With the current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar not set to appear until Survivor Series, there is a big question that needs answering: who should be next in line to challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship. There are many superstars who deserve, but these are the top five options.
1 Finn Balor
Finn Balor was the first Universal Champion but had to vacate it twenty-four hours after winning it due to an injury. Balor has been stuck in a meaningless feud with Bray Wyatt over the past couple of months, and the only way to keep him from staying in the mid-card is by having him challenge Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship.
If Balor hadn't suffered an injury during his historic title win at SummerSlam 2016, he would have had a great run as Universal Champion. With him set to face Bray Wyatt at TLC, if Finn can vanquish even Wyatt's "Sister Abigail" persona, it should give him a wave of momentum he can ride to a championship opportunity.
2 Braun Strowman
Although we recently had Strowman challenge Brock at No Mercy, Braun Strowman has earned a cult following due to his continued attacks on Roman Reigns. Despite the controversially sudden finish to their last clash, this could tell another great story of Strowman knowing what to expect and showing some terrifying strategy for a man of his power.
If Braun were victorious, it could lead to a championship rematch at the Royal Rumble, which is probably the next time we'd see Lesnar after Survivor Series as it is. With the amount of momentum Braun holds, even after his loss to Lesnar, he remains a valid contender and one of Lesnar's biggest threats.
3 Roman Reigns
Although Roman is currently back with his Shield cohorts Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, after their battle with The Miz, The Bar and Braun Strowman at TLC, WWE could bring the scheduled match between Roman and Brock backwards to Survivor Series to get it out of the way, setting up a different match for the two for WrestleMania 34.
With The Shield not expected to last that long, and some rumors it may even end before the year is out, it's inevitable that once they split, it is more than likely that Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins will reignite their feud from 2014 while Roman seeks to fight someone else. Maybe that someone else could be Brock Lesnar. Neither man has defeated the other, as at WrestleMania 31, Seth Rollins cashed in halfway through the match to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. It's an open secret that the current plan for the main event of WrestleMania 34 is to see Lesnar and Roman collide once more, but plans can always change.
4 Samoa Joe
Like Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe has also recently challenged Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship. Joe's match with Brock at Great Balls of Fire turned out be a disappointment, but a rematch could blow that first match out of the water.
With Lesnar current string of victorious, it would be interesting to see someone he's defeated come from a different angle to mount a challenge once again. Joe is currently out due to injury, but he's expected to be back any time. With Lesnar unlikely to appear until Survivor Series, the timing could work well with a returning Joe putting his focus right on the current Universal Champion.
5 The Miz
Yes, The Miz is the Intercontinental Champion at the moment but it doesn't take away from the fact that he's been on fire during the past two years. He made the Intercontinental Championship mean something once again, on both Raw and SmackDown Live, with his feud with Dolph Ziggler being a highlight of 2016, especially their Title vs. Career match at No Mercy 2016.
The Miz definitely deserves some kind of world title match, be it the Universal or WWE Championship but seeing as he is on Raw, a match with Brock is something that needs to happen. Although Brock would more than likely defeat Miz, the mere thought of Miz and Paul Heyman trading barbs via microphone on Raw is enough to give the ratings a boost. With the added wrinkle of The Miztourage, a match against Lesnar would differ greatly from his recent challenges.
Depending on when the Universal title is defended next, WWE have to think logically to who they put against Brock. Not only must it sound like a good match, but with Brock's part-time status, they have to make the fans believe Brock could end up losing the title.
As mentioned before, it's believed for now that WWE's current plan is to have Brock Lesnar hold the Universal Title until WrestleMania, where he will drop it to Roman Reigns. With seven months until WrestleMania, WWE have to put Brock up against interesting challengers that the crowd can get behind and believe in. Or, in the case of Miz, challengers the crowd can enjoy watching get destroyed.
Who do you think should be next to challenge for the Universal Championship? Leave us a comment below!
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