Who will be Brock Lesnar’s next challenger?

So officially at the next Raw only branded pay per view event, Extreme Rules, there will be a fatal five way match to determine the number 1 contender to Brock […]

So officially at the next Raw only branded pay per view event, Extreme Rules, there will be a fatal five way match to determine the number 1 contender to Brock Lesnar’s WWE Universal Title. That’s right, the main event will be a number 1 contenders match, not a title match because, well Brock Lesnar is still on spring break or boat shopping with his wife or, whatever he’s doing.
But let’s not get into that again.

The five competitors were announced by Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, on the May 15th edition of Raw as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe. I’m going to take a look at the chances of each one of the five superstars winning the match, as well as a potential feud with Lesnar to follow. Let’s begin.

Seth Rollins

Since returning from injury you could argue that ‘The Kingslayer’ has struggled to reach the same levels and heights of popularity that he had before. I think many would agree, however, that his heel run as part of The Authority was his most successful WWE stint to date, and perhaps works much as a ‘bad guy’. That’s not to say that he isn’t a credible challenger for any title in the company though, and having technically beaten Lesnar before (although he didn’t actually pin him), ‘The Beast’ never got his rematch for the title so we never got to see Seth v Brock. Could it work? Maybe, but it’d have to be booked as Rollins using all his dirty tricks and tactics to get another one over on Lesnar, else the two ‘styles’ simply wouldn’t match and we’d get a repeat of Ambrose v Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32.

Bray Wyatt

I’m still really against the fact that they took the WWE Title from Wyatt so soon after he captured it. There was so much steam left to run with Bray as the champion, and I think many fans including myself felt we were left very short changed by what we saw, and we wanted more, which could have been the companies intention.
Now he’s on Raw he’s made an instant impact, in fact he was the one standing (or kneeling in his case) over all of the other fallen competitors at the end of the show. Would a Lesnar v Wyatt match work? I think it very well could. I’d like to see Bray manipulate Brocks mind, it’d be a war of words with Heyman like we’d never seen before, I think it’d be really fresh and get a lot of people anticipating the outcome.
Even if Wyatt were to be unsuccessful I believe a good showing against such a hard hitting athlete like Lesnar could really propel him as one of the top guys in the company.

Samoa Joe

Personally I think Joe is the most unlikely of the five to come out of this match victorious, and that’s nothing to do with ability or status on the main roster, it’s purely down to I don’t think it’d work in storyline terms. I don’t know what the hell Lesnar is supposed to be right now in terms of heel or face, but Joe is being booked as this bad ass destroyer, which would be great against Lesnar, but I’m just not sure how you would go about booking that.
The fans I think would get fully behind Joe, and this whole feud would turn him face, a move that right now would be damaging to his character.
We will definitely see Samoa Joe challenging for the Universal Title at some point, just I don’t think that time is now.

Finn Balor

It makes sense doesn’t it. Balor was the first Universal Champion, but was forced to vacate it due to injury (although he probably would have defended it more than Lesnar has..), so this is really the end of his road to recovery, by reclaiming the title he never lost.
I hate to follow the natural reaction of everyone else, but you have to be concerned with the size differences. Balor is a much, much better wrestler than Lesnar is and probably ever was, but how on earth would you book Brock to lose to someone of Finn’s size?
It’s mostly down to how Lesnar has been booked, as a dominant, strong, fighter, which someone like Finn wouldn’t stand a chance against. If you really think about it, how could you even book Finn to be against him? It’d be really hard to imagine a scenario where Balor has Lesnar down on the mat, beaten up enough to get the 3 count, which is my problem with this one.
I think Finn is the fans choice to win this match, but it seems highly unlikely they could go down this route.

Roman Reigns

For the majority of the WWE fans, this would be the worst case scenario, but in reality, it would be the most logical. The company are still trying to push Reigns despite the pleas and quite frankly childish cries from the older generation of fans, but ‘The Guy’ does everything 100% each night, and is pretty faultless in his all round ability.
It’s not his fault Daniel Bryan didn’t win the Royal Rumble in 2015, it’s not his fault that the company had to try and push other people to the main event to make up for CM Punk quitting on everyone. If you think back to The Shield days, everyone thought Reigns was the destined star, with little begrudgement, and now people are rejecting it simply for the sake of rebelling.
But back to the possibility of Reigns v Lesnar? I would like to think that the crowd would be smart enough should he emerge as the winner, to get behind Roman against Brock knowing that victory for Reigns would see the Universal Title back on television every week, and provide a lot more possibilities storyline wise, grant others opportunities who Roman can work great matches with (most of the roster) and bring back that excitement that Raw has been lacking since Wrestlemania.
I’ve really enjoyed Reigns’ character in recent weeks, pretty much acting out as a ‘tweener’, firing back at other superstars, talking over the jeering crowd and delivering his promos with more intense force. It’s really smart booking from WWE who realise that the more they push the more fans rebel, but don’t want to do the worst thing by giving into the ‘fans’ and turn him heel.
Lesnar v Roman would absolutely work, and although there’d be many boo’s for Reigns, I think linking back to Paul Heyman, the two would have such great back and forths on the microphone, and provide a great story leading up to a pay per view which name should be much better to host what can and would be an excellent feud.