What if Brock Lesnar had really left WWE after SummerSlam 2018?
In 2018, the question on WWE fans’ minds wasn’t so much if, but when Brock Lesnar would leave. In a confrontation with UFC’s Daniel Cormier, Lesnar seemed to signal his return to the world of MMA. Meanwhile, he wasn’t exactly feeling fresh in WWE after a year-plus reign with the Universal Championship while only appearing part-time.
Lesnar survived Roman Reigns' challenges at WrestleMania 34 and at the Greatest Royal Rumble, but all indications were that SummerSlam was the end of the road. There was the likelihood of Reigns finally getting gone over in the Beast Incarnate, and Braun Strowman looming with the Money in the Bank briefcase came across as an extra reassurance Lesnar wouldn’t escape Brooklyn with the title.
Dropping the strap would feel like the natural time for Lesnar to disappear for a while, and it looked like that’s what had happened when he lost, Raw GM Kurt Angle indicated he wouldn’t get a rematch, and Reigns and Strowman moves on to feud with one another.
So what if Brock Lesnar hadn’t resurfaced at Hell in a Cell, let alone regained the title at Crown Jewel, and more or less picked up where he left off at SummerSlam? This article speculates about what might have been, had Lesnar left for real.
#5 Braun Strowman is the top heel
WWE briefly dealt with some intriguing shades of gray when Braun Strowman was, twice in two nights, thwarted in his Money in the Bank cash-in attempts. First Brock Lesnar fouled his plans by attacking him and throwing away the briefcase before the Monster in the Bank could get his title shot at SummerSlam. The next night on Raw, a reunited Shield fended of Strowman when he came after Roman Reigns.
So was Strowman still a face? He hadn’t done anything wrong and was, in a pretty objective sense, foiled by a heel, and then by the heelish choice for three guys to band together against him. WWE simplified things in short order with Strowman finding backup in Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre to ostensibly turn heel himself.
Had Brock Lesnar not come back into the picture, it’s reasonable to think Strowman would have filled his role as a lead monster heel from that point forward. Even in Reigns’ absence, Strowman could have carried forward feuding with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, not to mention transitioning in time to issues with the likes of Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, it perhaps even a returning John Cena, brought back to fill the combined void of Lesnar and Reigns leaving the WWE Universe.