It’s been several weeks now since Brock Lesnar became the WWE Universal Champion at WrestleMania, but he is not scheduled to defend his title this Sunday at Payback. So when exactly is Lesnar going to have a match with the Universal Championship on the line?
It was announced this week that Brock Lesnar will defend his Universal Championship for the first time at Great Balls of Fire, a Raw-exclusive pay-per-view which has been scheduled for July 9th, 2017.
That means that Brock Lesnar is going to be absent from two Raw-exclusive pay-per-views in a row. In addition to missing Payback this Sunday, he will also miss Extreme Rules, the next Raw-exclusive pay-per-view scheduled to air on June 4th.
This has lead some fans to wonder why some prior champions have had to give up their title as a result of not being able to defend it for more than 30 days, whereas Brock Lesnar can go three months without defending his title and not have any issue. The kayfabe explanation would be that superstars only have to be available to defend the title; they don’t necessarily have to actually defend it every 30 days. This is why an injury can force a superstar to vacate their championship; since they won’t be available to wrestle for more than a month, they have to give up the title.
It won’t be confirmed for quite some time who Brock Lesnar’s opponent will be, but the common thinking is that it will be Braun Strowman. After all, Braun Strowman was the one to confront Brock Lesnar in the ring on the Raw after WrestleMania, telling him that he’s going to take out Roman Reigns as a way of proving himself to Lesnar.
Strowman has a match against Roman Reigns at Payback this Sunday, and so from a storytelling perspective, it would make sense to have Strowman defeat Reigns, therefore earning Lesnar’s attention and leading to a match between the two of them.
However, if that’s the case, the WWE will have to come up with a pretty good explanation for the fact that Lesnar is going to wait another two months before having that match with Strowman.
Looking ahead even further, the rumor for a while now has been that the main event of WrestleMania 34 will be Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, possibly with the Universal Championship on the line. This suggests that Lesnar will hold on to the title until then, although it’s possible that he’ll drop it to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, and this will only be the beginning of a Reigns vs. Lesnar feud that builds into WrestleMania.
Great Balls of Fire will be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Tickets go on sale on May 5th.