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[2012-04-29-WWE-Extreme Rules] John Cena vs Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules)

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This match is another of my favorites. It is not a wrestling match as much as it is a 15+ minute beatdown with a couple of hope spots thrown in, including the ending. The buildup was glorious with Brock kicking Cena's hat, the pull apart bloody brawls, and the legit awesomeness that was Brock coming back to the WWE. Little did we know how much Lesnar would change up his style to fit his character. He took out a lot of his old wrestling maneuvers from, say, Wrestlemania 19 against Angle, to replace them with insane arm locks and reliances on the German suplex.

 

Let's see...Lesnar elbowing Cena right at the beginning. Lesnar tying Cena up and hanging him over the turnbuckle post. The Kimura on the steel steps inside the ring....and my favorite spot...the knee lift/flip over the top rope that Brock completely no sells like the beast that he is. It is just a crazy match that I could only compare to some of the Japanese matches in terms of brutal strikes and one-sided beatings. I can't say enough about it.

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A perfect match imo. One of my favorite monster performances ever by Brock, and Cena was at his most sympathetic since the '07 Umaga match. The finish was annoying the first time I saw it, but with every re-watch it grows on me more. *****

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John Cena vs Brock Lesnar - Extreme Rules 2012

Pride comes before the fall. My favorite gimmick in pro wrestling is the cocky shooter and there is no better cocky shooter than Brock Fucking Lesnar. Those sitdown interviews in the build to this match were amazing, obnoxious schoolyard bully bullshit that only works because Brock Lesnar is on the short list of legit baddest men on this planet. Give me those any day over the interminable Paul E. promos we get nowadays. Cena's subdued response was pitch perfect he recognized the credible threat of Brock, but he was going to defend the industry he loves. 

Incredible match and we all know that. The violence is definitely an integral part. They set that tone early with Lesnar cutting Cena open hardway with his sharp elbows and they end the match with Cena getting his receipt busting Lesnar open with the chain. The blood flowed freely for the first time in years. To me more than the hard-hitting lariats and elbows, this match was made by the character work. The match was clearly designed to get Brock over as the new top star. The camera was on him the vast majority of the time. Cena did a great job selling, but more often than not we were watching Lesnar mug for the camera. I love the little shit like Lesnar using his foot to push Cena out of the ring onto the floor with a thud like he is human garbage. The cocky attitude of goading Cena to get back up. Of course, when it came time for Lesnar to show vulnerability he did so in spades. Look as Cena picks him up in the kimura and drives him into the steel steps. That look of fear is why Brock Lesnar is one of the smartest wrestlers ever. He knows it is a work. He can show ass. He can show fear. The match is greatly improved. What makes a bully a bully is in his heart of hearts he is an insecure coward. That is Brock Lesnar. He is a badass, but in pro wrestling he knows it is the best interest of the match, his opponent and the product for him to show fear and vulnerability. 

That's Brock Lesnar, I think Cena did even more to put this match over as a classic. John Cena is clearly in way over his head against Brock Lesnar, but he never gives up. He is a scrappy, blue collar muthafucker thats going to tackle Lesnar, he is going to reverse elbow Lesnar hard, he is going to punch him. It is all to no avail. Lesnar quashes every takedown, every punch, every shoulder tackle with his own big ass offense. Cena never gives up. That's how to live life. We are all in over our heads at some point, fighting a Brock Lesnar, but we dont give up and we just keep fighting. It was Cena's hope spots and the subsequent cutoffs that made this match so engaging. I already mentioned one of the hope spots in the previous paragraph. There are few moments to me in wrestling history as John Cena picking up Brock Lesnar in the kimura and ramming him down onto those steel steps. Cena was getting his ass kicked from pillar to post and for him to do that to Brock. Goddamn! I was pumping my fist here six years later cheering him on. 

Like many, I originally thought the finish was a copout, but I think it was genius now. The whole Brock does not where Cena went after after he missed the legdrop is great. I love how he gets on the stairs to look for him and then spots Cena's hand. The way Brock's face changes with that sick, sadistic smile. We say sick, sadistic smile a lot in pro wrestling, but no one has a better one than Brock Lesnar. You really believe especially in this match that Brock was going to do baddd things to Cena. That following bump by Brock was even MORE INSANE than I remembered it. Holy Shit! When Brock is on his A-Game, he is the best seller and best bumper in the WWE and he is like 300 fucking lbs. He is The Beast. What a fucking wipe out. He sells the leg, shakes it off and that look of "Lets do that again, but this time I KILL THE BITCH" is amazing. 

That's when it happens in a supreme moment of pride and arrogance, Brock Lesnar goes for that very move that nearly seriously hurt him and leaves him completely vulnerable as he is flyign through the air, but this time John Cena has his Thug Life Chain and he drills Brock right in the head. Brock's selling after this is amazing, but all the focus is back on Cena's who is FIRED UP! F-U ON THE STAIRS! 1-2-3!

Home Fucking Run! Two of the all-time greats putting on a match that displays their unique characters and physical abilities telling the story of Pride vs Perseverance. ***** 

 

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Excellent match. Fantastic beatdown by Brock, fresh off his return from MMA, unleashing STIFF as fuck shots to Cena and throwing him around like he was nothing. Cena bumping and selling his butt off, not that he had a choice. The crowd was hot too. The blood added a lot and put over Brock as a killer, something different. But the ref stoppagez early on kinda disrupted the flow slightly. Although, that couldn't be helped. ****1/2

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As good as I remembered it. Lesnar feels like a video game boss that feels nigh on impossible to beat. After cutting open Cena with shoot nasty elbows, Lesnar controls 90% of the match. I don't even mind the ref stoppages as they give us time to reflect on how brutal Brock's offence is as they replay the elbow multiple times, all while Lesnar is pacing around like a caged animal. Cena sells his injuries well and all of his hope spots feel organic and he even makes a usually anti-Cena crowd root for him.  A violent spectacle between two of the best ever.

★★★★★

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