Though it took weeks to make happen, it's finally official: At the 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam, WWE COO Triple H will get his wish, stepping in the ring against the obstinate Brock Lesnar to create "The Perfect Storm." The battle will mark the very first time that the two heavyweight warriors lock horns in one-on-one combat.
It’s the match that The Game has been campaigning for since returning in June at No Way Out. In one corner will be The King of Kings, who will enter the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles armed with ample motivation to teach the uncontrollable Lesnar a lesson. From a professional standpoint, the WWE COO wants to defend his company against the litigious, high-maintenance monster of a fighter who sought to “legitimize” WWE with his headline-stealing return in April. Personally, Triple H is looking for retribution from the individual who savagely broke his arm with a Kimura Lock in an unprovoked attack on Raw many weeks ago. (WATCH
On the Aug. 6 edition of Raw, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels revealed he would be in The Game's corner for the match. (WATCH | FULL STORY) The next week, however, Lesnar upped the stakes by ambushing The Showstopper in the parking lot and dragging him back to the ring, where he trapped Michaels in the Kimura Lock and dished out the same punishment he had given Triple H, breaking HBK's arm and effectively removing him entirely from The Game's corner at WWE's summer classic (WATCH: TRIPLE H COMMENTS ON LESNAR'S ATTACK Live
So now, The King of Kings stands alone against Lesnar, whose natural gifts and wrecking ball force allowed him to return to the ring after an eight-year layoff and walk into the main event, where he narrowly lost to John Cena in a vicious Extreme Rules Match. After perceiving his welcome back to WWE to be lackluster — the former WWE and UFC Heavyweight Champion alleges WWE breached the terms of his contract — Lesnar quit WWE in one of the highest-profile walkouts in history. (WATCH
Lesnar was finally brought into action, when his crafty adversaries opted to poke a stick at the pride of the outspoken Paul Heyman. In response to the salvo fired by Triple H at No Way Out, Lesnar’s camp had responded for weeks with only cool refusals articulated by Lesnar's lawsuit-happy representation. However, after Triple H’s wife, Stephanie, managed to get under the skin of the normally on-point former head of ECW at Raw 1,000, Heyman accepted the match on Lesnar’s behalf. The Billion Dollar Princess then attacked Heyman for repeatedly bringing her children into the discussion. This brought Lesnar to the ring and ignited an explosive physical encounter between The Game and his now official SummerSlam opponent.
The showdown holds the potential to change the landscape of WWE long after the books close on the biggest event of the summer. If Triple H prevails, will that be enough to rid WWE of the incorrigible Lesnar once and for all? On the other hand, should Lesnar win, would he and Heyman then have the leverage necessary to ostensibly hold WWE hostage until their demands are met?
Politics aside, this bout has all the makings of a true heavyweight war. The STAPLES Center will be abuzz with big-fight excitement as both Superstars enter the squared circle as competitors for the first time since April. With only one match apiece, Triple H and Lesnar have arguably fought in WWE’s two most physical encounters of the year: the “End of the Era” Hell in a Cell Match at WrestleMania XVIII, and the anything-goes main event of WWE Extreme Rules, respectively. Given their track records, it is safe to assume the SummerSlam conflict will be a hard-nosed, drag-out brawl.
Still, the injury to Michaels could hinder The King of Kings in more ways than one. Perhaps Triple H, blinded by rage, would be unable to focus on his game plan and if so, would that give a meaningful advantage to Lesnar, whose submission game has grown exponentially more sophisticated since his first run in WWE?
Since late April, Lesnar has watched his rivalry with Triple H develop from the comfort of his own home. Though Lesnar has not appeared eager to compete, there’s little doubt he will be ring-ready for SummerSlam. Will the fact he’s been ushered back into combat against his will only impel the bitter Lesnar to up the intensity of his training camp? Then, there’s the pride factor: Forget the laundry list of demands tied to his renegotiated contract; Lesnar’s win-loss record since returning to WWE is 0-1. Will the egotistical Lesnar be more determined than ever to leave Los Angeles victorious?
On Aug. 19, at the biggest show of the summer, these larger-than-life gladiators will meet head-on, and all the answers will be revealed.