Since his return to WWE, Brock Lesnar has mostly been used to “marquee” PPV matches, against WWE’s more established stars, such as John Cena, Triple H and The Undertaker. However, Brock’s under a multi-year deal and they can’t have him fight those same wrestlers forever, right? With that in mind, here’s some other wrestlers that might make for interesting feuds with the Beast Incarnate, the mayor of Suplex City, the 1 in 21-1, the enforcer of the 11th Commandment, Brock Lesnar.
No, wait, come back!
This entry was, originally, mostly a joke, since at one point we thought there was less than zero chance of Goldberg ever wrestling a match for WWE again. However, with that said, before all the drama started when people found out that Brock was leaving WWE after WrestleMania XX, this was considered a legitimate dream match between two unstoppable forces and was booked to be one of the feature matches of one of WWE’s biggest PPVs. But after the news broke, the crowd turned on the match, both wrestlers seemingly gave up on the match, and the end result was terrible (but an interesting study in crowd reactions, if nothing else). However, now that Brock has largely been welcomed back, wouldn’t it be interesting to re-visit this match, and see if they could actually put on something resembling the classic “power vs power” matchup that we were originally promised?
Alright, so we’re not going to get Goldberg, but thankfully in modern WWE there are plenty of wrestlers willing to prove just how tough they are. One of those is Sheamus, who has made a career out of having some of the most brutal, stiff, absolute knock-down drag-out fights possible in pro wrestling. If anyone in WWE could match Brock punch for punch and power move for power move, it would have to be the Celtic Warrior. Granted, it’s not the highest-profile opponent Brock could have, and it definitely wouldn’t be a WrestleMania-quality feud, but Sheamus still has an impressive resume as a multiple-time World Champion and a long history of hard-hitting matches with some of WWE’s top stars, and could conceivably match up well with Lesnar physically.
8. Shinsuke Nakamura
During the years between Brock’s first run in WWE and his return, at one point he ventured overseas to wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Lesnar was, unsurprisingly, a huge deal in Japan, and quickly rose to become a big star in the promotion, even winning the prestigious IWGP Heavyweight Title, one of very few non-Japanese wrestlers to hold that championship. Of course, true to form, he suddenly abandoned the promotion when he decided he wanted to be an MMA fighter instead, but not before he had a title match with one of the promotion’s fastest-rising stars, Shinsuke Nakamura. Brock emerged victorious in their first encounter, which led to Nakamura travelling the globe to prepare for a re-match, and even almost saw him make his WWE debut years before he finally signed for real in 2016 (ironically, Brock’s sudden departure was what prevented it, as NJPW called Nakamura back to fill the hole left by the departing Lesnar). Now that they are once again both under contract with the same promotion, Nakamura, now one of the biggest stars in the world, has made no secret that he would love another shot at the Beast Incarnate.
Cesaro has wallowed in near-obscurity for a while now, despite being considered one of the best and most complete wrestlers in WWE. He has shown a capability for absolutely inhuman feats of strength in the ring, a library of technical abilities and insane physical conditioning. All of this peaked during the John Cena US Open Challenge, where Cesaro fought WWE’s top guy for nearly thirty minutes, two weeks in a row, in two matches that have been considered some of the best that Cena has ever been involved in. Fans have been clamoring for Cesaro to get an opportunity, and the time is ripe for him to move to the next level. Cesaro has the size and physique to match up well against The Beast, and his array of power moves would certainly be capable of putting him down for the count. With the right booking, this match could be a classic.
6. Samoa Joe
If you haven’t watched TNA over the years (which, according to the ratings, is pretty likely), you might be wondering who this Samoa Joe guy is that’s currently running over people in NXT. Well, at one point, Joe was pretty much the most dominant wrestler on the planet, one of the best wrestlers in the industry, and the guy that everyone was talking about when they chanted “Joe’s Gonna Kill You.” In essence, he was TNA’s version of Brock Lesnar while the real deal was off becoming a UFC Champion. His matches in TNA with Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels were instant classics. And while he may be a few years older now, Joe still retains the bad-ass credibility that one needs when being set up to face someone like Lesnar. Joe in NXT looks to be in the best shape he’s been in for some time, and it’s fair to say he could instantly be a big part of the main WWE roster, at which point, lining him up to face Brock only makes sense.
5. Sami Zayn
At SummerSlam 2014, Brock defeated John Cena to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The interesting thing is that Cena was basically acting as a stand-in in that match. Originally, that spot was going to popular underdog wrestler Daniel Bryan, who had won the title at WrestleMania 30, but was forced to vacate it due to suffering a serious neck injury. The original plan was simple: Fans love Bryan, Brock beats him into paste, becomes a bigger monster heel, is eventually toppled by somebody who becomes a huge star by beating such a dominant bad guy.
Enter Sami Zayn, who fits a similar profile to Bryan, playing a down-to-earth underdog character that would easily translate to the big stage of WWE. Some of Brock’s best matches have featured smaller wrestlers willing to let him throw around, and Sami can generate sympathy while getting beaten up like few others. After all, it worked when he feuded with the next guy on this list.
4. Kevin Owens
Sure, he ultimately couldn’t beat John Cena, because nobody does, but there is no better, more agile big man active in pro wrestling than Kevin Owens. Few indeed are the near three hundred pound wrestlers who go to the top rope as often as Owens, and what he can do from that height is simply spectacular. It almost reminds you of a man from over a decade ago, who rose up from WWE’s developmental system, shocking people both with his freakish physical strength, and his ability to perform breathtaking aerial maneuvers such as the dreaded Shooting Star Press. That man, of course, was Brock Lesnar, and while he never successfully performed the move in WWE (although he did try it once, at WrestleMania 19, with near-disastrous results), there are definitely parallels to be drawn between both men, and a head-to-head battle could be one for the ages. Now that Owens also has main event credibility as a WWE Universal Champion and a stated desire to face Brock at some point, this match is a bigger possibility now than ever before.
3. Roman Reigns
Yes, we have seen this match before, but that one was a disaster created by poor foresight and bad booking on behalf of WWE, who decided that Reigns was a main event star, but forgot to clue the fans, who were more interested in a returning Daniel Bryan, into the whole deal. The result ended up being less a match and more of a “mea culpa” from WWE, as the finish was changed from the expected Reigns victory to Lesnar beating Roman from pillar to post, followed by Seth Rollins cashing in Money in the Bank to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. In the time that has followed, fans appear to have become more accepting of Reigns’ rise to the main event, and it’s likely that a rematch is still in the future plans of WWE. Perhaps for their second match, these two men will put on a slightly more even contest.
Like two ships passing in the night, Bautista’s star was only beginning to rise as Lesnar’s first run with WWE was coming to a close, and by the time Lesnar returned, Bautista was ensconced in Hollywood, filming a role on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy that would establish him as a genuine movie star. However, before that movie hit theatres, Bautista returned to WWE for a short run, one that could have been longer had some poor booking decisions, combined with Guardians becoming a surprise box office smash, not conspired to convince Big Dave to take his leave from wrestling once more. But if there was a match that could lure Bautista out of retirement once more, it could be a chance to face off against Lesnar, in a titanic struggle between two of the best big men ever to prowl the squared circle.
1. The Rock
Hey, speaking of big movie stars, why not shoot for one of the biggest? If there is one constant about WWE these days, it’s that you never know when The Rock might show up. It could be WrestleMania, it could be some Monday on an episode of Raw, it could even be a random live event. The Rock is the very definition of “bigger than the business of pro wrestling,” but he also never passes up an opportunity to give back to the organization that gave him his start. He’s also the man who Brock Lesnar defeated, way back in 2002, to become (at the time) the youngest WWE Champion in history, right before leaving to film The Scorpion King and start on his path to box office sensation. For the pure spectacle, the duelling Rock-Heyman promos, the fact that it would sell out any bingo hall, arena or football stadium in the country, this match must happen at some point.