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The Magnificent 7 7.23.13: Best Brock Lesnar Matches

July 23, 2013 | Posted by Jonas Wakefield

Welcome to the newest edition of The Magnificent Seven. This week, we take a look into Brock Lesnar’s first WWE run. Counting down his best seven matches without using any from his recent year plus work in returning to WWE. To break those matches down shortly, the Extreme Rules match with John Cena was phenomenal. An absolute spectacle in Lesnar’s first match back. The storyline and decision for the finish may not have been the best it delivered a memorable match for the ages. Speaking of bad storylines and bad decisions, I viewed Brock’s THREE matches with Triple H to be among the most disappointing matches in recent history. His next match vs. CM Punk is expected to be a classic so we will dive into Brock’s best WWE matches to see how it compares when it happens at Summerslam in a few weeks.

Some obscure “honorable mentions” that missed this list were Brock Lesnar vs. Chris Benoit for the WWE title on an episode of Smackdown. Benoit yet to win a world title was challenging and it was a very good television match with Benoit falling just short after Lesnar cheats his way to victory. A weird tag combination of Brock and Tajiri facing Edge and Rey Mysterio on Smackdown when Brock was forced to replaced an injured Jamie Noble as Tajiri’s tag partner. Very fun match that was highly enjoyable to sit through, it ends with Tajiri eating a pin falling victim to the teamwork of Edge and Rey. Brock kills them all after the match, of course. Last of the honorable mentions, Brock Lesnar vs. Paul London. Lesnar destroys Jonas Wakefield’s favorite wrestler in a few minutes. London’s first WWE appearance if I remember correctly. It also started the London and Brian Kendrick alliance with Kendrick coming out to save Paul and getting destroyed too. Now that those are out of the way, let’s get to the list!

7. vs. Kurt Angle at Summerslam 2003
The weakest of the singles matches between these two as you’ll see going through this list. Aligned with Vince McMahon and going in as a sell out heel, Brock Lesnar faced the Olympic hero (actually the hero this time) for the WWE title. The chemistry shines as usual when these two face off and Angle retains. The high point of the match was Angle kicking out after getting hit by a chair via McMahon and an F5 by Brock. The crowd exploded and were really into this one going for Angle. The finish comes with Kurt applying the Ankle Lock until Brock taps out. After the match, Angle hits an Angle Slam on Vince and celebrates in front of a loving crowd. As always Angle and Lesnar provide a perfect blend of storytelling and “work rate” in this match.

Brock lesnar vs rey mysterio by The_animal_Batista

6. vs. Rey Mysterio on Smackdown
Rey and Brock had a match in Brock’s prior title reign and it was very fun but short and ended with Big Show interference. Fast forward to Brock’s last WWE title reign, Rey gets a match in his hometown of San Diego. If Rey wins, he gets a future title shot. A fantastic battle of beast vs undersized underdog. Mysterio gets the better of Brock a few times using speed and taking high risks. At one point, Lesnar has to resort to hitting a low blow to get back control of the battle. The finish comes with Brock applying his submission, the Brock Lock, to get Rey to submit. This match sums up the golden age of Smackdown with fantastic wrestling and interesting personalities in the main event. Between this and the honorable mention matches, Lesnar is one of the best to work with smaller wrestlers. They get some offense that makes them look great but when it’s time to beat them down, no one looks as convincing during ass kicking time than Brock Lesnar.

5. vs. Kurt Angle in an Iron Man Match on Smackdown
This is possibly my favorite match on the list but the others have a bit more significance attached to them. While I loved Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, I typically don’t enjoy the Iron Man matches with low fall counts. However, I don’t like when they become convuluted leading to many nonsensical falls like Triple H vs. The Rock. This match was the perfect middle ground. As mentioned in the other Angle/Brock match, these two perfect the line between storytelling and work rate. It shined bright here again under the Iron Man rules. Lesnar sacrificed a fall getting DQ’d for hitting Angle with a chair weakening him enough for Brock to get the advantage a few falls. Lesnar took a 5-2 falls lead and Angle looked to make a rally in front of another crowd behind him but fell just short with the hour expiring, giving Brock the win and the WWE title. While I think Michaels and Bret should get the advantage for what their match represented, this is 1A for my favorite Iron Man match in WWE.

4. vs. Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out 2004
A classic match and classic moment, more so for Brock’s opponent. Eddie Guerrero won a title shot vs. Brock in what was his first PPV world title shot and his first overall world title shot if I remember that correctly. As a 15 year old, I thought Eddie had no chance at pulling off the upset. With the big Wrestlemania coming up, I assumed the Lesnar vs. Goldberg match would get the belt and Eddie would lose given his mid-card status for years and it being the PPV before Wrestlemania. To add to that, I didn’t really like Eddie at the time. I thought he was cool but he was not a favorite or someone I proactively rooted for. On this night, mid way through the match, I found myself rooting for Guerrero as if it was Game 7 of the World Series. A match full of sheer emotion, Eddie hits a frog splash to finally win a world title in his first shot. There was a Goldberg spear on Brock and a title belt shot to Brock’s large head via Eddie but no one cared. It was a huge celebration for Eddie in one of the most memorable matches ever.

3. vs. The Rock at Summerslam 2002
Many view Brock Lesnar’s debut demolishing wrestlers on Raw or his Smackdown match vs. Hulk Hogan, where he destroys Hogan with a bear hug before smearing Hogan’s blood on his chest, as the moment Lesnar became a star. Maybe it took me a while but I didn’t see it until Lesnar defeated Rock to win his first WWE title in this match. Many wrestlers get big pushes early but to defeat The Rock cleanly on the second biggest show of the year truly is a “I’ll believe when I see it” moment. The crowd for this match was absolutely electric with the New Jersey/New York fans turning on Rock and about 90% cheering for Brock Lesnar to take “the torch” from The Rock. A cool spot in the middle of the match was both guys doing a kip up at the same time. The finish made the match very memorable with Lesnar getting up and delivering a massive clothesline to Rock when he attempted to hit the People’s Elbow. After that, they countered each other’s finishers a couple of times before Lesnar hit the F5 and became (at that point) the youngest WWE champion of all time. I consider this the perfect match of a veteran or main eventer putting over a young guy. With the rumors of Rock vs. Brock happening at Wrestlemania 30, I would be very interested to see how that match-up goes over a decade later.

2. vs. The Undertaker in a Hell In A Cell match at No Mercy 2002
After winning the title from The Rock in the aforementioned match, Brock Lesnar went on to feud with The Undertaker. After their first match at the Unforgiven PPV where there was a DQ finish, the feud became more personal and led to the Hell in A Cell cage being used. Some facets of the story leading towards were very silly, namely Paul Heyman hiring someone to say The Undertaker cheated on his pregnant wife with her and Lesnar having an awkward interaction with the pregnant wife. In the weeks prior, Lesnar “broke” Undertaker’s so he had to wear a cast but it turned out to add to the match instead of hindering it. Adding to the story of the match, Lesnar targeted it like a predator targeting setting up its prey. The match was a wild and violent brawl with not just both competitors but Paul Heyman also getting busted open. Lesnar tearing off the cast added to his beast-like aura as he just destroyed the Undertaker for most of the match. One of the best Hell In A Cell matches ever ended with Lesnar pulling off the victory and climbing to the top of the cage in celebration, as fans looked on in dismay at the champ on top of the world and down at a ring full of blood stains and Undertaker’s beaten body.

1. vs. Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 19
We start the list with Brock vs. Angle, we finish the list with Brock vs. Kurt. The best of match of their series and the main event of Wrestlemania 19. Regarded as one of the greatest Wrestlemania shows of all time, it had to have a strong main event. Other matches on the card were Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho, Triple H vs. Booker, Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon. Oh, and The Rock vs. Stone Cold in Stone Cold Steve Austin’s last wrestling match. A card stacked with star power and current/future WWE hall of famers and Angle vs. Lesnar got the call to main event. It turned out to be the right choice. They gave it their all. Not only was the chemistry fantastic as always but being the closing match on wrestling’s biggest stage added to it. After some finisher exchanges and overall excellent wrestling, the end got even crazier. Brock Lesnar hit a shooting star press or attempted to. A monstrous beast doing a shooting star press was not heard of and for Brock, it was not memorable. Brock landed on his head, nearly breaking his neck to, drifting in and out of consciousness. Angle, who himself was wrestling with a severe neck injury, was hit with an F5 from an out of it Brock to give Brock the title victory. To this day, Lesnar claims he doesn’t remember the end of the match by memory. It didn’t hinder the match as a giant doing a high risk move makes it an even higher risk move. Fantastic match, fantastic memory and a perfect ceiling to what Brock Lesnar did in two stellar years full of classic matches in his early WWE career.

Thanks for reading this week’s edition of The Magnificent Seven. As always, I welcome all feedback. The way you can get to me is by emailing me: [email protected]
Or by tweeting me: @WrestlingEarth
Finally, you can check out my own wrestling website: WrestlingEarth

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