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Benoit vs Lesnar Smackdown 03

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I thought I'd put my old Benoit vs Lesnar thoughts here too since I changed my old post of this (from another board) slightly:



Note about this match -- I believe they edited the time Benoit was in the Brock Lock. I remember having a house show report saying he was in for much longer.


Yeah, I love this as it just connected with me.






I just did this from memory so if I made any mistakes just tell me.




From memory I'll take a stab on why this match is on my favourites list for WWE/WWF matches.


Intensity which I'm such a big fan of. Flow too and this match just went so smoothly for me. Always a fan of the big man vs the small man as well. It institutes an immediate story into matches.


Start from the top here. Always a fan of what the human body can do I'm already physced up for this bout as soon as Benoit comes down to the ring. It's why I'm such a big fan of one night tournaments -- I like to see people take it to the edge physically. I can sympthasize more with their struggle more. Lesnar starts the match aggresively attacking Benoit as soon as he steps into the ring because Lesnar's fresh and Benoit's worn down from facing Cena earlier on in the bout. Nice touch there. Keep it simple stupid is often the best stragety


Benoit gets back on the offensive when he armdrags Lesnar 3 times and clotheslines him over the top rope. In that sequence we see that Lesnar hesitates before deciding to go over on the 3rd armdrag showing me that this match was indeed done on the fly to at least a degree. I kind of like matches on the fly so that probably got me liking the match a little bit better right there.


Lesnar regains control and goes into the heel beatdown the face portion of the match. This part of the match I thought was done really well with Lesnar keeping things going along smoothly with shoulderblocks into Benoit's stomach in the corner and hitting Benoit with a tiltawhirl backbreaker. Always a cool move to watch I liked how Benoit got a little comeback tease coming in before running into the tiltawhirl.


We then go to commercial I believe and come back with Lesnar hooking Benoit with a submission hold on the mat. After another brief comeback (correct me if I'm wrong) Benoit goes for the same clothesline he hit against Lesnar earlier in the contest. This time Lesnar ducks and Benoit goes spilling to the outside of the ring since Lesnar was prepared for that move because had nailed it earlier on him.


Now comes my favourite part of the match. Benoit's struggling on the outside of the ring after Lesnar had violently irish whipped him into the steel stairs. He's hurting getting up (great selling by Benoit here) but baby this is Chris Benoit and he's not going to take that garbage laying down. In a superb spot and one that caught me completely off guard Benoit drags Lesnar out of the ring and proceeds to nail him with forearm after forearm. Like I said before I LOVE intensity and Benoit is super intense here with those forearms and in a revenge spot nails Lesnar with the irish whip into the steel steps giving the heel his just deserts.


Lesnar's selling is fantastic here on impact here and he sells it like his back is seizing up on him. This is important because not only is it a super visual but it sets up the next portion of the match where Lesnar has to get breathing room from Benoit and starts to "run away" from him. I loved that because it put Benoit over so much to have a big monstor running away from him. See, what's also tremendous about this is it prolongs the face comeback. Ever since we entered the heel beatdown the face portion of the bout (heel control segment) Benoit's been getting his comebacks. At first it's just a little bit but it grows each time so we the fans have more faith that Benoit's going to eventually make that comeback. Our anticipation is growing for that comeback as well. So here we have Benoit making his biggest comeback yet during Brock's control segment where we finally get Benoit making a substansail comeback and we're all thinking. "Yes this is it. Benoit's back on the comeback trail."


Brock's on the run which even gives us more anticipation time for the comeback than normal. Benoit's following him. All's right with the world. But noooo, in another spot I love Lesnar cuts off Benoit with an elbow to the face catching Benoit coming in. Adored that spot. Not only was Benoit's longest comeback cut off but it was done in a real slick way. Benoit believing he has the "coward" on the line gets just a touch overconfident and lets Lesnar just nail him. The big monstor that is Lesnar is not quite dead and this spot here makes sure nobody forgets it.


Now Lesnar hits a "deadweight" german suplex which I don't think has ever been done in the WWE. Not only does he hit it but he throws Benoit a considerable distance across the ring!! Lesnar the monstor proves he is very much so as he hits a herculean test of strength and finishes off Benoit's comeback for good. Benoit puts the new move over big time by literally allowing his head to bounce off of the mat in a very dangerous spot.


At this point it looks pretty dim for Benoit. After that we have Lesnar running into the turbuckles intensly (Hey, there's that word again) after Benoit only for a weakened Benoit to hit 3 trademark german suplexes which look so awesome because of the size difference. Hit very intensly we are now officialy out of the heel control segment.


The crowd erupts for Benoit's stuff here not only because the germans are a cool move hit with passion late in the match but because they and I have been longing for Benoit's true comeback for so long. And they do when Benoit hits the headbutt off of the top rope where the crowd is literally standing on their feet. That's what wrestling is all about. Making your moves mean something.


Now going into the final stretch of the bout Lesnar starts frantically clothesling Benoit only for Benoit to put him into a crossface or so we think. Benoit gets him down part way only for Lesnar to simply not go down all the way because of his power advantage. Again reinforcing the fact that Lesnar is the monstor in this particular bout and Benoit the smaller man always has his work cut out from him. Lesnar picks him up but Benoit holds on and spins Lesnar back down into the crossface. (Innovative stuff there, which is another reason why this match rules) A good false tease there that had some cool, new counters, reinforced that Lesnar was stronger than Benoit and a sequence that made the fans pop more than they would have if Benoit had taken Lesnar down no problem into the crossface.


During that sequence of moves we had the refferee taken out which would normally make me groan out loud but it wasn't too bad here. It allowed me and the fans to curse the WWE for not allowing Benoit to win the title, it gave Lesnar an escape out of the crossface without actually breaking it and I'd say it partly gave Lesnar reason to snap after the match. Lesnar than hits the F-5 with an added twist as Benoit lands on his back, goes for the cover but only gets two as Benoit kicks out. A super near fall there as me and the fans I believe are conditioned to seeing Benoit never kick out of finishers. This time he did.


Brock loses it after that becasue the F-5 is his big move and decides to go out to get a chair because he knows he can't beat the Canadian crippler. Brock swings at Benoit's leg to weaken him up for what he promised to do beforehand. Make Benoit tap out. So he goes for one of the coolest and most evil looking finishers I've ever seen. The BrockLock. Lesnar sits down on Benoit but Benoit won't give up and proceeds to pass out from the pain. Benoit's desire had grown from the Rumble. There was no way he was going to give up this time because that title meant everything to him.



So just a great match throughout. Very, very intense the whole way through, had more of a realistic feel than most WWE matches, was emotional, had some innovative moves, a finish that was truly memoarable and a superb heel control segment in the middle portions of the bout. This bout definitely seemed to be a setup bout for the future as well because the way this bout went it was designed for future rematches to play off of.


The only possable "negative" part of the match would be the missed clotheslines but even that wasn't too bad since Lesnar did hit one early in the match and the attempted clotheslines he hit at the end of the bout kept the intensity high and the flow of the match running smoothly






Just wanted to talk some more about this match as I was just thinking today about multistage transistions and just plain old 1 move transistions. Multistage transistions are usually cited by people as making a match superior than a match with simple 1 move transistions. And a lot of times that's true but not all the time.


In Benoit vs Eddie 11/18/95 there is a tremendous sequence where Benoit and Eddie do the ultimate 1 upmanship battle that ends up with a Benoit clothesline. Perhaps my favourite sequence of moves of all time it added greatly to the match as it fit in so nicely with the 1 upmanship/advanced wrestling/moveset story they were doing that particular night. A one move or a couple of 1 move manuevers wouldn't be as good here and would've hurt the match severely. All about timing I guess.


Now I want to take a look at one of my favourite 1 hit moves of all time. The Brock Lesnar elbow to the face which I absolutely LOVE. As I've cited before in the past Benoit was on a comeback trail during the "Brock beat down Benoit" portion of the match. Benoit's comebacks became bigger and bigger until the point where he actually gets the monstor Lesnar on the run. Benoit's confidence is growing and as a result he just gingerly walks in on a beat down Lesnar who's partly slumping in the corner. However, it was all a setup as Lesnar just nails the overconfident Benoit with an elbow to the face. Now this is an example where a 1 move sequence would be better than a multi stage transistional comeback. If say they did something like -- Benoit ducks elbow, goes behind brock, goes for northern lights but can't lift Lesnar up, Lesnar counters with attempted Canadian backbreaker, Benoit lands on his feet staggers a bit until Lesnar with an elbow -- than it would've partlyruint the story and the flow of the match. The 1 hit elbow to Benoit's face was necessary to show that A)Benoit's overconfidence cost him 2)that Lesnar set Benoit up and 3)that the big monstor was never quite tamed and was always ready to strike. Anything more complex would've diluted what Lesnar and Benoit were doing.




Now while some matches are fun and can be full of great multistage transistions sometimes they just have too many of them. Seeing a sequence of counter after counter is often enthralling to watch but the problem in some matches is that it's done so often during certain bouts that it loses its meaning. All the well thought out sequences donn't mean anything if there isnt something more "simple" to show how great the countering later on is. It's kind of like how the mat sections of the New Japan junior matches build up the excitement for the ending portions by letting the match climax. You need something a little bit more tamer than what you're doing at other sections to let your match build and climax. Which brings me to Benoit vs Lesnar. Benoit vs Lesnar didn't do any fancy countering (although they did do some countering that I loved)until Benoit ducks Lesnar's clothesline and attempts to put him into the crossface before finally procuring it a little bit later. By not having any counter, counter, counter, counter stuff in the beginning it allowed this sequence to really mean something. It stands out more and the sequence becomes more entrenched in our memories.


That same sequence was also superb in that it showed that Lesnar was still indeed the monstor. Not only the multi stage transistion at the end stand out but it showed Benoit's technical genius and at the same time Lesnar's prevailing power. All in one sequence. Fantastic.

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