One of the most underappreciated aspects of WWE writing over the years has been the evolution of Brock Lesnar. Brock went from being the blue-chip ‘Next Big Thing’ to one of SmackDown’s hottest stars to the unstoppable leviathan that we all know and sometimes love. The perennial Universal Champion has gone through some wars in the past, inside and outside of WWE. In our latest retrospective, we’re going to take a look through The Beast’s best 5 matches from his WWE career.
‘The Beast Incarnate’ has found himself matched up against some of the biggest stars in WWE, and it’s hard to argue that he’s going to go down as one of the very best of this generation. Join us in counting along with Heyman as we relive suplex after suplex after suplex.
5. Brock Lesnar vs John Cena – Extreme Rules 2012
Brock Lesnar made his triumphant return to the WWE in April of 2012, the night after WrestleMania 28. His first opponent, none other than John Cena. It was a huge global box office draw for the WWE, having one of the biggest stars of the UFC return to meet the greatest pro-wrestling star of the modern era. Brock carried himself with such an air, one that we had never seen before. He seemed like a legitimate star, someone that was about to unleash a whole new fighting style in the main event of Extreme Rules.
‘The Beast’ immediately turned heads as the match began, busting Cena open with an insane takedown. Blood became a rare feature in WWE matches as part of the ‘PG Era’, so fans were delighted to see such a physical spot so early on in the match. As the match progressed, fans were drawn in more and more to Lesnar’s extreme onslaught. This was a completely different version of the man they were first introduced to in 2002.
Even though Cena walked away with the victory here, the world was talking about Brock Lesnar. It was a surprising outcome, considering how much buzz there was surrounding Brock upon his return. Luckily Brock came back in a big way, especially against Cena later on down the line.
4. Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker – No Mercy 2002
The Undertaker has had quite the history with Brock Lesnar, highlighted by the world-changing events of WrestleMania 30 when Taker’s streak was ended by ‘The Beast Incarnate’ himself. This history didn’t start in his second WWE run, it began in 2002 amidst a very brutal feud that concluded with an insane Hell in a Cell match at No Mercy.
For 30 minutes, the two titans battled in a ridiculous bloodbath — even Paul Heyman decided to spill a little on the outside. This pushed the limits of a Hell in a Cell match as far as they could, even further than the majority of the go-to Cell matches.
Unfortunately, the two couldn’t quite replicate the same intensity that they shared in their later Cell match in 2015. That match was a lot of fun too, Lesnar and Taker share a crazy amount of chemistry, but it was never as fun to watch as this one night in October.
3. Brock Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan – Survivor Series 2018
The most recent of entries comes in as the champion vs champion contest between Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan back in November. Shortly after his victory over AJ Styles to capture the WWE Championship, Bryan finally got his wish for a contest with Brock Lesnar. The two wrestled a very intense, physical match that took the audience on a journey. Everyone expected it to be the typical ‘Bork’ match, with a plethora of German suplexes that eventually builds to the inevitable F5. It was far from that.
The match quickly evolved into a fight, with Bryan staging quite the comeback and beating down ‘The Beast’ to a point where everyone genuinely believed that a heel Bryan might somehow be able to topple the monster.
If anything, this match proved to everyone that Brock still cares about putting on a good match. A lot of critics rightfully assume that Brock will only put in the effort when matched with someone that he wants to work with. Luckily, Daniel Bryan seems to be one of those people.
2. Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins vs John Cena – Royal Rumble 2015
This triple threat acted as the culmination for many different things. Brock was walking in as WWE Champion, after decisively beating John Cena within an inch of his life at the previous SummerSlam. Naturally, Cena was looking for redemption, but he wasn’t the only challenger gunning for Lesnar’s title. Seth Rollins also threw his hat into the ring and was set to reach the pinnacle of what stands as his most impressive run in WWE as ‘Mr. Money in the Bank’.
The three collided at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, giving 2015 a massive jumpstart with a widely-acclaimed championship main event. All three men played their part perfectly and the audience were intrigued from start to finish. Rollins stood out as the match’s MVP, but Lesnar also deserves just as much credit as anyone else for putting in that necessary effort.
It makes such a huge difference when Brock actually gives a damn.
1. Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle – SmackDown (September 19th 2003)
An easy number one choice for Brock Lesnar’s best of list, and possibly even the top choice for Kurt Angle’s too. The ultimate Iron Man match between two phenomenal wrestlers who were performing at their peak during SmackDown’s prominence in 2003. After a series of fantastic matches, Lesnar and Angle did battle for 60 minutes for the WWE Championship in what became one of the most talked about TV episodes of SmackDown.
It had a bit of everything; some chain wrestling, some hardcore action, some ground and pound, some submissions and a ton of German suplexes. This is the perfect form of back and forth action, give this match a watch if you ever need to see wrestling at its best from within WWE.
The match resulted in a 5-4 victory in Lesnar’s favour, which to me was the true passing of the torch. A lot of fans might refer to the SummerSlam title match between Brock and The Rock, but I personally feel like it was Angle’s right to give Lesnar that massive rub that started Brock on his road to fame.
Have I missed any of your favourite Brock Lesnar matches? Make sure you drop them in the comments section below.
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