Could Brock Lesnar be wrestling in a Raw tournament to crown a No.1 contender for the WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania 33? I explain why.
As I laid out in my previous article, this year’s Royal Rumble may be the most open Royal Rumble ever, with six new betting favorites in four months. However, for me, the biggest hints regarding the direction the WWE could be going in, may have been dropped this week. The first hint seemingly came when Shane McMahon announced that the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match would be a WWE Title match. I had originally believed that Smackdown would use the Elimination Chamber to crown their No.1 contender, meaning the Royal Rumble winner would come from Raw. However, this announcement means that neither Raw or Smackdown have a clear way of crowning their own No.1 Contender after the Royal Rumble, should the winner come from the opposing brand. So why would the Chamber not be for No.1 Contender status? In addition to that, why has the advertised WWE Title match, a two out of three falls rematch between Cena vs AJ Styles, been changed to an Elimination Chamber match? Could it be because the Royal Rumble winner will be a Smackdown talent and the Elimination Chamber needed a reason to exist?
This brings me to my second hint, the Raw dates of Brock Lesnar. It was revealed this week that Brock Lesnar is now advertised for all RAW events going into the Fastlane pay-per-view on March 5th, except the February 13th RAW in Las Vegas because he’s currently serving a suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission over the failed drug tests related to UFC 200.
Lesnar’s updated schedule looks like this:
- January 16th – RAW in Little Rock
- January 20th – live event in Buffalo
- January 23rd – RAW in Cleveland
- January 29th – Royal Rumble in San Antonio
- January 30th – RAW in Laredo
- February 4th – live event in Salt Lake City
- February 6th – RAW in Portland
- February 17th – live event in Dallas
- February 20th – RAW in Los Angeles
- February 27th – RAW in Green Bay
- March 6th – RAW in Chicago
- March 12th – live event in New York City
- March 13th – RAW in Detroit
- March 20th – RAW in Brooklyn
- April 2nd – WrestleMania 33 in Orlando
This an extremely busy schedule for Brock Lesnar. I can’t imagine that Brock is making all these appearances to simply show up with Paul Heyman and speak about Bill Goldberg, especially when Goldberg is wrestling at WWE Fastlane against a different opponent. My theory is, that Brock Lesnar will be wrestling in a No.1 contender tournament to see who faces the WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania 33. I believe that Raw will announce this tournament after a Smackdown talent wins the Royal Rumble. This will leave the door open for Goldberg to defeat the WWE Universal Champion at Fastlane and for Brock Lesnar to win the Raw tournament and challenge Goldberg at WrestleMania 33. This would be a great way to rebuild Brock after his 86 second loss and It would be a chance to get the Universal Title onto Goldberg, which is something I believe the fans would like to see. It would also raise the stakes for the final match between Goldberg vs Lesnar, making light of Lesnar’s two losses, as he would win the final and most significant match of their trilogy. Winning a WrestleMania main event for the WWE Universal Title would certainly be the most significant win in the Goldberg vs Lesnar trilogy.
With Shane’s announcement and the information about Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania dates, I believe we may have been given our biggest clues to date regarding the winner of the Royal Rumble, what the direction is for Brock Lesnar and WrestleMania 33 in general. If I am wrong, it will be very interesting to see how WWE use Brock Lesnar for all these additional dates, the highest amount of consecutive dates he’s ever had since his 2012 return to the WWE. I do not believe Brock Lesnar’s contract incurs additional costs, should he wrestle on TV, as he has wrestled on several major WWE house shows in the last twelve months. Those matches have all be very quick five-minute matches, and I believe the opening two tournament matches will be the same, until we get to the final match, which will most likely take place on March 6th in Chicago, the night after WWE Fastlane. If this theory is correct, the WWE will once again face the issue it faced last time Lesnar was Champion, in that the Universal Title will be off TV for several weeks and not defended on house shows. However, I feel it will be beneficial long-term, as the person who defeats Brock Lesnar for the gold, probably at SummerSlam, will be looked at as a truly massive star. Stay tuned to my podcast, the Dirty Sheets, as we will continue to cover and discuss the interesting road to WrestleMania 33.
This article was originally published at Sportskeeda.