In an interesting decision, the WWE announced that they would reveal Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent this week on Smackdown. There are several factors that make this decision interesting. For one, there is still three weeks before Battleground, and for another, Lesnar will have yet to step into the octagon for his UFC 200 fight with Mark Hunt. The company is going all-out with the tease, posting the following on their official website.
“The question of who will face Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam will be answered this Thursday on SmackDown. It was announced previously that The Beast Incarnate will return to the squared circle on Sunday, Aug. 21, when The Biggest Party of the Summer takes over Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The last time the WWE Universe saw The Anomaly in a WWE ring, he defeated Dean Ambrose in a barbaric No Holds Barred Street Fight at WrestleMania. Who will be the next competitor to try to take down the decorated Lesnar, at SummerSlam no less? Find out this Thursday when SmackDown airs on USA Network at 8/7 C.”
Though the WWE has “allowed” Lesnar to scratch his UFC itch, there has been very little, if any, cross-promotion between the companies in regards to UFC 200 or SummerSlam, with the exception of UFC advertising him as “WWE superstar Brock Lesnar.” This is clearly an attempt by WWE to do something Lesnar-related before The Beast makes it to Las Vegas this coming Saturday. While many were expecting WWE to book Lesnar based on the outcome of his fight against Hunt, they’ve decided to go with a plan they feel will click regardless of what happens.
But, if news from the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio is any indication, it might not matter what happens between Lesnar and Hunt. Dave Meltzer indicated that Brock Lesnar will finally square off with a superstar he’s only ever wrestled once before on WWE television. Brock Lesnar is scheduled to face Randy Orton at SummerSlam on August 21. This is a match that fans have longed for since both debuted with the company (along with John Cena and Batista) in 2002.
The Inquisitr recently reported that during an interview with ESPN (to actually help promote the UFC fight), Paul Heyman listed his dream opponents for his client, Lesnar. Heyman listed Finn Balor and Samoa Joe, and he said how people will never get tired of Lesnar vs Cena. But the most newsworthy of potential opponents for The Beast was in fact, Randy Orton. Heyman said he wanted to see a “modern-day Brock Lesnar against a modern-day Randy Orton.” And who could argue with him.
Well, it might not exactly be the best timing as far as Orton’s concerned. He’ll be coming off major shoulder surgery with a bad neck and be placed in a match where he’ll certainly be guaranteed to take multiple suplexes against an opponent in Lesnar who notoriously works stiff. It might be wiser to ease Orton back into physical competition, but perhaps he’s been kept away from the ring longer than normal to assure a full bill of health knowing his first opponent would be Brock.
Lesnar’s original opponent for SummerSlam was scheduled to be Bray Wyatt, stemming all the way back to April. At one point, the two were slotted to square off at WrestleMania, but injuries threw major monkey wrenches into that entire card. Putting Lesnar with Orton at SummerSlam may be further indication that big plans are in place for the remainder of Lesnar’s 2016 and even WrestleMania 33. After much back and forth, Lesnar is penciled-in to appear at the WWE Draft on the first live Tuesday edition of Smackdown, which could certainly be the place where he and Orton stare down for the first time to tease their big SummerSlam showdown.
[Image via WWE]