Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley are two of the Superstars that will compete in a match at WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday, July 15. That match will also feature four other men and the winner will go on to face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.
The match seemed to come from out of nowhere, especially since Braun Strowman became Mister Money in the Bank, guaranteeing him a title shot at Lesnar. Of course WWE is keeping that match under wraps. In the meantime, The Beast Incarnate needs a new victim. But will the man that goes over at Extreme Rules be the one to actually dethrone Lesnar?
It’s a hard sell and that’s understandable. Lesnar has held the Universal Championship for over a year and he’s shown no signs of losing a step. Of course he hasn’t been around to lose a step or lose a match for that matter.
Brock’s appearances are limited and his title defenses are even more limited. Fans know the score and they also know there’s really no reason to complain about it. WWE wanted this and as a result, the Universal Championship has been somewhat held hostage. Maybe the time has come to liberate it.
But Brock is a killing machine and no one gets past him. That’s the first problem. The company features Lesnar as unstoppable and fans should not blame WWE for taking that approach. How else should the company book a 286-pound former WWE and UFC champion?
However the issue is that WWE has painted itself into a corner. If Brock continues winning, then eventually there will be no more anticipation for any of his title defenses. Why would there be? If he can’t lose, why would anyone care to see him put the title on the line again? It may be fun for some to watch him smash through the roster but that leads to the second problem.
Which Raw Superstar actually poses a threat to him? He’s already beaten Roman Reigns more times than anyone ever dreamed possible. Lashley is a beast in his own right but he’s had one feud since returning to WWE and it was lackluster at best. There are four spots open. So who gets the nod?
Seth Rollins recently lost the Intercontinental Championship to Dolph Ziggler, which means The Kingslayer is ready for a new direction. Seth’s defeat at the hands of Ziggler came as a surprise to many. That’s because Rollins’ IC title run propelled him back to the forefront of the red brand. Seth delivered some of the best work in his career over the past few months, which is why he’s in a great spot to challenge for the top belt once again.
Kevin Owens is in rare form these days and some fans are wondering when he will get a chance at main event glory once again. KO was the second Universal champion of course but he’s not been at the top since that title reign. Of all the heels in WWE right now, Owens is one of the best. It’s logical to assume he will work in the match at Extreme Rules.
Finn Balor rounds out the quintet and he’s the perfect choice to step up for the title. Balor was the first Universal champ and after he surrendered the belt due to injury, his WWE career has not been the same. He was once viewed as a man on the rise. He possesses huge potential but he continues to come up just shy of greatness. Perhaps this is the time when Finn Balor will finally get on track.
As of now, there seems to be only six spots available. That means if Raw’s top five heavy hitters are in, then the last man could be a dark horse. Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Roode and Elias are all possibilities. Even a healthy Dean Ambrose could shock the world and return to the mix in the next few weeks. But does any of this matter?
Rollins is red hot but is he hot enough to beat Brock? KO calls himself a prizefighter but that’s how Lesnar makes his money. Balor is a top talent but even if he became The Demon King to face Brock, it may not be enough.
Mahal is a great heel but he hasn’t been a top talent since losing the WWE Championship. McIntyre looks like a god but that’s no reason to rush him just yet. Roode is rock solid but his booking has been less than stellar. Elias is entertaining but he has yet to win a championship in any level of WWE. Lesnar has already defeated Ambrose. Is it possible that none of these men can take The Conqueror down?
Maybe the match at Extreme Rules is just a smokescreen, meant to distract fans from the inevitable Braun Strowman cash-in. If that’s true, then every man booked in the match on July 15 will surely give maximum effort but each one will leave empty handed. Even the winner will be on the road to a loss against WWE’s combat colossus.
Who holds the WWE Universal Championship is not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Titles do not necessarily define a Superstar’s value, anymore than the lack of a title means a Superstar has nothing to offer. The fans judge a championship’s importance and rightfully so. But there is really no championship in WWE less important than the one around Brock Lesnar’s waist.
Whether or not fans agree with Lesnar’s booking is irrelevant. What matters is just how invested they will be in the match at Extreme Rules and the title bout that will follow. The song may remain the same after July 15. Or it could be rewritten entirely.