It was announced Monday on Raw that Braun Strowman will be out of action for around 6 months because of a shattered elbow. Most of you know that Strowman was scheduled to take on Brock Lesnar, likely at the poorly named Raw PPV Great Balls of Fire. With Strowman out, Kurt Angle announced a Fatal 5-Way match at Raw’s next PPV Extreme Rules, with the winner getting a shot at Brock Lesnar. Let’s examine the 5 potential opponents and what their perspective matches with Brock may look like.
SETH ROLLINS – This is interesting for a number of reasons. These two were involved in one of the best triple threat matches in recent memory, along with John Cena. The match was spectacular but Cena, and the Cena vs Rollins dynamic was a huge reason why. Rollins and Lesnar did have a one on one match at Battleground in which Brock tossed Rollins around for 8 minutes before the Undertaker returned to set up their series of matches. The match up has intriguing possibilities but they’d need a stronger formula for Rollins this time around.
FIN BALOR – I have a very simple fear about this potential match up. Balor is significantly smaller the Lesnar. The end! The match structure for Brock was always the same regardless of opponent (before Goldberg) – Suplex. Repeat. He beat up guys like Rollins, Cena, and Roman Reigns. I think the guys in charge real like Balor and these two could tell an awesome story – but I’m not confident they’ll get that chance and right now, I’m ok with that.
BRAY WYATT – This has been talked about awhile. The art of storytelling has been lost lately (see Jindar Mahal and the Fashion Police). Depending on the direction they were going with Strowman, it’s not impossible that they insert Bray Wyatt into that spot. Think about it – I’m assuming Strowman wasn’t going to beat Brock Lesnar at a PPV called Great Balls of Fire – BUT – I think he would’ve looked really strong and I don’t think Brock would’ve pinned him. I don’t know how they would’ve gotten out of that match but I don’t think either man would’ve been pinned. If thats the case, Bray Wyatt can absolutely be used in that situation.
ROMAN REIGNS – Reigns winning the 5-way will be the only result that angers the crowd and WWE audience as a whole. We saw the match at Wrestlemania 31 and if you believe the reports that surfaced earlier this year, we’ll see it again at Wrestlemania 34. Theres no reason to have Lesnar and Reigns right now. Plenty of injury excuses to use that gets Roman out of this protected.
SAMOA JOE – This is the match that needs to happen. Joe vs Brock. Samoa Joe is the only guy out of the 5 who can have a believable match/fight with Lesnar. Joe is also the only guy out of the five who can gain something even in a lose. Joe is a badass who goes in and fights another badass. Brock gets the best of him. Joe goes on and continues to be a badass. When the time is right, the two can meet again. Thats not to say Joe can’t win their first match at Great Balls of Fire, I just don’t think its gonna happen. I feel like the plan is to keep the title on Brock for a while, even if only to SummerSlam. This match works. Samoa Joe wins the 5 way and takes on Brock Lesnar.