Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe Best Booking Options Through WWE Great Balls of Fire


Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe are going to war.

In an era when dream matches have become a true rarity, the WWE has managed to book one that fans have been talking about for years. The Beast Incarnate and The Destroyer will face off at Great Balls of Fire on Sunday, July 9, with the WWE Universal Championship on the line.

The fate of the company’s second top title will be decided between two of the industry’s toughest competitors of all time.

But as the reality of Lesnar vs. Joe settles in, fans are surely wondering how the WWE will handle this feud. There’s a lot of good to be done and some potentially great TV to be made, but it will only work if the booking is on point.

One wrong move and this dream match could become a nightmare.

The onus is on the WWE to get it right, and two key moments in the beginning of this storyline have already played out to perfection. The foundation is being laid, and thus far, everything is going extremely well. The only question is will the WWE be able to maintain its momentum with Joe and Lesnar?

The Opening Shots

When Samoa Joe confronted Paul Heyman, it seemed like just another spot.

Joe talked about Brock Lesnar. He showed no fear. He wanted what The Beast had; the intimidation factor over the WWE’s locker room, and the services of Heyman himself. Joe was cool, he was calculating, and he was cunning.

He was setting the trap for Lesnar’s advocate.

Heyman came to the ring, and he was choked out for his trouble. It was the first time in a long time that Heyman had been taken out, and Joe showed no mercy when he did it. This was more than anyone could have expected, because it immediately elevated Joe to a new level.

After all, an attack on Heyman is an attack on Lesnar. For Joe, it was all about business, but fans saw much more than that.

It was a fact that Heyman addressed on the June 12 edition of Raw. Heyman knew what he and Lesnar were up against with Joe, but he may not have realized just how far the Samoan would go to make an impact.

Joe may have drawn first blood when he attacked Heyman, but Lesnar had the opportunity to strike back just one week later. However, when Joe came to the ring to face Lesnar on Raw, he instigated the brawl that followed.

Once again, Joe took the fight to Lesnar. But how much longer will this continue?

Keeping The Beast Strong

This is the tricky part for the WWE.

On one hand, Lesnar is perhaps a bit too dominant. With the recent exception of Goldberg, Lesnar has decimated everyone put in front of him. He’s won every feud he’s ever been booked in, and he’s done so in extremely convincing fashion.

Lesnar doesn’t wrestle his opponents; he mauls them.

When a guy is that strong, that unbeatable, then no one has a chance against him. That’s especially true of Lesnar, who was the favorite to win nearly every match of his WWE career. The problem is that the more Lesnar dominated, the more stale he became.

Fans are only fascinated for so long until they get bored. For all of Lesnar’s exciting displays of power and aggressive athleticism, he’s only as interesting as the opponent he’s facing. Working Goldberg renewed Lesnar’s relevancy with fans, but then he disappeared right after winning the Universal title.

He once again won a championship and then took off.

So while it’s a great change of pace that a New Era talent is finally pushing Lesnar back on his heels, it’s imperative that The Beast does not stumble.

It’s a delicate balancing act for the WWE, but one that must be handled properly. Joe must look good, he must be ferocious, and he has to make a statement from the start. But if Lesnar falls back too far, then it will be apparent that Joe is not going over at Great Balls of Fire.

Samoa Joe may represent another chink in Lesnar’s armor. Being humbled by Goldberg was the first humanizing moment for Lesnar, but the second has now come at Joe’s hands. But fans don’t want a weakened Beast on July 9.

Joe deserves Lesnar at his best.

The Destroyer Defined

Just because Lesnar must continue to be The Beast, does not mean Joe must become the victim.

Samoa Joe is not a rookie. He’s not fresh from NXT because he’s in his second year, and the WWE wants to give him a shot at the big time. Joe is a veteran who worked his entire career to get to the WWE, and he deserves the chance he now has.

He deserves to face Lesnar.

So as the weeks pass by until Great Balls of Fire, the WWE must reinforce the notion that Joe has earned his spot. Raw can highlight his career to this point, including his stint with Ring of Honor. Joe can remind fans of how far he’s come and what he’s willing to do in order to be the best.

That means he’s not done destroying just yet.

Joe must make an example out of everyone he faces on the road to facing Lesnar. To cross Joe’s path is to pay the price, and that price includes being left for dead in the middle of the ring. Joe’s days of losing matches are over. For that matter, the days of anyone being competitive in the ring against Joe must be over as well.

 He doesn’t necessarily need to squash all of his opponents, but it would only help his cause if he did.

When fans see Joe, they must see a man who can step up to Lesnar and believably make him tap out. Joe is a legend to those who are familiar with his work before the WWE, but everyone else needs to be educated.

That education must come before July 9.

Hands Off Until Great Balls of Fire

The more that fans want to see this match, the better.

But in order to build anticipation for Joe vs. Lesnar, the WWE must go with a hands-off policy. The confrontation they had on Raw was epic for both of them, and for fans that have been waiting a long time to see the two men collide.

But that must be the end of it.

Joe is good on the mic, and Paul Heyman is a master. Now it’s time for them to trade promos back and forth on the road to Great Balls of Fire. The war of words must happen before the actual war takes place, and that will be the key to drawing even more interest in the match.

Joe will be razor-sharp in his focus on Lesnar, and Lesnar will be the hungry predator he’s always been. Those facts can shine through in even the shortest of promos, and they will be apparent every time each man is on camera.

But if they continue to have physical contact, then they will ultimately give the match away before July 9 gets here.

When the match happens, they must be given free rein. This must be about two highly skilled, highly intense warriors battling it out in a smashmouth fight that few other Superstars would be able to handle.

Fans have waited a long time for this one, and they should get their money’s worth.

The problem is the finish. Many believe Lesnar’s imminent destination will be WrestleMania 34, where he will face Roman Reigns in the main event for the Universal Championship. Reigns has beaten them all so far, and Lesnar is the last major win he needs to fulfill his top guy role.

But if he gets a Lesnar who lost to Joe in 2017 and had to regain the title in a second match, then will it mean anything to anyone? Fans may not like the idea of Reigns vs. Lesnar in 2018, but that may have already been decided behind the scenes.

The real drama right now is Joe vs. Lesnar. Why not explore every avenue available?

Perhaps Joe should defeat Lesnar for the title. The WWE has pushed the New Era concept to the point of no return; why not validate the concept with a Samoa Joe win at Great Balls of Fire? Joe has indeed earned the right to be on Lesnar’s level. There may be no better time than July 9 to prove it.

Despite what the WWE does with this match, it’s obvious that Joe vs. Lesnar could become the biggest feud of the year. Maybe the company will play it safe and Lesnar will go over. Or maybe the match will be just the first in a series, and they will trade wins.

Or maybe Joe will conquer The Beast Incarnate, and then move on to the next challenge. The only thing for certain about this rivalry is that nothing’s for certain, and that’s just the way fans like it.

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