By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Needless to say, 2014 has been the year of Brock Lesnar. He kicked off the year by beating Big Show in impressive fashion at the Royal Rumble before going on to end the 21-0 undefeated streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania 30.
Riding a wave of momentum, Lesnar returned to WWE TV the night after the Battleground pay-per-view, being named the new No. 1 contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by Triple H. At SummerSlam, Lesnar decimated John Cena and won the prestigious prize with ease.
Cena invoked his automatic championship rematch clause at Night of Champions, winning by disqualification following interference from Seth Rollins. The screwy finish has left fans wondering what's next for Lesnar. It seems as if WWE officials aren't exactly sure, either.
It's been reported by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that as of now, Lesnar isn't penciled in for the Hell in a Cell card. Logic would call for Lesnar and Cena to blow off their feud inside the cell, but the lack of mention of the WWE World Heavyweight champion on Raw this week indicated otherwise.
Regardless of whether you agreed with the decision to have Lesnar break the streak or not, WWE now has no choice but to go all the way with it. If they want Lesnar's run as champion to be considered a success, they must have him hold the strap up until WrestleMania 31 next April.
Roman Reigns is the most likely candidate to be the one to beat "The One", but his most recent injury has thrown plans into a state of array. Either way, 'Mania isn't for another six months. Who does Lesnar defend against in the meantime?
There are very few top faces on the roster right now, and only half of them would be seen as a threat to Lesnar.
Unless something changes in the next few weeks, Lesnar won't be defending against Cena again anytime soon. Thus, Cena's time in the title picture appears to be over for the time being.
With Reigns out on the shelf, Dean Ambrose has become the de facto No. 2 babyface in the company. Although his in-ring and mic skills are above-average, his size disallows him from being seen on the same level as Lesnar, especially following The Conqueror's annihilation of Cena at SummerSlam.
Big Show and Mark Henry have been suggested by some fans as potential challengers to the title, but why? Show was defeated by Lesnar in two minutes at the Rumble, while Henry had his arm broken (in storyline) by Lesnar on two separate occasions earlier this year.
That's in addition to the fact that Lesnar vs. either of those giants would not make for a compelling pay-per-view event in 2014. Last year's Survivor Series main event, anyone?
Speaking of Survivor Series, it's one of WWE's "Big Four" pay-per-views of the year. Granted, it hasn't been treated as such in years, but it still holds some importance and deserves a marquee main event this year.
If Lesnar won't be working Hell in a Cell next month, one would assume he'll be brought back to defend his title at Survivor Series. This year's installment will be emanating from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, the hometown of Randy Orton.
Could Orton be the one to take on the WWE World Heavyweight champion at the Thanksgiving week extravaganza?
Now, I'm not proposing that Orton go full-fledged babyface to feud with Lesnar. While he works much better as a heel, he has been floundering since going rogue at 2013's SummerSlam show, mostly due to the fact he's been portrayed as The Authority's lapdog more often than not.
There was a time in 2010 that Orton was the most over babyface in the company, more so than John Cena. He was the perfect anti-hero that appeals to all audiences, but that changed once he was booked to beat Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship days after Captain Charisma won it in May 2011 and he hasn't perceived by the fans the same way since.
Although Lesnar was seemingly aligned with The Authority when he returned this summer, that didn't prove to be the case at Night of Champions. Seth Rollins of The Authority clearly had no problem with cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Lesnar on Sunday night and he would have won the title had it not been for Cena's interference.
Thus, Lesnar doesn't have any partnerships with anyone other than Paul Heyman. Orton wouldn't have to break away from The Authority to face Lesnar since he'll be cheered either way in his hometown at Survivor Series.
Lesnar and Orton are of the two of the elite few that were called up from WWE's then-developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2002 and found success. It's amazing to think they haven't crossed paths since their respective debuts outside of one SmackDown match that same year.
Plans called for the two to feud going into SummerSlam, but that was scrapped in favor of a feud between Lesnar and Triple H instead. The rivalry has yet to come to fruition, but I couldn't think of a better time for it to happen than this fall for Surviovr Series.
Let's not forget the fact that Randy Orton is still in need of a one-on-one rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after losing it at WrestleMania 30, something he (and several fans) have not forgotten. This could come in the form of a match with Lesnar at the November event.
Orton's character has been stagnant for some time now, but a push toward the title might motivate The Viper and light a fire underneath him. Similar to Lesnar, Orton is need of a program right now with Chris Jericho gone, and there's no one better for him to target than The Beast Incarnate himself.