Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Brock Lesnar as undisputed champion, Shayna Baszler's call-up and Bray Wyatt v The Undertaker: WWE talking points

Thoughts and opinions on where WWE may be heading in the second half of 2019 ahead of SummerSlam in Toronto

Brock Lesnar has regained the WWE Universal title. Image courtesy of WWE
Brock Lesnar has regained the WWE Universal title. Image courtesy of WWE

The WWE is three weeks away from SummerSlam, its second biggest event of the calendar in 2019.

WWE Extreme Rules took place last weekend and made the road towards Toronto on August 11 a little more clearer, as well as the direction WWE are heading in.

Here are some talking points.

Is Brock Lesnar set to become undisputed champion?

This writer wasn't the only one, he imagines, who sighed when the referee counted Seth Rollins's shoulders to the mat for the three count at Extreme Rules on Sunday to give Lesnar the WWE Universal title back after his successful Money in the Bank cash in.

Apart from two short periods (August to November 2018 and April to July 2019), Lesnar has held the title since April 2017 and it has hurt Raw having him as a part-time champion given he was booked at only a few network specials.

The problem is that the Rollins reign was not going anywhere. That is not his fault, he has been hurt by the lack of credible opposition.

There was a brief face v face feud with AJ Styles, which seemed to be cut short before it got going.

Baron Corbin is a good heel but nowhere near ready to be champion, and the poor booking of Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre meant there was not much else on the horizon for Rollins.

So, having him chase Lesnar and go back to the top of the mid-card could work for him. He won't win his rematch at SummerSlam, however.

There is so way WWE have put the belt back on Lesnar just to job him out in Toronto.

Best hope for Rollins is he gets the rub of a competitive match with the Beast, something both Styles and Daniel Bryan have had.

WWE have plans for Lesnar and it might well involve him uniting the two world titles in September ahead of the WWE's move to a TV deal for SmackDown in the United States.

SmackDown will become as important a show for WWE as Raw is so having the roster split in half does not make much sense.

Lets face it, the roster split is already on its way out. Superstars are already appearing on both brands already.

WWE World Heavyweight champion Kofi Kingston spends a lot of time on Raw, despite being a SmackDown superstar, and he has just defended his title at Extreme Rules against Samoa Joe, a Raw talent.

Lesnar v Kingston. Champion v champion. Having it on September 15 at Clash of Champions in Charlotte, North Carolina, books itself if that is where they are going with one title holder at the end of the night, which would be Lesnar.

The only issue would be if Lesnar does become undisputed champion will he be around enough on TV to satisfy the TV bosses?

You can't imagine Fox have paid up the money only to have an absentee champ.

WWE have certainly gone back to Lesnar for a reason and how this plays out will be fascinating.

Shayna Baszler should be brought up to the main roster to face Raw Women's champion Becky Lynch. Image courtesy of WWE
Shayna Baszler should be brought up to the main roster to face Raw Women's champion Becky Lynch. Image courtesy of WWE

Becky Lynch needs NXT's Shayna Baszler as her rival

It was just over 12 months ago that Becky Lynch's run to the top of the women's division began. It has been quite the journey.

Lynch, when given the chance has hit it out of the park, with the peaks being WWE Evolution, the SmackDown invasion of Raw ahead of Survivor Series, and then winning the Royal Rumble.

But, since the Rumble win the heat has gradually disappeared from the run. Pairing her with real-life boyfriend Seth Rollins for a month was a mistake and damaged the momentum for both of them.

The early barbs between her and Natalya on Monday were encouraging in seeing the old Lynch back, but this feud is not the answer.

It will be a good match on August 11 when they meet at Summerslam for Lynch's Raw Women's title, don't get this writer wrong. But what Lynch needs is a new foe who can be immediately seen as creditable and is something fresh.

Shayna Baszler has been tearing it up on NXT and now is the time to bring her up. She doesn't have to lose the title at NXT TakeOver: Toronto on August 10.

But, after Lynch beats Natalya, have her attack the Irishwoman brutally to set up a fresh feud on Raw.

Baszler has a MMA background and also has a connection, through her friendship to Ronda Rousey, that could produce a great rivalry with Lynch.

Their matches should be strong, certainly Lynch won't have to carry them like she did with Lacey Evans, and Baszler is dynamic enough that she could be a plausible instant champion on the main roster.

The promos between her and Lynch, referencing Rousey, would be very strong and it would allow Lynch to re-find the swagger in her character that has been lost of late.

Finn Balor first, The Undertaker next for Bray Wyatt

The WWE have done a good job in revamping Wyatt. The kids TV presenter skits that were fun, and also unsettling, have been brilliant and in his new guise as The Fiend the WWE have something genuinely fresh.

Wyatt was white hot in 2014 and WWE wasted him by having him lose almost every feud he was in.

He has momentum again and it must not be lost this time. It is almost a given he goes over Finn Balor at SummerSlam - the reports the Irishman is taking a sabbatical make that a given.

But what they do next with Wyatt is where it is interesting. They need to keep him almost as a special attraction for now and The Undertaker should be in his sights.

Either at Survivor Series or even as late as WrestleMania 36 next April, it should be The Fiend v The Deadman.

It can be a passing of the torch moment, but Taker giving Wyatt a big win could do loads for the character.

There are some claims in WWE that wins and losses don't matter, but Wyatt is the living proof that is not the case.

Losing almost every big match over a four-year period, with no character development, damaged him badly and it is to his eternal credit that he has reinvented himself so impressively.

He and WWE have got a second chance to nail this. Taker plays a part in it and if done rightly then Wyatt could become one of the top superstars in the company, something that should have happened in 2014.

Updated: July 20, 2019 11:19 AM

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