A list detailing Brock Lesnar’s four most likely WrestleMania opponents was recently unveiled. Naturally, a star of Lesnar’s caliber deserves top-notch opponents and the four candidates to follow surely represent that much. Each of the four, albeit one on a technicality, has main-evented a WrestleMania.
Of Lesnar’s quartet of potential challengers, there are two all-time icons and two former Shield members with white-hot futures. Of course, only one of this foursome will get the chance to take down the Beast Incarnate. Or, maybe none of them will. But, as of now, we’ve got a list of favorites to try and take down Lesnar. Who’s the favorite for the opportunity? And who’s got the longest odds? Read on to find out.
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin
There’s a myriad of reasons why fans want to see Lesnar square off with Stone Cold Steve Austin. For one, they’re two of the most imposing forces in WWE history. Austin has a reputation for not taking anybody’s crap, Mike Tyson included. And Lesnar, of course, in the lead-in to this prospective matchup, would simply smirk at Austin’s threats and let his mouthpiece, Paul Heyman, do the talking. Not to mention the fact that Austin walked out on the company after finding out he was booked to face and lose to Lesnar.
Austin and Heyman would undoubtedly make for compelling television. That much was evidenced when Heyman appeared on Austin’s WWE Network podcast. Of course, that immensely entertaining interview ended in memorable fashion. When the subject of a match between Austin and Lesnar was discussed, Austin promised that he’d, as only he could put it, whip Lesnar’s ass. That may’ve planted the seeds for this eventual collision.
In an ideal world, this is the match fans would get. Two of the biggest draws in wrestling history battling it out. The Texas Rattlesnake proving he hasn’t lost a step. However, if Austin is to ever compete again, Lesnar’s not the man he should face. Austin last laced up his boots in 2003, retiring after a match with The Rock due largely to the many injuries he sustained. Not to say that Lesnar’s unsafe, but his physical style takes its toll on any competitor. Fans would love to see Austin in the ring again, but for it to be against Lesnar just carries too great a risk.
3. Seth Rollins
This match, too, is one that fans had been clamoring to see. Lesnar was dying to wring Rollins’ neck after the current WWE Champ cost Lesnar his title at WrestleMania 31. Lesnar got his chance at Battleground and was having his way with Rollins before The Undertaker made his return to exact revenge on Lesnar. That in itself is ample reason for this rematch.
However, Rollins was handled easily throughout the previous matchup and, given his booking of late, it’s hard to see him emerging as a viable challenger for Lesnar in the months to follow. The underdog story could work, but given Lesnar’s popularity, it’s uncertain what sort of support such an angle would draw for Rollins. Along with that, Rollins seems destined for a clash with Triple H. No doubt that such a matchup would be reserved for WrestleMania. Along with that, the lead-in to that could serve to make Rollins a more likable character and, in turn, a better opponent for Lesnar.
2. The Rock
The Rock is yet another WWE legend who fans would love to see square off with Lesnar. Unlike Austin, however, the two do have a previous encounter. At SummerSlam 2002, Lesnar conquered The Rock to become the youngest WWE Champion ever. That would also mark The Rock’s last appearance as a full-time competitor. All it would take is one mention of this fact from Heyman or Lesnar and one electrifying rebuttal from The People’s Champion to draw interest in this contest.
The WWE would undoubtedly love to host this match. The Rock, a major box office draw, and Lesnar, a former UFC champion, would pull in viewers who’d otherwise have no interest in WrestleMania. However, as with Austin, there is a greater bit of risk involved in such a clash. The last time The Rock took to the ring, at WrestleMania 29, he tore his abdominal and adductor tendons.
He may still be willing to take the risk, but the studios which cut his checks might have other ideas in mind. If The Rock simply has to take the ring again, it may be best if it comes against an ultra-safe competitor like Triple H. Rock ranks higher than his counterpart in Austin, though, because he’s seven years younger and, based on last year’s WrestleMania, is still interested in a return to the squared circle.
1. Roman Reigns
Fans soured on Roman Reigns last year as he prepared to take on Lesnar at WrestleMania. They felt that Reigns, both in the ring and on the microphone, had a limited skillset, but was given the marquee spot anyway thanks to his marketable look. But when the match itself rolled around, something changed. Reigns and Lesnar battered each other with stiff shots and after each one Reigns would laugh it off. It was a simple fix, but one that definitely lightened some of the harsh opinions on Reigns.
The former Shield member wasn’t able to come out of the match with a victory, but he did garner some newfound respect. And while he’ll never be Shawn Michaels, he’s improved tremendously as an all-around performer. A rematch with Lesnar isn’t the draw that a Rock or an Austin is, but it would represent a commitment from the WWE to produce some homegrown stars. Not to mention that a victory over Lesnar would represent a coming of age for Reigns. It may not be the match that fans are pining for, but, of the four candidates, it appears to be the most likely.