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The Top 7 Moments From Brock Lesnar’s First WWE Run

July 19, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Brock Lesnar Hulk Hogan

Brock Lesnar is once again your WWE Universal Champion. WWE hasn’t seen many Superstars as dominant as the Beast Incarnate. Whenever he shows up, he makes an impact & people take notice. Sure, he doesn’t show up as often as we might like. Maybe that makes the weeks he’s not around less important.

Is that his problem? Nah.

Brock has been a supreme figure since returning to WWE in 2012. More often than not, he reigns as the top champion on whatever show he’s on. This isn’t a new development. Ever since Brock Lesnar started appearing on WWE programming, he’s dominated.

This week, we look at Brock’s seven most magnificent moments of his first WWE run, which took place from March 2002 until March 2004. He packed a lot of good stuff into two years.

7. The debut out of the crowd

We had heard about Brock ever since he was signed. Former NCAA wrestling champion. Trained down in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Big as a house. Apparently could do shooting star presses. There was a lot to be excited about there. He was bound to show up eventually, but we had no idea when. As it turned out, Brock added his name to the list of WWF Superstars to debut the night after WrestleMania on Raw. He jumped out of the crowd, ran over Al Snow, Maven & Spike Dudley while accompanied by Paul Heyman, who we hadn’t seen since he got fired the night after Survivor Series 2001.

People took notice right away. Not everybody was impressed. My Internet BFF, the Voodoo Penguin, thought it was stupid. He said it made Brock look like a regular guy in the crowd, and that anybody could do what he did. I wasn’t aware everybody in the crowd looked like Brock Lesnar, but Penguin stood behind this bad take for years.

6. Winning the 2002 King of the Ring

2002 featured the last KOTR tournament until 2006. I assume this was when people finally felt ready to follow Brock as King. The Next Big Thing tore a path through the WWF in the summer of 2002, laying waste to everybody in his path. On this night, it was Test & Rob Van Dam.

KOTR had a pretty solid track record of elevating guys. Owen Hart proved his win at WrestleMania X wasn’t a fluke. Steve Austin & Triple H’s rise to glory included KOTR titles. Kurt Angle & Edge had proven deserving of the title in the months after their wins. Sure, there were your King Mabels & Billy Gunns, but the title was usually a sign of greatness to come.

5. Squashing Hulk Hogan

The Summer of 2002 also featured the return of top baby face Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster got some amazing crowd reactions and got pushed to the top of the card in spite of his advanced age. Oddly enough, TV ratings, PPV buyrates & live show gates did not reflect the enthusiasm that the crowds had for Hogan.

The idea of Hogan as a legitimate championship contender came to an end at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Brock destroyed the legend of Hulkamania, squeezing it to death in a bearhug that left Hogan basically lifeless. One of my favorite Hulk Hogan matches ever!

4. Imploding the ring by superplexing Big Show

We’ve seen large wrestlers go through rings plenty of times over the years. Heck, Big Show has done it multiple times. There was something about Brock superplexing Show & breaking the ring that made it stand out. It even made the top of SmackDown’s list of best moments over the show’s first ten years.

Braun Strowman doing the same thing to Show years later was cool. It was forgotten much sooner. This ring implosion has been aired more than any ring destruction in the history of wrestling.

3. Beating Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell

Getting a victory over the Dead Man was never easy. Lesnar ran into some initial problems with the task, including a double-disqualification in the main event of Unforgiven 2002 that nobody particularly liked. The next month brought the No Mercy PPV, and a Hell in a Cell match. Undertaker had plenty of experience in the match while it was Brock’s first time in the cell. Did it matter? Not really.

When Brock climbed on top of the cell after the victory and raised the WWF Championship over his head, people had to respect it. He beat the big dog in the yard at his own game.

2. Conquering The Rock

We’ve seen many moments over the years that were designed to pass a torch from a top guy to a new top guy. Not all of them take. Certainly not many in the 2010s have.

For one thing, it shouldn’t be a passing of a torch. The young lion should rip the torch out of the old king’s hands. Brock didn’t simply beat Rock at SummerSlam and get handed a championship. He destroyed a game Rock and yanked the strap out of his hands in a way that you knew he was here to stay. Brock was techncally the bad guy, but the fans got it. They knew which direction the business was heading, and who would be at the forefront.

1. Giving Eddie Guerrero the biggest possible mountain to climb

If it wasn’t for the Goldberg interference building a crappy WrestleMania match, this would probably be my favorite match of all time. Don’t get me wrong, my issue isn’t with somebody interfering on behalf of a guy known for lying, cheating and stealing. It’s just that I’m not sure Bill & Eddie ever interacted before or after this.

Brock’s performance in this match was amazing. He was the perfect monster heel, just destroying his poor undersized opponent. As Eddie would try to fight through the pain, Brock told him to just die. Younger monster wrestlers (are there that many?) should watch this match and take note of Brock’s performance. They might not be able to replicate his freakish athletic ability, but they can take some of that attitude.

The worst thing about Brock leaving in 2004 was that he was just beginning to reach the full potential of his powers. He would return, and we’ll talk about that next time.

article topics :

Brock Lesnar, WWE, Steve Cook