Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, and the curious case of the Universal Championship

Since outlasting 29 other competitors in the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble match to secure a championship opportunity, Seth Rollins has been focused on slaying “The Beast” Brock Lesnar at this year’s Wrestlemania.

As of today, Lesnar’s title reign is currently 653 days, so aside from the 63-day title reign for Roman Reigns last summer/fall, “The Beast” is the only man to hold Raw’s top men’s championship. Of course, he won the title way back at Wrestlemania 33 over Goldberg.

In that near two-year time frame, Lesnar wrestled a grand total of 15 times. For comparison, Lesnar’s opponent this Sunday wrestled 15 times since December 2018.

Obviously, Lesnar is on a part-time deal and only shows up a handful of times a year, which would not be such a big issue if he was not holding the Universal Championship. Raw, though marketed as WWE’s “A-show” has seemingly taken a back seat to SmackDown Live.

Over on the blue brand we’ve seen Daniel Bryan reinvent himself as a heel, Kofi Kingston make a meteoric rise to the top of the card and Becky Lynch turn into the biggest star in the business. All the while Raw was limited who they could push to the top of the card because it was missing the Universal Championship.

Now some may think there is not anything Vince McMahon and WWE could do with Lesnar if he did not have the Title around his waist. However, when Lesnar came back in 2012, he spent over two full years in WWE before he won the WWE World Heavyweight Title from John Cena at SummerSlam 2014.

In that time Lesnar had feuds with Cena, Triple H, C.M. Punk and who could forget ending the Undertaker’s streak? Yeah, this was all done without a Lesnar holding a title.

Many expect Rollins to conquer the Beast at the Showcase of the Immortals, but knowing Vince McMahon’s track record, this match on Sunday could have a similar result to the Universal Title match last year between Reigns and Lesnar.

Last year Reigns went into the Superdome as the odds on favorite to capture the Universal Title in the main event. However, as a shock to the crowd and the WWE universe watching at home, Lesnar pinned Reigns clean in the middle of the ring to retain the title.

Rollins would be the perfect guy to capture the Universal Title from Lesnar and be the one to take the belt back to Raw and defend it there on a routine basis.  However, Slice Wrestling reported yesterday that Lesnar recently signed a new short-term deal to stay in WWE past this Sunday.

 

This again goes back to last year’s Wrestlemania. Lesnar was thought to be on his way back to the UFC, but then Lesnar signed an extension, and he captured the shock victory over “The Big Dog.”

As you can see, Slice Wrestling detailed this in a report of his after Wrestlemania last year.

Rollins and Lesnar do have history on the main event scene of Wrestlemania. If you go back to 2015, Lesnar was facing Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Title when Rollins pulled off arguably the biggest surprise in Wrestlemania history, cashing in his Money in the Bank contract after both Superstars were down in the ring to win the title.

A few months later at the Battleground pay-per-view, Lesnar faced Rollins in a rematch and looked to be well on his way to winning back the title Rollins captured from him at Wrestlemania. However, that match would be interrupted by a returning Undertaker, and that was their last interaction between the Kingslayer and The Beast.

The other dilemma is that it may be unlikely Rollins, Kingston and Lynch all their “Wrestlemania Moment” this year, as McMahon always like to swerve the audience any chance he gets.

So while conventional wisdom may say Rollins walks out of MetLife Stadium with the Universal Title overtop his head, McMahon may keep the title on Lesnar due to their upcoming trip back to the Middle East.

We’ll just have to find out come Sunday night whether the Kingslayer can turn into the Beast Slayer and capture the title that Lesnar has held hostage for nearly two years.

 

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