The WWE has started advertising for their Monday Night Raw show at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, California, on June 26. That show takes place two weeks before Great Balls of Fire, the Raw pay-per-view in July. In the advertising, there is a rare Brock Lesnar match scheduled and the advertising even indicates that it is a WWE Universal Championship match.
The advertised match is Brock Lesnar defending his WWE Universal Championship against Bray Wyatt. This Sunday night, the WWE is presenting Extreme Rules and the main event of that show will see Bray Wyatt in a five-man extreme rules match against Finn Balor, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Samoa Joe. The winner of that match gets a shot at Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire.
One thing to keep in mind is that when the WWE advertises their Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live shows on local ads, the match they list for fans to expect is usually a dark match that takes place after the show goes off the air. That could make the Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt match just something for the live fans and won’t be part of the actual show.
However, much like WWE live house shows that are never televised, the dark matches serve two purposes. One is to give fans something they might not normally get to see on television. The second is to give wrestlers who are feuding or about to head into a pay-per-view together a chance to work together. Brock Lesnar has a specific number of non-televised house shows and live events in his contracts.
That makes one wonder if Bray Wyatt is who will face Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at Great Balls of Fire and who will win this Sunday night at Extreme Rules. Whatever it means, this is the first title defense that the WWE has advertised for Brock Lesnar since he won the title from Bill Goldberg at WrestleMania 33.
If that Brock Lesnar WWE Universal Championship match takes place on June 26, it will be 85 days between Lesnar winning the title and defending it for the first time. This will make it hard for the WWE to pretend that they care about their 30-day title defense rule in the future with other wrestlers after ignoring it for Brock.
Since that title match will almost surely not appear on television, it could actually be 98 days between WWE fans seeing Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Universal Championship and him actually defending it on television for the first time. According to Forbes, the WWE’s flagship program is suffering through some of the lowest television ratings in the company’s history.
The Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view is the last Monday Night Raw-exclusive event before SummerSlam in August. Originally, Brock Lesnar was supposed to wrestle Braun Strowman at both Great Balls of Fire and SummerSlam but an injury to Braun derailed those plans.
Since Roman Reigns was scheduled to wrestle Braun Strowman at Extreme Rules in an Ambulance Match for the right to face Brock Lesnar in July, that match was changed to the five-way that was mentioned earlier. Roman Reigns is not expected to actually wrestle Brock Lesnar until next year at WrestleMania, so one of the other four wrestlers should get their first chance to win the title from Lesnar.
Of course, Seth Rollins has already won a WWE world championship from Brock Lesnar but he pinned Roman Reigns in a multi-man match to do so at WrestleMania 31. Rollins and Finn Balor were both supposed to get title matches between SummerSlam and WrestleMania 34, so there is a chance that Samoa Joe or Bray Wyatt could get this bonus title opportunity.
Samoa Joe won matches on the last two episodes of Monday Night Raw, making it look like he is the leading candidate. However, the WWE likes to have people win on Raw and then have them lose at the pay-per-view as misdirection. If that is true this time, Bray Wyatt might be the man who wins at Extreme Rules and will get the Brock Lesnar title opportunity in July.
[Featured Image by WWE]