Like last summer, when longtime franchise counterparts AJ Styles and John Cena locked up for the first time, WWE will present wrestling fans yet another dream match at its next pay-per-view.
But Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe's match at Great Balls of Fire July 9 isn't just another clash between the respective bests of WWE and, well, everywhere else. Like Styles and Cena, it is the type of match fans salivated over as far back as 15 years ago, during Lesnar's first tear through WWE and Joe's emergence in Ring of Honor and TNA as one of the world's best.
However, and unlike Styles and Cena, Lesnar and Joe is a straight-up monster match, WWE's Godzilla vs. King Kong in all its sweaty, snugly worked glory. And that makes booking the match a challenge. Though Lesnar will almost certainly retain his Universal Championship, the way he does is not only crucial to the quality of the match, but to Joe's credibility as "The Destroyer."
So here are five ways Lesnar and Joe's match could go, ranked from worst to best:
The Luke Harper way: Lesnar and the former Wyatt Family enforcer was another dream match to me — and then it happened. Lesnar shrugged off Harper's superkicks and discus clotheslines only to spam Germans until the former Intercontinental Champion's spinal column was saying "no no no no no." Joe receiving the same glorified squash treatment would be an absolute shame.
The Goldberg I way: Though it'd be nice to see Joe presented on Lesnar's level, he shouldn't be given too much control of the match, nor for too long. At this stage in his career, Joe is prone to slow, submission-heavy stretches that suck the energy out of his matches (see: his series with Shinsuke Nakamura). And we saw how well that sort of match went for Lesnar at WrestleMania XX.
The Goldberg III way: Just like WrestleMania 33's standout main event, Lesnar and Joe could benefit from being short and sweet. A quick volley of signature bombs that Lesnar barely survives would deliver on the dream match hype and preserve both his and Joe's credibility as top-tier monsters in WWE.
The John Cena way: If Lesnar and Joe do go long, the king-of-the-mountain savagery of the former UFC Heavyweight Champion's first match back in WWE in 2012 would be a good guidepost. And a little accidental blood has never hurt Lesnar and Joe's matches.
The Goldberg II way: Or Joe could shock the hell out of us and win the Universal Championship. Another year of Lesnar intermittently showing up to spamplex the full-time roster until Roman Reigns dethrones him at WrestleMania could go south quick, but another memorable curve ball would make the top of WWE's Raw roster interesting again.