One of the biggest pieces of wrestling news over the last week or so has been that Vince McMahon has reportedly decided that Finn Balor is not over enough to face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Now, while that decision has certainly not gone down too well, it does leave one lingering question- just who is over enough to face Brock at the Royal Rumble then?
The Raw roster is undeniably stacked with talent, but Brock has already eaten his way through that this year, and with The Beast Incarnate on a one way course for a match with The Big Dog, Roman Reigns at this year’s Wrestlemania, it seems likely that Brock is going to have to recycle an opponent at this year’s Royal Rumble to keep him ticking off until the big show. So, who is looking the most likely to face Lesnar at this year’s event? Let’s take a look at the current Raw roster and decide who could potentially be Brock’s opponent at The Royal Rumble.
Brock Lesnar and John Cena have a very long and very well documented history, spanning all the way back to their OVW days in the early 2000’s. Both men can lay a claim to the being the biggest star of their generation, and the bout really wouldn’t need much in the way of setting up a storyline.
It is also worth considering that Brock is likely on his way out of the company following Wrestlemania 34, and the company will probably want to get as much out of him as they possibly can in what is probably going to be one his last appearances. Cena and Lesnar have always put on memorable matches, and with this year’s Rumble looking set to be a pretty big one, this match could just be the icing on the cake for the show.
If we’re being honest, no-one is tuning into the Royal Rumble for the title matches anyway. Last year’s bout between John Cena and AJ Styles aside, it is pretty rare that a big title changes hands on the show and more often than not, the company want to save all the big stars for the Rumble match itself. If that is the case, it would be nice to see the company give Bray Wyatt a shot at The Universal Title at The Royal Rumble because, let’s be honest, he’s not doing anything else interesting right now.
In fact, if you look back over the last 10-15 years, you will see that upper mid-carders have often challenged for the belt at the Rumble, giving them a little push while keeping the champion relevant at the event- with the likes of a pre Hall of Pain Mark Henry and Mr Kennedy competing for the belt over the years. Hell, even Hardcore Holly challenged for the belt one year!
Samoa Joe has been on fine form since his return to the ring last month, and with the WWE reportedly not being so keen on feeding Balor to Lesnar at The Rumble, there is no reason why someone like Samoa Joe can’t step in and fill his shoes. Sure, Joe has already lost to Lesnar once, but the two men had a great match-up, and have a great chemistry in the ring. Providing Joe was booked to look strong in defeat, I see no reason why the company wouldn’t be considering this as an option right now.
This is the match I’m really hoping the WWE doesn’t book. Strowman is on fire right now, and his recent babyface turn has managed to get Braun over even more than before. Pitting Braun in a match against Lesnar would likely attract some viewers but it would also likely kill the big man’s momentum once again, and let’s be honest, the two hardly set the ring on fire last time and Braun needs to be protected heading into a likely Wrestlemania match with Triple H.
It seems fairly set in stone that Brock Lesnar is going to be facing Roman Reigns at this year’s Wrestlemania, and with that in mind, a long-term build that doesn’t involve Roman Reigns winning The Rumble might be a nice idea. Brock has been pretty unstoppable over the last 12 months and having The Shield unite against him as a group would be a really nice idea.
Seth has also not been around the title for quite some time now, and as much as I’m enjoying his run with Dean Ambrose, it would be nice to see him competing for the gold once again. The Shield attacking Lesnar, and then Rollins winning the chance to face Lesnar somehow would be a nice way to begin the build towards Brock Vs Reigns at Wrestlemania this year, it would also likely be a great match. It is also worth noting that Brock has never pinned Seth in one-on-one competition, and that could even be used as the reason why he steps up as the first member of The Shield to challenge him.
Basically, see the previous entry. If Seth isn’t going to be the one to challenge Lesnar at the Rumble, then let Dean have a go at The Beast incarnate in one on one action. Brock and Dean don’t have the best track record in the ring together, but Dean seems like the perfect kind of guy to face Lesnar at the Rumble. Also, while he is definitely a big star in the company, having him missing from the Rumble wouldn’t be the end of the world, as much as I’d love to see The Shield tossing bodies out as a unit one more time.
Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose- Triple Threat Match
Brock Lesnar excels in multi-man matches, just take a look at his Rumble match with Cena and Rollins in 2015. This match could follow a similar narrative to the previous two, and you could just have Reigns face someone else earlier in the card to defend his Intercontinental title belt. Ambrose and Rollins are dynamite in the ring together, and throwing Brock Lesnar into that mix is only to help that.
You could also have Dean and Seth turn on each other here, leading to a match at Mania between the pair. Hell, you could even have Reigns then confront Lesnar and blame him for destroying his beloved Shield. It’s worth remembering that this year’s Elimination Chamber is a Raw event, so it seems likely Reigns won’t be winning the Rumble and will instead, be earning his mania place inside the chamber, which allows the WWE to have a lot more fun creatively when it comes to building their feud. This match could tear the house down.