Wrestler of the Day – March 18: Brock Lesnar

We’re going into Beast Mode today. It’s Brock Lesnar.

Brock started off in OVW as part of the Minnesota Stretching Crew with partner Shelton Benjamin. They proved to be an awesome tag team and would work dark matches on Raw, such as this one from May 15, 2001.

Minnesota Stretching Crew vs. Disciples of Synn

Shelton and Damien get things going with Benjamin speeding things up. He hits a bad looking dragon whip before it’s off to Brock for some BIG suplexes on both Disciples. Back to Shelton for a double Rock Bottom on Payne, only to have Damien pop in for a sitout spinebuster. Damien gets two off a spinebuster to Shelton before it’s back to Payne for an Impaler DDT.

Synn (Jim Cornette’s future wife) chokes Shelton before Damien snaps off a suplex. Benjamin comes back with a sunset flip to both Disciples at the same time. The hot tag brings in Brock as everything breaks down. Brock cleans house and press slams Synn, setting up the Shooting Star to Payne (he was over halfway across the ring. That’s not human) for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t much to see but Brock’s flip was INSANE. The Disciples weren’t much to see but Synn was absolutely hated in the OVW region and that’s all they needed to work. Brock and Shelton would of course be far more famous in the future but unfortunately the Shooting Star wasn’t famous for the right reasons.

Brock would debut in the WWF the night after Wrestlemania XVIII. He would destroy everyone in sight, setting up his first match against Jeff Hardy at Backlash 2002.

Jeff Hardy vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar is still using generic ominous music here. Hardy goes right at him and is easily thrown to the floor. Hardy tries to speed it up but dives into Lesnar’s arms. He manages to ram Brock into the post and hits a top rope cross body back in for two. Brock shrugs that off and rams Hardy into the corner with the shoulders.

The destruction begins as Brock throws him around and Heyman yells that it’s Lita’s fault. Jeff gets in some punches but he can’t do much with them. A Whisper in the Wind out of nowhere puts Lesnar down as does the jawbreaker. Swanton gets two so it’s chair time. Brock picks him up with ease and hits the F5. Three powerbombs and it’s called off.

Rating: C+. This was exactly what it was supposed to be: a way to make Lesnar look completely awesome and dominant. Those powerbombs were awesome and Jeff’s masterful selling helped them all that much more. Throw in Lita looking especially slutty and this worked quite well.

His first major challenge would be the King of the Ring tournament, where he would make the finals against Rob Van Dam.

KOTR Finals: RVD vs. Brock Lesnar

Ok, does ANYONE here think RVD can win? If you do, you’re a freaking idiot. Van Dam uses his kicks to start and goes for the legs which makes sense I guess. And there we are as Lesnar just beats the tar out of him. We go through the standard beating that you would expect as they’re keeping things simple here. Why do otherwise I guess? Lesnar hits all of his big power stuff and it works quite well.

He hits the bearhug but Van Dam gets out, making him better than Hogan I guess. RVD makes his comeback and actually hits the Five Star, but Heyman interferes and snaps his neck over the ropes. The problem is that RVD lands on Lesnar for the cover and it gets a long two. See, that’s smart and clever as they make Lesnar look strong by having him kick out, especially when Van Dam rarely covers right after the move anyway.

That’s well thought out and it maks Lesnar look good. Van Dam goes up but gets caught in an F5 which looked great for the pin to give Brock the crown in a 6 minute match. Can we please have a long one? Would it kill you?

Rating: C+. They kept Brock protected here and it worked fine. He’s kind of like Sheamus but not really. They’re not letting him be in there too long at a time and it’s letting him look awesome without being able to pick out his mistakes and flaws that really are pretty obvious. This was fine for what it was as Brock is more or less catapulted into the main event picture off of one win.

Now the King, and #1 contender for the WWE Championship at Summerslam 2002, Brock would get a bit bigger match on Smackdown on August 8, 2002.

Brock Lesnar vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan has talked Brock into putting the title shot on the line earlier in the night.. Heyman: “WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?????” They circle each other for awhile until Hogan is shoved out of a lockup. Brock takes him down and stomps away but Hogan no sells a slam. A bunch of right hands knock Lesnar into the corner and a clothesline gets two. It’s not often that you see Hogan get a near fall. Lesnar is sent outside but a Heyman distraction allows Brock to crotch Hogan against the post.

He stomps away at Hogan and tells the fans to cheer for their hero. They head outside so Brock can set up the announce table but it gives Hogan the breather he needs. Brock is sent into the steps but he comes back with a running powerbomb out of the corner for two. It’s already Hulk Up time but Brock is up before the legdrop.

Hogan escapes the F5 and hits the boot/legdrop but Brock THROWS Hogan off at two. Heyman breaks up another legdrop attempt and there’s the F5. Lesnar won’t cover, even when Heyman shouts not to waste time because Hogan is different. There’s a bearhug and for one of the only times I can remember, the arm goes down three times to give Lesnar the win.

Rating: C. That would be Hogan’s last match for six months. It’s definitely a big win because of how it happened and to whom, but Hogan had already tapped out to Angle at King of the Ring, so it’s not like this was unheard of. Still though, it’s Hogan getting knocked out by a hold which isn’t something you see every day.

Next up was the title shot against Rock at Summerslam 2002.

WWF World Title: The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar has his agent Paul Heyman with him. Rock charges into the ring and walks into a belly to belly suplex for two. Lesnar hits a pair of backbreakers for two and we head to the floor with Brock clotheslining him into the crowd. Apparently Rock has bad ribs coming into this match. Back in and Brock hits another overhead belly to belly suplex for two before dropping some elbows. A powerslam puts Rock down for two as this is one sided so far. Brock fires off some shoulder in the corner but misses a charge and hits the post.

Rock hits a belly to back suplex of his own and both guys are down. Both guys nip up at the same time and Rock isn’t sure what to think. Rock hits some clotheslines but it takes three of them to finally drop Brock. The champion hooks a Sharpshooter and Brock is in trouble. Heyman throws in a chair which distracts Rocky, allowing Lesnar to to get out and blast Rock in the ribs with the chair. Off to the bearhug which ended Hogan and takes Rock down to the mat here.

The fans are entirely behind Lesnar here which is very strange to hear. Rock doesn’t let his arm drop a third time and now we get a Rocky chant. The champion finally escapes the hold but gets a hard shoulder into the ribs to slow him down again. Rock comes out of the corner with a running clothesline and the crowd reaction is mixed at best. A series of right hands knocks Lesnar out to the floor and Rock loads up the announce table. After scaring Heyman to death, Rock launches Lesnar face first into the post.

There’s a Rock Bottom through the table for Heyman and the announcers couldn’t be happier. Back in and the Rock Bottom hits Lesnar for a VERY close two. The fans shift affiliation again, now cheering for Brock. Their current hero hits a Rock Bottom of his own for two and both guys stagger to their feet. Rock hits the spinebuster but as he loads up the Elbow, Brock pops up and hits a HUGE clothesline. Here comes the F5 but Rock escapes and tries the Rock Bottom. That and another attempt at the same move are both countered and the F5 gives Lesnar the title.

Rating: B-. The match was just ok until the very hot finish, but the last two minutes or so made up for a lot of the earlier problems. This was a great example of how to make a guy like Lesnar look like a monster. Rock left to film The Rundown immediately after this so Lesnar was the only one left standing. Great way to put Brock over here and a pretty solid match overall.

Brock’s first opponent was the Undertaker, who he faced inside the Cell at No Mercy 2002.

Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker

In the Cell remember. Taker keeps lunging at Brock and gets taken to the mat for his trouble. Big powerslam gets two for the champion and there’s the cast to Lesnar’s ribs after he misses a charge in the corner. Brock tries to escape but can’t get out so he hammers on the arm instead. He goes with an armbar which isn’t something you often see in a Cell match.

Taker blasts him in the head with it which is a double edged sword. Actually it’s a hard cast but you get the metaphor. Brock is busted BAD. Heyman is all freaked out. Brock is bleeding but there’s been worse in ECW so I guess he’s mellowed. They hit the floor and Taker beats the tar out of him and covers on the floor for two. You can do that? I don’t remember that before.

More cast shots which all of a sudden don’t hurt him. I guess he’s lucky that the shot he got kicked in sometime between the first big shot with it and this set of them. Lesnar gets put in place for the apron legdrop but Taker goes up and drops a knee (I think) from the top instead for two on the floor again. Heyman shouts at Brock to get away from Taker. Taker kicks Heyman through the cage in a nice shot.

He follows that up by grabbing Paul’s tie and pulling on it to slam him into the cage. Taker gets out of the way of a charging Brock who crashes into Heyman too. Dang he’s taken a beating tonight. Brock gets a good shot in though and sends him into the cage. Heyman is busted open too. He slips his belt in and ties Taker up with it so Lesnar can annihilate him a bit. Heyman shouting YOU’RE GONNA DIE is great stuff.

Lesnar, a 300lb beast, swings a chair about ten times to drill Taker’s hand each time. So in other words, Taker is probably in need of major surgery now on it. Let’s see if it hurts at all. Brock gets the cast off or at least tries to. Heyman sounds demonic out there. There goes the cast completely as they’re actually in the ring now.

In a cool spot, Brock sits him on the top rope and uses the top of the cage to lift himself up and throw kicks at Taker. Taker blocks a superplex despite being more or less dead. He knocks Lesnar to the mat and manages to drop an elbow off the top with the right hand and seems to be just fine. Shocking isn’t it? I’m not used to seeing Taker’s bare hand. Taker kicks Brock into the cage and has momentum again.

Taker dives through the ropes and more or less completely misses but Brock sells it anyway. Cole thinks Taker’s broken right hand could be a weakness for him. Wow indeed. Steps to the head take Taker down again and busts him open. More steps to the head and Taker is more or less done. His face is COVERED in blood.

Back in the ring Brock gets a big spinebuster for two. ZERO pop for the kickout. And naturally Taker is able to throw big right hands and is “running on adrenaline” apparently. Oh give me a break. The blood on the camera is always a nice touch. Old School is blocked and Brock takes over again. Tazz: Undertaker has never been pinned or submitted. What the heck is this guy on?

F5 is reversed into a chokeslam for two which gets a bigger pop than the kickout did a minute ago. Brock goes for a Last Ride and is reversed. DDT gets two. Sweet GOODNESS Taker is bleeding badly. Brock does the punches in the corner which Taker counters with the Last Ride for two as Brock’s bloody hand grabs the rope.

In something SICK on the cover, Taker’s blood drips onto Brock’s face. That’s not good at all and really isn’t safe in the slightest. That’s a big reason as to why the blood policy is a good thing. Taker goes for the Tombstone and Brock is like screw this let’s end it and counters it before literally throwing Taker onto his shoulders for the F5 to retain. We then get what is supposed to be an iconic scene as he grabs the title and climbs to the top of the Cell where he holds it over his head to end the show.

Rating: C. Hard one to call here as the match itself is more or less crap. It’s about 27 minutes long and at least 15 of that is spent on the floor. Taker’s hand thing was eye rolling levels of stupid as all of a sudden a shot is able to heal 5 chair shots from Brock Lesnar to a broken hand. Brock looked great here, but the main reason this is a decent grade is the blood.

If you like bloody matches, RUN out and find a copy of this show. Taker’s blood is absolutely insane as you can’t see his face and it looks like there’s a hole in his forehead. It’s a big brawl but Taker was really looking bad out there, both from how his face looked to how he was working. I didn’t like the match, but the blood was insane.

Brock would lose the title to Big Show at Survivor Series 2002 when Heyman turned on him. His only path back to the title was winning the Royal Rumble, which Brock did with relative ease. This earned him a showdown with Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XIX.

Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle

If Angle is disqualified or counted out or if anyone interferes, he loses the title. Lesnar has slightly injured ribs and Cole’s voice is almost gone. Brock sends him into the corner to start but Kurt takes him down to the mat with a front facelock. They fight over an armbar with neither guy being able to get extended control. Now it’s a fight over a headlock as the fast paced mat work continues.

Lesnar rolls Angle off and it’s a standoff. Brock takes him down with an armdrag into an armbar but Kurt grabs a rope. He pounds away at Brock’s back but Lesnar fires off some shoulders into Angle’s ribs in the corner. A powerslam puts Angle down for two but Angle comes right back with a German suplex. After Brock hits a fast gorilla press, Angle hits another German to send Brock’s ribs into the buckle.

Angle goes after the ribs like a barracuda, stomping away in the corner before hooking a chinlock with a bodyscissors. He shifts it into a kind of crossface grip before into a chinlock. A knee to Brock’s back sends him out to the floor but as they come back inside, Brock plants him down with a spinebuster. Lesnar fires off some clotheslines and shoulders in the corner, only to charge into an elbow. Brock is fine with that by snapping off an overhead belly to belly and another one for two.

Kurt comes back with Rolling Germans and Brock is spent. Angle’s neck is bothering him though and you can see his eyes not looking right. The Angle Slam is countered into an F5 attempt but Angle reverses that into the ankle lock. Brock gets the rope but Angle pulls him back without the hold being broken. For some reason that’s ok with the referee and Kurt switches it up to a half crab. Brock finally kicks Angle away and launches him out to the floor.

The champ hits a SWEET release German on Brock for two and the Angle Slam gets the same. Lesnar comes back with the Angle Slam for two of his own as the fans are getting way into this now. Back to the ankle lock by Kurt and he hooks the grapevine for good measure. Brock somehow makes it to the rope, which I believe is the only time anyone has escaped the grapevine version of the ankle lock.

F5 is countered into a small package but the Angle Slam is countered into another F5 which connects for no cover. Instead Brock goes to the top rope for the famous spot of the match, as he completely botches a Shooting Star Press, landing square on his head. With Lesnar’s brains somewhere in Bermuda, Angle covers for two. Lesnar stands up, hits another F5, and wins the title before heading off for medical attention. The gone look on Brock’s face is terrifying.

Rating: B+. It’s another very good match, but it’s still not a masterpiece. The botch is the main thing that people remember but the match is still very good for the most part. Angle competing in this condition was freaking STUPID at the end of the day and it’s no wonder that he’s basically insane now. Very good match though and a good way to start Lesnar’s second title reign.

The next month Brock would defend against this upstart phenom who you may have heard of.

Smackdown World Title: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar

 

This would be a very different match today. I mean imagine: CENA ON SMACKDOWN? That’s hilarious. Cena comes out in a Yankees jersey and raps about being better than Sammartino. He’s iron like the Sheik and has us in his camel clutches. Cena jumps him from behind and we’re ready to go. This is Lesnar’s first defense since Mania. Lesnar grabs him into a backbreaker and hits two of them followed by a fallaway slam.

 

Brock hooks a front facelock on the mat and the fans think this is boring. That’s so weird to hear in a Cena match. A kind of fisherman’s suplex puts Cena down. Lesnar hits a gorilla press and we head outside. Cena goes into the announce table as this has been ALL Brock for the first few minutes. Back in Cena avoids a clothesline and heads right back to the floor. John manages to reverse a whip into the steps and gets a breather.

 

Brock is bleeding from a bandaged cut he had coming in. Belly to back gets two for the challenger. Cena knocks him to the floor and rams Brock’s head into the post again. That gets two so it’s chinlock time. Brock has a cut that looks like the kind Hogan used to get: it’s all jagged. The hold doesn’t last long as Lesnar charges into a big old spinebuster which puts both guys down.

 

Cena comes back with a clothesline for two. Now the Dr. is getting frustrated so he puts on a rear naked choke of sorts. Cena’s eyes look crazy here. Brock gets up and rams Cena’s back into the corner three times to break the hold. That would be opposite corners which makes it even more impressive. Brock gets all fired up and hits a bunch of clotheslines and a spinebuster for two. Powerslam gets the same. Brock almost gets rammed into the referee but he puts on the brakes. Low blow gets two for Cena and the Throwback gets two. Cena picks up the chain but as it’s taken away he walks into the F5 for the pin.

 

Rating: B-. Not bad here but man is it weird to see Cena as such an underdog. This wasn’t really a match with a chance of having a new champion, but rather giving Brock a good first match as champion. Cena was obviously going to get better but for a first time out there, this was fine. Why they don’t do this more often today is beyond me. Why not throw out something like Kofi for a title match if you have a bigger main event such as Rock vs. Goldberg.

Next up was a triple threat title match against Kurt Angle and Big Show at Vengeance 2003.

WWF World Title: Big Show vs. Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar

This is No DQ which is announced just as the match is about to begin. Big Show is the only villain coming into this match. Angle and Lesnar stare each other down before double teaming Big Show. Kurt is sent to the floor and a quick chokeslam gets two on the champion. Angle is back in now and pounds away on Show but can’t hook the German suplex on the monster. A cross body is caught by Show but Angle escapes the slam attempt and tries the ankle lock, only to be kicked off very quickly.

Brock is back in now and pounds on the big man but he can’t lift him up for the F5. Show’s Final Cut gets two but here’s Angle with some trashcan lids for himself and Lesnar to pound the giant in the head. They try a double suplex, only to be suplexed down instead. Show loads up a double chokeslam but Angle and Brock team up to chokeslam him down. Like any other triple threat match though, they start fighting over who gets the pin. There’s an F5 to Angle but Kurt rolls to the floor.

Big Show gets caught in an F5 as well but Angle pulls the referee out to break up the near fall. Angle is whipped into the steps and post by Lesnar before the champion heads back in to fight the monster some more. Kurt is busted open as Big Show headbutts Brock in the ring. Big Show loads up a superplex on Brock, which is a worry because the last time this happened they literally broke the ring. An Angle distraction lets Brock drop to the mat though for a powerbomb on Big Show, only to be broken up by a chair shot from Kurt.

Everyone heads back to the floor where Big Show kicks a chair into Angle’s face. Show loads up the announce table and Brock is busted open as well. The chokeslam to Angle is countered though and there’s the Angle Slam to put Show through the table. Both guys are down though until Angle starts to stir. Brock and Angle get back inside and share a stare down. Both guys stagger to their feet and slug it out with Brock trying the F5, only to have Angle grab the rope and land on the apron.

Lesnar follows him to the floor where Angle sends him into the steps. Back in and Angle starts rolling the German suplexes but the Angle Slam is countered into a spinebuster for two for the champion. Brock puts on a chinlock with a grapevine which has Angle in trouble. As Angle’s arm drops twice, here’s Big Show with a legdrop on Lesnar to break up the hold.

Show takes his strap down and chokeslams both guys at the same time for two each. Brock kicks the monster low but Angle pounds away at Lesnar to slow him down. Lesnar misses a charge into the post and there’s the ankle lock on the champ. Kurt has to let it go so he can hit the Angle Slam on Big Show. Another Angle Slam on Lesnar is enough for the pin and the title.

Rating: B+. This was another good match with Brock and Angle being able to show off by throwing Big Show around. It wasn’t as entertaining as last year’s version, but this was more about setting up Lesnar vs. Angle II the next month at Summerslam. The match was good though which is the right idea for the first Smackdown only PPV.

Brock would get a rematch in a 60 minute Iron Man match on September 18, 2003. That’s not something you see every day.

Smackdown World Title: Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle

Angle is champion coming in. This is an iron man match with a sixty minute time limit. There’s a 15 second rest period after each fall. The challenger is the heel. Lesnar jumps him to start and we have a big old clock in the corner. Brock beats him down to start but Angle fires back with some clotheslines. Angle gets a shot to the knee and Brock chills on the floor.

He stays out there until about 8 and the knee isn’t right. Brock asks for time but he was just channeling his inner Bret Hart as he plays possum. Angle doesn’t mind and hits a set of armdrags to send Brock out to the floor. Lesnar grabs the steps but tosses them back instead of using them. He slides in at 9 and goes right back out to break the count. Well it’s not like they don’t have a lot of time to kill.

Brock breaks the count again and make it three times. Four times now. Angle is getting ticked which might be Lesnar’s plan. We’re five minutes into the clock now and we haven’t really gotten anything going but they have plenty of time. Angle goes for the knee and Brock hits the floor AGAIN. Angle charges at him and Brock nails him to finally take over. Angle snaps off a suplex and clotheslines Brock to the floor where he holds the knee again.

Lesnar is down and holding the knee but this time Angle goes after him. He rams Brock into the steps head first and they slug it out. Brock gets the better of that and rams Kurt into the post back first. He goes to grab a chair and pops Angle in the head with it for a DQ at about nine minutes. Brock lays Angle out with the chair a bunch of times but it’s in the rest period so it doesn’t count.

Brock grabs some water at ringside. Does that mean there’s a conspiracy against him? Angle is barely able to stand so Brock drills him with an F5 to tie it up at 49:38 to go. Brock kicks him in the ribs and asks Angle if he wants to tap. Lesnar puts the ankle lock on Kurt and he taps to make it 2-1 at 47:21. We take a break and come back at 44 minutes left with Lesnar breaking an Angle rally with a knee to the ribs.

During the break Brock hit an Angle Slam for two. Brock charges but his shoulder goes into the post. Angle gets a forearm smash and it’s German time. Angle comes at Brock but gets sent back outside. Brock whips him into the railing HARD and this an F5 on the floor for the countout to go up 3-1 at 20 minutes in.

We take a break and come back with Angle in control after hitting some suplexes during the break. Lesnar knocks Kurt to the floor with an elbow and takes over soon thereafter. We’re at 35 minutes left now as Brock gets two off an elbow drop. Angle reverses an Irish whip into the Angle Slam and it’s 3-2 at 34 minutes to go. We’re told that if this goes to a tie we’ll have overtime.

Kurt pounds away but the Angle Slam is countered into an F5 attempt which is countered into the ankle lock. Brock rolls through and Angle manages to avoid the referee. Brock however drills him in the head with a clothesline so when Angle hits the Angle Slam, there’s no referee. Brock hits Angle low and grabs the title. A shot to the head of Angle puts him down and the referee wakes up to make it 4-2 Brock at 29:30 to go.

We take a break and come back with Angle on the floor with 25 minutes to go. Angle pulls him to the floor and hammers away, sending Brock into the steps. With Brock on the outside, Angle goes back in and up top to hit a double axe to Brock’s back. That only gets two back inside though. Kurt goes up again and hits the missile dropkick for a close two. The moonsault that hits once a decade doesn’t hit here and both guys are down.

Angle grabs a rollup for two so Brock takes his head off with a clothesline. Brock gets all ticked off and throws Angle over his head without leaving his own feet. Well that was awesome. It only gets two though and both guys are down. Kurt reverses another belly to belly into the ankle lock but Brock rolls through to send Angle to the floor. Angle goes into the steps again and back to the ring we go.

That only gets two in the ring as we have 20 minutes left with with score 4-2 Brock. Lesnar unhinges some steps but Angle hits a baseball slide to send them into Brock’s face. Kurt looks like his shoulder is hurt from going into the steps. Angle gets an elbow for two as we take a break. Back and it’s 5-2 as Brock hit a superplex for a fall during the break.

We have 14 minuets to go and it’s 5-2 Brock. Brock takes him outside and tries to F5 Angle into the post but Angle reverses to give Brock an F5 into the post with the bad knee hitting the steel. Back inside and Angle throws on a half crab which is very smart. Brock makes the ropes so Angle throws on the ankle lock. Lesnar STILL doesn’t tap so Kurt stomps away at the leg/ankle.

Kurt charges in at Brock but gets caught in an F5. Brock can’t counter though and can only get a delayed two. Lesnar goes up top but Angle pops up for the running belly to belly and it’s 5-3 with 9:50 to go. Angle wins a slugout and pounds Brock down in the corner. Angle puts the straps back up which is a new one for him. He tries to load up the Angle Slam but Brock grabs a DDT for two.

Kurt misses a right hand and Lesnar hits a German. Make that two Germans. Would you believe three Germans? He tries a fourth (there has been a lot of laying around between them so about 90 seconds passed for all those Germans) but Angle counters into two Germans of his own. Angle rolls through something into the ankle lock and in more or less the same ending at Summerslam, Brock can’t find a rope and taps with 4:11 to go.

Four minutes left and both guys are down. Brock still leads 5-4. They’re still down with 3:30 left. Kurt grabs the hold again but Brock rolls through to escape. They’re both down again but Kurt is up and stomping away with three minutes left. Bow and arrow hold, which is like a side version of the STF, goes on to eat up some time. Brock wisely heads to the floor with two minutes left.

Smart strategy there as Lesnar only has to play defense and run the clock out to win the title. Kurt puts the ankle lock on Brock outside but back inside we go. Brock runs again so Kurt rams him into the steps. Angle hits some rolling Germans back in the ring and we hit a minute to go. He hits four Germans but this is taking way too long. Brock kicks him low with 30 seconds left but it’s not seen. Ankle lock with the grapevine is on with 15 seconds left but Lesnar hangs on to win the title and end the show.

Rating: B. This match runs into the exact same problem that is more or less unavoidable for these matches: you can more or less skip the first 55 minutes and you still see the exciting parts. An hour is too long, even when the guys are having an entertaining match. This was good, but like I said the vast majority of it is just waiting for Angle to make his big comeback. However it does fly by as taking out commercials it runs about 46-48 minutes. Good match, but not a good idea for TV.

Lesnar would turn heel again soon after this and join forces with Mr. McMahon. He would defend his title at No Way Out 2004 against Eddie Guerrero.

Smackdown World Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock comes out first here for some reason. Soon after this the music would change from We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal to I Lie, I Cheat, I Steal which was good I though. Fans are TOTALLY behind Eddie here which is no surprise. We have about 40 minutes left in the tape so this is getting A LOT of time. Eddie can’t do anything to start so like an idiot he keeps charging.

All Brock to start here. A rana is blocked into a powerbomb and then Brock just tosses him away as Eddie’s selling is awesome. Brock gets a big running high knee in the corner. If he had done that to Velasquez he might have the belt still. Eddie gets knocked to the floor and has had NOTHING so far. He finally gets something going as he gets Lesnar’s leg around the post and gets him down, opening a door for him.

So much for that as Brock gets a modified Fisherman’s suplex into a kind of slam for two. Jawbreaker gets him out of a rear naked choke. So I guess Eddie is better than Shane Carwin as he can escape a Lesnar choke. Eddie gets a dropkick and then gets his head taken off by a clothesline. Semi-botched German has Eddie on the brink here. Not really but I like how that sounds.

Brock goes for another knee in the corner but crashes to the floor. Eddie adds a plancha and both guys are a bit weakened now. Brock hits a hot shot to take over AGAIN. It’s been about 95% Brock so far but Eddie is hanging in there. Eddie gets a knee lock out of nowhere. Brock gets caught in a leg hold. I’m shocked too. He shifts into an STF and the fans ERUPT.

Figure four doesn’t work as Brock kicks him away. Eddie keeps him down but can’t do much as Brock just keeps firing him off. BIG belly to belly by Brock has Eddie in trouble again. A headscissors has Brock in trouble and now back to the knee. There’s the figure four and it’s not bad. After nearly a minute in the hold Brock realizes he’s next to the ropes and gets free.

More leg work as Cole speculates that Eddie could actually do this. STF again as Brock is in trouble but not for long as he just rolls out. Brock gets a big old spinebuster to take over again and locks on a bad looking crossface chicken wing. Off to a sleeper/chinlock kind of thing but here comes Eddie again, driving Brock’s face into the buckle to break it up. Missile dropkick misses though as Eddie is in trouble again. Great story being told here.

Brock SELLS THE KNEE by lifting his leg up when he gets a vertical suplex. Little things like that are what I mean by selling. Brock shouting at Eddie to die is rather creepy. He gets a gutwrench hold on the mat and Eddie is in trouble again. The perk of a guy like Brock is that even a basic hold like that looks devastating when he does it. Eddie gets back and hits Three Amigos. Frog Splash misses though as this is an excellent match.

The most ridiculous looking ref bump I can remember in a long time happens as Eddie kicks the referee while taking an F5. It was just bad looking with how obvious it was. Either that or the referee is really, really stupid. Brock hits the floor and grabs the belt but GOLDBERG is back and spears the heck out of Lesnar.

Eddie covers for two and misses a belt shot. I love the way Brock throws boots to the ribs. Eddie counters an F5 into a DDT “onto the belt” which misses by about 6 inches and hits the Frog Splash to blow the roof off the place and win the title and do the unthinkable which I was typing before Taz said it. I’m no Eddie fan, but that is a cool moment.

Rating: A. This was an excellent match that got over thirty minutes. The ending was solid as Eddie cheated a bit but that was what he did. Also it was his Frog Splash that ended it rather than anything else. Eddie isn’t someone I can get into as much as his fans do but this was easily his crowning glory and the match worked very well. Probably Brock’s best non-Angle match and one of Eddie’s best ever which is saying a lot as he’s a great wrestler in his own right.

Around this time Brock decided he was done with wrestling and wanted to become a professional football player. With Wrestlemania XX coming up, a showdown was set up with Goldberg. However, Goldberg was also leaving soon, making this one of the most interesting matches in WWE history.

Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg

The catch here is that both guys are leaving and the fans know it, so they boo them both out of the building. Goldie gets his full entrance from the back. The fans IMMEDIATELY start chanting YOU SOLD OUT at Lesnar who is going to the NFL after this match. They circle each other and Austin says get to it. Now the fans sing the GOODBYE song with the guys still making zero contact over a minute in. The fans chant for the referee as Goldberg looks at Austin. Still no contact. After nearly THREE MINUTES of circling each other they lock up.

Amusingly enough, Goldberg is said to have an advantage because he’s a mixed martial arts aficionado. They lock up and shove each other away as it’s almost four minutes in without even a punch being thrown. We get a second lockup with the same result. The crowd is booing loudly now. Literally five minutes in Lesnar grabs a headlock for the first actual move of the match. They trade shoulder blocks with no one going anywhere. They collide again with both guys going down and we’re somehow six minutes into this match.

Now they stare at each other as the fans are about to riot. The fans cheer for HOGAN of all people and that’s FINALLY enough to get something going. Goldberg presses him over his head and drops him into a kind of spinebuster for two. The spear misses though and Goldberg hits the buckle chest first. The fans think Goldberg sucks as he is sent into the post. Back in and Brock gets two off a suplex and then hooks a modified headlock. The fans chant for Hogan again.

Back to the same headlock after a brief break before they collide again. Brock gets two as Austin is still a complete non factor. He seems to be the rodeo clown out there to keep everything from falling apart. Well, falling completely apart because we’re long past falling apart. JR is polite and calls this match pedestrian. Goldberg comes back with some clotheslines and a swinging neckbreaker of all things as the Hogan chant starts again. There’s the spear for two but Goldie spends too much time arguing with Austin and walks into an F5 for two. Brock tries a spear but misses, so a spear and Jackhammer can finish Brock.

Rating: E. As in embarrassing, which is what this was. Have some pride out there people. I know you’re leaving and the fans don’t care, but man alive have some effort out there. If I was an NFL team and Brock gave that kind of a performance I wouldn’t want anything to do with him. No he doesn’t want to be there but that’s his job until his contract expires. This was embarrassing to watch and they deserve the booing they received. Austin added nothing here but he didn’t really need to.

Brock wouldn’t succeed in the NFL but, after a nice run in Japan, he would dominate the UFC for a few years and become World Heavyweight Champion. After a horrible illness ended his in ring career though, it was back to the WWE. His first match was against John Cena at Extreme Rules 2012.

John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar

This is an Extreme Rules match which means they’re in wrestling gear. Well Lesnar is in MMA gear but you get the idea. The fans are more behind Cena than Lesnar. Cena charges right into a takedown and Brock comes at him with the strikes. Cena is cut on the left side of his head. Cena grabs a quick front facelock but Lesnar is WAY too strong. He poundso n Cena even more and the doctor comes in to check the cut. The replay shows that it was an elbow to the head. They close or at least stop the cut and go back to it.

Cena charges in again and Lesnar pounds him right down. Brock hammers on him and knocks Cena to the floor with a knee. The doctors stop it AGAIN to check the cut. Cena hits a quick elbow and tries the FU but Lesnar escapes and hits two rolling Germans. Lesnar’s Gonna Kill You chant. Cena comes back with some elbows and the shoulder block but there goes the referee.

Cena hits the ropes again but Lesnar runs him over. Lesnar goes for the open wound and rubs Cena’s blood on his own chest. Brock throws on an armbar (screw that kimura crap. This is wrestling) and then throws Cena to the floor instead of cranking on it. To the floor and Brock throws it on again but lets it go a second time, throwing Cena into the barricade.

Back in and Lesnar gets Cena’s chain and lock. He puts it down and chains Cena’s feet together. Cena gets up and Brock hits what might have been the hardest clothesline I’ve ever seen. With the legs still tied together, Brock puts him in the Tree of Woe. Brock goes after the referee but Cena escapes. That goes badly again as Brock whips him into the steps. AA is countered again into an F5 attempt but Cena’s legs hit the referee.

A second referee comes out but Lesnar throws him out too. The steps are brought in and Cena says Brock can’t see him. Back into the armbar and this time there’s a body vice. They’re on the steps and the fans care cheering for Cena. He picks Brock up into kind of a spinebuster but his arm is hanging limp. Cena goes up but misses the Fameasser. He was about an inch from hitting the steps too.

Cena rolls to the floor and is spent. Lesnar looks around bur can’t find Cena. He gets up on the steps and sees Cena (hehe) who can barely get back in. Cena gets up on the apron so Lesnar gets a running start from the steps and hits kind of a Poetry In Motion move but crashes to the floor and hurts his knee. He’s fine but Cena has the chain. Brock charges again and Cena gets in the chain shot to clock Lesnar. I think Brock is busted now. Oh yeah he is and Cena’s head has a lot of blood there too. An AA onto the steps gives Cena the pin at 18:05.

Rating: A. WOW. This is going to be a disputed rating but this was an absolute war. Cena got one homerun shot to win it but that’s all he needed. Lesnar dominated about 95% of the match but it was good enough to make both guys look great. Lesnar can come back but Cena has the first win, which sets up a rematch where Lesnar can beat him. I had a blast with this and Lesnar looks AMAZING.

We’ll skip over a year long feud with HHH and get to Summerslam 2013. The idea is simple: Heyman screwed CM Punk out of Money in the Bank so Punk swore revenge. Heyman brought Brock back for protection, setting up this showdown.

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

The tagline for this match is perfect: the Best vs. the Beast. It’s also No DQ. I always forget how scary of a man Brock Lesnar is until he comes to the ring. Lesnar immediately drives him into the corner and no sells forearms to the head. Brock LAUNCHES him into the other corner and stomps Punk down before no selling knees to the ribs. Punk is thrown around again and rammed into another corner with raw power.

Lesnar brags a bit too much and Punk gets in a kick to the head and a pair of knees to the face to send Brock to the floor. The suicide dive takes Lesnar down and the fans go NUTS. Punk loads up the steps but Brock rams into them to knock Punk down. Brock fires off knees to the ribs but Punk posts him for a breather. A top rope dive puts Brock down again as Punk is giving this all he has. Punk dives off the announce table with a clothesline and Brock is in trouble.

CM makes the mistake of going after Heyman though and Brock gets in a shot to take over. Brock tosses Punk over the announce table in an amazing throw for an even better crash. Since he threw Punk over the table once, Lesnar has to throw him over the other side for good measure. An over head belly to belly sends Punk down onto the concrete and Punk is barely moving. Back in and Brock drives Punk into the corner with shoulders and puts on a bearhug.

Punk gets in some forearms to escape but a knee to the ribs puts him right back down. Back to the bearhug and we get a shot of the evil look on Heyman’s face. Punk comes back again with shots to the head but his high cross body is caught in a fallaway slam. A backbreaker sets up a suplex for three straight near falls. Off to a chinlock but Punk BITES THE EAR to get some separation. More shots to the head stagger Brock and a top rope knee to the chest knocks him into the corner.

Two more running knees to the corner have Brock reeling but Brock catches the third in a fireman’s carry. Punk drops behind Lesnar and hits a high kick, setting up the Macho Elbow (didn’t look good) for two. The GTS and F5 are countered into another high kick but the GTS is countered into the kimura. Punk spins out and hooks a cross armbreaker (GIMMICK INFRINGEMENT) and then a triangle choke of all things.

Brock raises his hand but powerbombs Punk down….but the hold isn’t broken! The hand is still in the air but Brock lifts Punk into the air. Punk fires off elbows to the head, only to be caught in a running powerbomb to kill Punk dead. Lesnar can’t follow up though and both guys are down. A delayed cover gets two on Punk as Heyman is having a heart attack. Lesnar hits Three Amigos of all things for two before very slowly grabbing a chair. Punk gets up and dives onto Lesnar but he mostly hit chair.

Now it’s Punk with the chair and a few shots send Brock back inside. Lesnar gets the chair away but Punk goes low to stop Brock’s chair shot. Punk takes the chair up top and drops an elbow (kind of) onto Brock for a closer two. More chair shots to the back have Lesnar screaming in pain but Heyman takes the chair from Punk’s hands. Lesnar is up AGAIN but Punk grabs Heyman’s tie to escape the F5.

The GTS connects but Heyman comes in to break up the pin. Punk gets a big smile on his face as there’s no Brock to save Heyman, but the case winds up in the F5, which Punk counters into a faceplant for a VERY close two. The Anaconda Vice goes on but Heyman tries to come in with a chair, only to have Punk stand on the chair to block it.

Heyman slaps at Punk’s leg in a funny bit but gets caught by the neck. A right hand puts Heyman down and now he’s in the Vice but Lesnar is back up. He crushes Punk with the chair and hits him even harder the second time. A third shot knocks Punk silly and the F5 onto the chair ends this at 25:20.

Rating: A+. The storytelling and psychology alone made this a great match. I loved the idea that Punk kept taking the weapons away from Lesnar but once Brock got in the first chair shot the match was over. Punk showed he was smarter leading up to the match but his hatred for Heyman cost him in the end when he went on emotion instead of intelligence.

The action in this was incredible as well as it felt like a fight instead of a match, which is the right idea. If nothing else, this shows how bad of an idea the HHH feud was. Punk and Cena have both blown away all of the HHH matches with Lesnar by miles and miles, but we got a year of HHH and a month each of the other guys so far. Such is life in the WWE. Outstanding match here though.

I’m not sure what you want me to say here. Brock Lesnar is a once in a lifetime talent who had more physical gifts than entire rosters put together. However his attitude and lack of desire to stay on the road ended almost any long term career he was going to have. That being said he was around for a few years and blew the minds of almost everyone that watched him. I don’t think Brock Lesnar needs much of an explanation than that.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of Clash of the Champions at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

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