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  1. #1
    Forgotten Ponder
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Randy's Ravings: Brock Lesnar Is The Modern Day 'Mr. Summerslam'

    Welcome back everyone to another edition of my ramblings. Hope you are all well and enjoying the wrestling landscape, regardless of company, with Takeover and Summerslam next weekend while the G1 Climax has been running the last few weeks. Hats off to TheDamnImplications for putting up the results and honorary mention to FrozenWaffle, who I think died while trying to keep up.

    My original topic was going to be me going apeshit on Roman Reigns but that has been done to death more than his push(es), so I got thinking about Summerslam and all of its 30 year history. There has been an interesting theme running in the 2010s and I thought, fuck it, why not churn out a column until I can think of something better to do? No point in beating around the bush any longer since the column title gives it away, so without further ado, here is why I think Brock Lesnar is 'Mr. Summerslam' (since 2012 at least).

    The second coming of Lesnar didn't start off to well. 'Yolo Lesnar' was born during his fight with John Cena at Extreme Rules but like most things back then, #CENAWINSLOL. With Cena "injured" during the match, the seeds for Lesnar's next battle were planted the next night when he attacked HHH. Despite a lacklustre buildup, Lesnar and Trips main evented Summerslam '12 (rightfully so, it was technically a dream match with two big stars) and they had a fun match with Lesnar getting a rare submission win with the kimura lock. Of course, they went on to have meh matches at Wrestlemania 29 and Extreme Rules, but we'll ignore them. I do.

    Summerslam '13 was anticipating the prospect of Daniel Bryan winning the WWE Title from Cena but on the undercard there was Lesnar with his sights set on CM Punk at the behest of Punk's former handler, Paul Heyman. The journey to SS was Punk being betrayed by Heyman and having the attack dog in Lesnar being unleashed on Punk. Punk had no fear and brought the fight to Lesnar, rocking him during the buildup. The no-DQ match they had was the superior bout on the night, with Lesnar bumping fantastically for Punk but coming out the victor in the end due to the fixation on Heyman by Punk costing him. Lesnar is an underrated seller and this match showed he could do it. This was the only SS he didn't main event, nor was he the talking point by the end of it (thanks Orton/HHH).

    The injury to Bryan leading to the '14 edition was a blessing in disguise considering how it went down. Cena (to no surprise) won the vacant WWE title 2 months prior, setting up a rematch with Lesnar from Extreme Rules 2 years before. Lesnar, despite not being seen since breaking The Streak at WM XXX, had all the momentum in the world and it showed when he hit an F5 not a minute into the match. The other 15 minutes were one sided with Lesnar winning the title in convincing fashion. I recently watched it again on as it was free and despite being into back when I watched it live, it has not aged well due to it being all we see from Lesnar now. Regardless, Suplex City (unnamed until WM 31) was born and once again, all talk was about him.

    It took The Undertaker 16 odd months to get revenge on Brock breaking his Wrestlemania Streak but he did. While an obvious upgrade from the Mania match, it had a screwy ending with Taker being only the second man to beat Lesnar at Summerslam via submission (the first was Angle in 2003) with a low blow and Hell's Gate. I'd have preferred the Cena/Rollins double championship match headlining but Lesnar and Taker are the bigger names and it had people talking.

    A new dream match from the OVW class of 2002 (hi Tito) with Randy Orton headlined 2016 and it was fresh. At least on paper. RKO vs the F5. Tito was right when he said Orton was a believable opponent with his offense but by the end, it devolved into the usual one sided affair with Lesnar winning via TKO after busting Orton open with his bare fists. Good for a brawl but not much to it. Allegedly Chris Jericho was heated after the match backstage, thinking Lesnar was reckless, but it's probably still real to him (dammit). Regardless, Lesnar was on the lips of everyone.

    Last year saw the formula changed with it being a Fatal 4-Way, adding Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Joe was coming off a loss to Lesnar the month before after having a great buildup, Reigns is Reigns and Strowman was on a red hot streak of popularity. An interesting stipulation added to the match was that if Lesnar lost, he would be gone from the WWE, along with Heyman. With the contract ending soon, it could have been a possibility that Lesnar lost. The match was as chaotic as they come, with Strowman manhandling Lesnar and everyone else getting their licks in but Lesnar still managed to retain the Universal Title, which he still holds to this day.

    2018 could see him losing the title to Reigns in his last main event before heading to UFC but to quote Bray Wyatt during his feud with Roman, "anyone but you." Regardless of the outcome, Lesnar has had quite the summer resume since returning and has been the talking point mostly every year (that even includes meh matches). When he's on form (Punk, 4-Way) it's a sight to behold but when he's not (Orton, Cena), it can be a chore. He's a household name that has brought eyes every year when the WWE is about to prepare for their lull thanks to other factors (Murican football, etc) and I feel like he has provided adequately to Summerslam over the years because quite frankly, they haven't been great. The Cena/Rollins match in '15 was superior to the Taker/Lesnar match and Balor/Rollins to Orton/Lesnar but these were the only exceptions. '13 was all about Bryan/Cena but I felt the Lesnar/Punk match overshadowed it in quality. Bias because it's my favourite (4-Way is a close second).

    What's your favourite Lesnar match from Summerslam? Will you miss him? Do you think I'm talking shit? Feedback is always welcome and thanks for taking the time to read. Until next time.

  2. #2
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    When he's on form (Punk, 4-Way) it's a sight to behold but when he's not (Orton, Cena), it can be a chore.
    Never has a truer word about Lesnar been spoken.

    He had loads of truly great matches during his 2002-2004 run and we know from those few examples that when he wants to have a great match he is still capable of it. Unfortunately the Suplex City gimmick has overtaken his talent and he has become boring.

    The best thing that could happen now is for Lesnar to finally get beaten so he no longer has that belt, but still appear 3 or 4 times a year and give us the classic matches we know he is capable of. Like it or not, Lesnar draws viewers and WWE needs that for it's biggest events. They just need to remember he doesn't have to be in the main event all the time. He doesn't even need the title - facing Lesnar is enough of an honour for the rest of the roster, involving a title isn't necessary.

  3. #3
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Lesnar always seems to do something big at Summerslam, but as you mentioned that can be a good thing or a real drag. Worth mentioning that he had two great matches earlier in Summerslam history, as both the Rock and the Angle match in 02-03 were high level bouts. I actually like those more than probably anything except the Punk match, which is definitely a masterpiece.

  4. #4
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Your columns are so accessible - quick and easy to read. I guess I probably would have preferred a little less recap and a little more critique of each of Lesnar's matches so I could have gotten to know your own opinion on each one that little bit more. The penultimate paragraph was an absolute delight to read though, great stuff! That's where your talent shined through. You could also benefit from trimming a little fat from the start too - the second paragraph, for example, felt largely superfluous.

    I have to disagree with the idea Lesnar is 'Mr Summerslam' of the modern day though. Sure, he's been a major pillar of the event, and you rightly point out he's often a talking point. When you're in that spot, though, you have to judge success relative to expectation, and the expectation of a performer in the main event, especially when enjoying all the privileges of a contract like his, is that he delivers the goods in the ring every time. He doesn't. In fact, to put it plainly, he increasingly fails to in catastrophic fashion the longer he sticks around. It's not good enough to have lukewarm matches in his position, so while his prominence and his best matches deserve the praise you give them naturally, relative to his position I'd consider him a gross under-achiever (creatively, not financially) and undeserving of the 'Mr Summerslam' moniker.

    Thought-provoking stuff, my friend, and another good read.

  5. #5
    Forgotten Ponder
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Feedback time!

    MsDynamiteBillington -
    Quote Originally Posted by DynamiteBillington View Post
    He doesn't even need the title - facing Lesnar is enough of an honour for the rest of the roster, involving a title isn't necessary.
    Exactly my thoughts. All eyes will be on that match because Lesnar is a household name and the intrigue of how it will go down will draw people in to checking it. As long as he doesn't go down the Suplex City route, I'm all for him appearing every now and then.

    Mizfan and Mrs - I considered putting them into the column but the '10s run has been longer and more noteworthy, even if some of them have been a damp squib. The put over in '02 will forever be Rock's shining moment, no-one else could've done it better for Brock.

    'Planuel - Go away.

    Just kidding.

    I think I mentioned to you that I feel like I ramble on and it always seems to be the start when I'm not focused, but then i get into the flow of things and it feels easier to type. Only means I can (hopefully) get better haha.

    Thanks everyone that read and to you chaps for commenting. I'll be back again soon.

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