THE BOOKING REPORT – 06.11.2017: Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” On a side note, Friedrich Nietzsche also lost all of his mental faculties at the age of 44. I could see someone using a similar story in a wrestling angle somewhere, but I digress. Samoa Joe is currently staring directly into the eyes of the monster beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar, and we have a great opportunity to turn Joe into a real monster also. 

The Build Up
So far, we’ve seen Samoa Joe win the right to face Brock, and we’ve seen Brock’s advocate, Paul Heyman, show up to address Joe. Joe then whispered something into Paul’s ear and then told him he had a message for Brock. At that point, he choked Heyman out and left him lying in the ring. Pretty typical build, but let’s see if we can advance the story from here. 
With several weeks remaining before the Great Balls of Fire PPV, and working around Brock’s limited schedule, we have to rely heavily on Samoa Joe and Paul Heyman to put in the work. Since we’ve established that Joe is willing to put his hands on Heyman, and it’s honestly not that exciting to see over and over, we will have Paul present paperwork at the next RAW showing he has placed a restraining order on Joe. This will serve to keep them apart. Then you use Heyman as a mouthpiece while Joe “stays 100 feet away at all times,” until the week before the go-home show. At that event, Joe finally breaks the restraining order and is quickly arrested before he can get to Heyman. 



The Go-Home Show 
This show begins to wrap up with Brock in the ring and Heyman continuing to run his mouth about Joe. Joe’s music plays and he walks to the ring. Heyman again holds up the restraining order and Joe stops half way down the aisle. Some mouthing back and forth between them ends when Brock smiles and Heyman rips the restraining order up. This cues Joe that he’s free of limitations and runs for the ring. Once in the ring, it becomes obvious that it was just a trap as the beast destroys Samoa Joe, and RAW ends with Heyman almost looking surprised before coming to his senses and congratulating the smiling Brock Lesnar. 


The Match
The match starts out a little more even than the previous encounter with Joe getting the upper hand for a period of time before Brock regains the advantage and looks to be on the verge of putting Joe away. After a few suplexes, Heyman gets up on the apron yelling at Brock. He screams, “Do it! Now is our chance! Do it now!” At that moment Joe musters the strength to push Brock towards Heyman. As Brock catches himself before he hits a cowering Heyman, Paul turns and throws a “great ball of fire” in Brock’s face! (See what I did there?) This temporarily blinds the beast and Samoa Joe locks in Lesnar’s Kimura Lock. Brock refuses to give up! After several minutes in the lock a very loud “pop” is heard from the ring. Joe immediately breaks the hold and Lesnar clutches his arm. The ref looks in and he immediately begins to call for help from the back and paramedics help hold Brock’s arm while they walk him to the back. The show ends with Heyman grabbing the belt and hurrying to the locker room. What just happened? Did Samoa Joe win? Was the match just stopped? Was that injury real? Was the fireball an accident? Was it on purpose? Was he saying, “Do it now” to Joe, not Lesnar? As the PPV ends there are still a lot of unanswered questions. You have to tune into to RAW to find out what happened. 

RAW: The Night After 
The next night on RAW, Paul Heyman addresses the crowd. He tells them that Brock Lesnar suffered a severe comminuted fracture of the ulna and the radius bones in his arm, and since he will not be able to compete for quite some time, he is forfeiting the title. The only logical person to hold on to the title is…. Samoa Joe’s music plays and he enters the ring. There’s a brief stare down and Joe climbs through the ropes. Heyman drops the belt on the ground. Are they friends? What’s going on? The stare down continues for a few more seconds and then…Heyman and Joe embrace! Heyman cuts a promo about how Joe is the future and Lesnar is the past. The washed up, and now out of commission, past! Joe is the new champ, he’s a monster, he’s the new beast, and so on and so forth. Who am I to put words in the mouth of the great orator Paul Heyman, anyway? 
In the middle of their celebration, Kurt Angle’s music plays. The GM comes to the ring to inform them that they “will NOT be leaving the ring with that belt. The real champ is NOT Samoa Joe. The real champion is…Vacant!” That should give the crowd a big pop since it sort of plays to the fan’s lingo. Angle goes on to inform them that Joe definitely should have an advantage and he will be sure he has a fair advantage going forward. He will be the reigning #1 contender for the Universal Title. He will wrestle for the belt at SummerSlam against the winner of a #2 contender tournament! 

The reason I suggest booking Lesnar to be injured is because it gives us a legitimate reason to have him off of TV and not the usual disappointing disappearing act they always give us. The finish doesn’t hurt Brock because he got screwed by Heyman and still didn’t give up. This also keeps him open to return as a huge babyface to dethrone the champ. I could see him showing up with his arm still in a cast at SummerSlam to attack Joe or have him win the Royal Rumble. That would probably be the smarter booking. That is, if the WWE really wants him and Reigns at next year’s WrestleMania. Booking a tournament is the perfect reset, and honestly, RAW needs it right now. It also allows you many opportunities to begin new feuds. Maybe have a “random draw” for the matches and get the unfortunate draw of Enzo vs Big Cass. You can have Braun Strowman show back up “injured” and “take” a spot from somebody. You could have Braun win it if he’s legitimately healthy.
It really opens the doors to many, many different outcomes. A little surprise in the world of wrestling is a good thing…  but what do I know? 


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