaut like Brock Lesnar. A win over Lesnar would easily hotshot Cesaro into the main event role that fans so desperately want to see him in.
3 Big E
Big E is one of the few men on the WWE roster who looks like they can physically match Brock Lesnar in a contest. WWE must have realized this as well given how a couple years ago when The New Day were brutalized by Lesnar at Beast in the East, Big E was the only one unharmed. The two merely had a staredown before Big E left his buddies hanging and walked to the back. WWE have protected Big E as a powerhouse competitor for much of his career so they must see the potential in Big E as a singles star. Most importantly, given the staredown at the Japan live event, WWE see potential in a Big E vs Lesnar match. As one of the better big men wrestlers that WWE have produced, there's no doubt that Big E has the skill to get a great match out of Lesnar. If WWE were to have Big E pack his Booty-O's out of The New Day and into a singles career, having him demolish Suplex City would be the perfect way to make Big E a big singles star.
2 Braun Strowman
When he first arrived to WWE as the new strongman of the Wyatt Family, Braun Strowman was instantly built up as a force to be reckoned with. WWE has made it clear as day that they are keen on making Strowman their next top monster heel. In all likelyhood, he may have the longevity to do just that. Just barely over a year since his debut, Strowman's already put the Wyatt Family behind him and is pursuing singles competition. As of now, Strowman has yet to be pinned or submitted. Despite his lack of experience, his menacing size and stature alone gives Strowman enough credibility to pose an actual threat to Brock Lesnar's own undefeated streak. Right now, there is genuine intrigue in a Streak vs Streak match between The Beast and The New Face of Destruction. If Vince McMahon wants to make a new star, there does not seem to be a better choice than this Wyatt Family alum. Except for, of course, the Wyatt Family leader.
1 Bray Wyatt
It would be an understatement to say that Bray Wyatt has been on a rocky road for the past few years. From the moment that The Eater of Worlds debuted on the main roster in 2013, he oozed star potential. With a spine tingling presence, unorthodox in-ring style, and a unique promo rhetoric, Bray Wyatt seemed destined for greatness. That is until Wyatt started losing one major feud after another to big stars like The Undertaker. Wyatt should be dead in the water by now, but despite back-to-back Mania losses and one Mania embarrassment from The Rock, audiences want to see Wyatt succeed. For the first few weeks after Wrestlemania 32 (before his injury), Wyatt was receiving massive crowd ovations every week. Whereas fans have a history with giving up on wasted hopefuls like Dolph Ziggler, fans continue to gravitate towards Bray despite the momentum he's lost. WWE need to capitalize on this and make Wyatt a main event player, but considering the damage to his character, that won't be an easy task. A win over Brock Lesnar should immediately do the trick. A win against Lesnar would gain enough attention for Bray that he'd become an instant star in the eyes of hardcore fireflies and casual fans alike.
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