Brock Lesnar winning for the WWE Universal Championship at Crown Jewel came as a surprise to many fans. That’s largely due to Brock’s first Universal title run, which lasted 504 days, most of which he wasn’t around for.
Lesnar’s booking during that time was not exactly a shock for anyone; WWE had done it before. But considering that it took two years for the company to finally put Roman Reigns over on Brock Lesnar, it seemed that The Beast had little chance of wearing the title again. Lesnar had his run. It was Roman’s time. So when Roman went out, many felt it was now Braun Strowman’s time. So why didn’t it happen?
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Why is WWE once again moving forward with Brock Lesnar as the Universal champion? Could it be that his title win happened because there is something bigger on the horizon? What if the company’s WrestleMania 35 plan is already laid out and step one of that plan was Brock’s win at Crown Jewel?
If so, then does that mean Lesnar will once again retain his title on The Grandest Stage of Them All? Of course if he does go to WrestleMania as the Universal champion, then is it possible that he will also be carrying the UFC Championship as well?
Brock wants the UFC Championship back just as badly as current titleholder Daniel Cormier wants to defend it against him. WWE has teased the idea of Lesnar becoming a two-sport champion before. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility for The Beast Incarnate to reign over both the UFC and WWE at the same time.
But if Brock’s win at Crown Jewel puts him on the road to WrestleMania, then that means WWE is already moving forward to 2019. So for the next five months, Brock Lesnar continues on as Universal champion and no one else gets a legitimate shot at the title? If so, then who?
If this wasn’t Strowman’s time, then when? Will Braun’s time ever come? It’s as though WWE wants him in that main event spot just to take up space or be a contender when there’s just no one else to book. If that is the case, then is The Monster Among Men really making any forward progress or is he just standing still?
A Braun Strowman title win would have opened so many doors. Drew McIntyre would likely have been the first challenger to the championship. He could have been followed by Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose or maybe even Finn Balor. Then there’s the Survivor Series match pitting the WWE champion against the Universal champion. Wouldn’t Strowman versus AJ Styles have been a much more intriguing match than Styles versus Lesnar II?
Many fans have already speculated as to who the next top WWE star will be in Roman Reigns’ absence. But what if WWE doesn’t have plans to elevate anyone to that level right now? Speculation has been running rampant for months that current IWGP champion Kenny Omega will make the jump to WWE by the beginning of 2019. But even if that happens, would he seriously just slide into a top spot in Vince McMahon’s company?
The fact is that Roman will almost certainly be back. When he does come back, WWE will work him back into the storyline and then the company will pick up where it left off. No one outside of Reigns and WWE knows what that timetable looks like. It’s possible that neither side knows right now.
So Monday Night Raw is currently in a holding pattern. Unless WWE makes some roster changes in the next few months, that holding pattern is likely going to continue. This means that Brock Lesnar will keep the Universal title throughout the rest of 2018 and then he will probably win the UFC Championship in early 2019.
WWE will have its two-sport champion. Brock Lesnar will have more leverage than any other pro wrestler or MMA fighter that either sport has ever known. He will be the biggest attraction in combat sports and at age 41, he will be the top draw over every WWE Superstar on the roster. Is this what fans really want?
The problem with this scenario is that no one is moving forward. Strowman can’t win the big one. Ambrose and Seth Rollins are going to war but the Intercontinental title is in the mix, not the Universal title. McIntyre has great potential to become a main event powerhouse but what are the chances that will happen on Lesnar’s watch?
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For that matter, what are the chances that anyone can become anything more than what they are right now? As long as The Conqueror is sitting on his throne, there is very little opportunity for anyone else.
The irony is that, just like before, none of this is Brock Lesnar’s doing. He’s along for the ride and he’s not in charge of his own booking. WWE is making the decision to move forward with an absentee Universal champion while AJ Styles moves on as the full-time WWE Champion.
Braun Strowman is capable. He’s proved his worth and he seems to be the best Superstar for the job right now on Raw. Yet every time he steps up, he falls back. Perhaps there is something else at play that fans are unaware of. With any luck, the wait for WWE to reveal that something will not be long.