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Brock Lesnar

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haha.... of course I understand its purpose in the broader sense. Sure, I think the match would be better without the Goldberg's involvement, but what I meant was that they didn't need the interference to have Eddie go over Brock convincingly, which always felt a little like part of the calculation.  What they accomplished in the body of the match was more than enough to get that crowd and the broader audience to buy Eddie beating Brock.  There were still other reasons to have him involved of course, but I still wish he wasn't. Especially given how that Goldberg v Brock match ended up.

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Yeah, in addition to setting up the match with Goldberg, I just assumed it was in Vince's head that Eddie could never plausibly beat Brock Lesnar without some help.

I think this is an interesting question, though: the match has a run-in to set up another, bigger match that was a critical disaster. So is Eddie vs. Brock a perfect success, because it perfectly set up the Mania match? Or is it flawed, because it contains a "defect" due to circumstances that are irrelevant to someone watching the match years later? 

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59 minutes ago, kid dracula said:

Yeah, in addition to setting up the match with Goldberg, I just assumed it was in Vince's head that Eddie could never plausibly beat Brock Lesnar without some help.

I think this is an interesting question, though: the match has a run-in to set up another, bigger match that was a critical disaster. So is Eddie vs. Brock a perfect success, because it perfectly set up the Mania match? Or is it flawed, because it contains a "defect" due to circumstances that are irrelevant to someone watching the match years later? 

Really in the weeds here, but I think the set up to the match was a net positive. It gave Eddie his moment, explained why Brock wouldn't continue to chase Eddie for a rematch, and set up a dream match so big and so heated that you needed Austin as special ref. Everything worked and, while I know looking back, people can get frustrated at Goldberg being there, at the time, there was such a sense of "I can't believe it. They actually did it! They gave him the belt!" and if Goldberg's interference and setting up the match was how they were going to justify it, most of us watching were just so happy that they WANTED to justify something like that in the first place. We were overjoyed that they needed to set up a Goldberg vs Brock program and that meant that Eddie could get the belt. I think most of us watching at the time were over the top excited for Goldberg's arrival; it had been rumored as a possibility and the second he showed up, we knew that Eddie could actually be winning.

I don't think we can judge it against the match ultimately failing because everything they had to do here was a success. It was things that happened later that made it not work.

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If anything, I’d argue that match working so overwhelmingly well and being held up as a classic with the interference makes it more impressive. Brock is a fantastic bully, Eddie is an amazing underdog, and the note that the Spear wasn’t the finish, and that Eddie still had to use his wits, skill, and craftiness to win really adds to it. If the Spear was the finish, it doesn’t work. But Brock powering back up, and Eddie countering the perfect way using his surroundings and skill to find a way to pull it off is perfection. And, also, if it was any other character, it would hurt, but Eddie being Eddie was the perfect guy to win the title via interference and using a weapon.

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I've been talked into it.

Selfishly, Eddy is one of my favorite wrestlers ever, so I think it would have been cooler to see him go over Brock without Goldberg being involved and I think the match would have been slightly elevated in the way I generally think of a "great match" (usually more in a vacuum). This is also partially because I love Guerrero and Brock and I really don't care much for Goldberg

HOWEVER, the match, with the interference and all, remains a significant line on Brock and Eddy's resume, perhaps even more so than it would without

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On 6/24/2021 at 8:56 AM, strobogo said:

The AJ and Bryan matches are almost literally the same spot for spot, beat for beat after the first however many minutes of Bryan stalling at the start.

They’re not the same. Even so, the Bryan match was one that evoked real emotion and concern for Bryan’s safety. It’s a masterpiece that the AJ match could never hope to be. 

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On 4/18/2021 at 11:04 AM, Cap said:

 

 

The other thing about Brock to me is that he is a case that forces me to deal with necessary evils.  I'm not entirely sure his highs would be as high if he were more consistent in his effort and his givingness.  I know he wouldn't be as good or feel as special if he didn't go off to do football and mma for while. I'm not sure he would be as strong a presence if he loved wrestling.  I don't know that the positives of his case exist without the negatives.

Brock is definitely a divisive figure. He’s interesting because many see his extremely limited output as a negative. To me it only Em chances who he is. I would be surprised if I’m not the high vote as it would be impossible for him not to be in my Top 10. 

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The thing with part-time Brock, to me, is not that he wrestled just a few times per year. It's that he only gave a shit when he wanted to. For each example of him being the best wrestler ever when he tries to be, you have another example of him not giving a single fuck about a match and/or opponent, finishing the bout and going home, ruining potential great matches and/or moments.

I feel wrong placing Lesnar lower than top 25, because, honestly... He's so fucking good. He'll be the highest placed wrestler I don't like in my list. It's unfair how talented he is, considering he's not one of those workers who thinks about wrestling as their passion, just how they make a living. But that's also his main flaw, because he doesn't always care about wrestling and he produces atrocities when he feels like no trying.

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I guess the good news is that I have 4+ years to get this out of my system, because I'm not even sure how to engage with you guys at this point.

I'd like to disqualify post 2010 Lesnar from consideration because he uses German Suplexes as punches, which is hugely unfair, breaks the very concept of wrestling narrative for a cheap thrill, and makes him uniquely incomparable in the history of wrestling. It's like putting a Harlem Globetrotter into the NBA hall of fame. You can do it, and maybe even you should, but...  At the least, maybe you can rank him in your top 25 as Brock Lesnar*.

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I don't agree with this, and I don't think Brock's offense is narratively or psychologically unsound. This is what it looks like to my mind, within the internal logic of wrestling:

Most wrestlers don't immediately start throwing bombs because they are physically unable to. You can't immediately hit your opponent with your finisher because they will dodge it / counter it / fight out of it. You have to wear them down with more basic offense, or find a way to catch them off guard.

Brock doesn't have this problem. His character is physically superior to his opponents, because he has a freakish combination of strength, speed, and agility. His most effective moves are suplexes and F-5s. His easiest and most direct path to victory is to hit those moves right away, and since his opponents are unable to stop him, he does so. 

This psychology also works when Brock loses. He's so overwhelmingly powerful that the only way you can beat him is by immediately hitting him with bomb after bomb, without giving him the moment he needs to establish dominance; this is why, narratively speaking, his losses tend to be in sub-five minute matches, and he nearly always wins in longer matches.

Someone could argue that this just means that he is booked way too strong. But I think that Brock is uniquely qualified to play this character; if, say, Kane's matches had been booked the same way, it wouldn't have worked. That's why I think Brock is special. And as I noted earlier, I think Brock's selling in places like the Bryan match is extraordinary, even if he's eating up a huge percent of the match. 

I understand completely why you would find this style of match unappealing, but I don't think Brock's matches are incompatible with the established narrative logic of wrestling. 

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Just to emphasize one other point -- I think it's an established part of Brock's character that he has one weakness. When he's "rocked" with an unexpected strike, he struggles to recover. His selling in these instances is very strong, and it leads to thrilling moments where suddenly you think Daniel Bryan (or whoever) might pull it out after all. I think that he learned the dramatic power of this from his UFC fights, which is pretty clever.

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26 minutes ago, kid dracula said:

Just to emphasize one other point -- I think it's an established part of Brock's character that he has one weakness. When he's "rocked" with an unexpected strike, he struggles to recover. His selling in these instances is very strong, and it leads to thrilling moments where suddenly you think Daniel Bryan (or whoever) might pull it out after all. I think that he learned the dramatic power of this from his UFC fights, which is pretty clever.

Just watch him get lamped and panic against Cain and Carwin, yep haha.

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2 hours ago, Matt D said:

I guess the good news is that I have 4+ years to get this out of my system, because I'm not even sure how to engage with you guys at this point.

I'd like to disqualify post 2010 Lesnar from consideration because he uses German Suplexes as punches, which is hugely unfair, breaks the very concept of wrestling narrative for a cheap thrill, and makes him uniquely incomparable in the history of wrestling. It's like putting a Harlem Globetrotter into the NBA hall of fame. You can do it, and maybe even you should, but...  At the least, maybe you can rank him in your top 25 as Brock Lesnar*.

If I only had his Pre-2012 return career to go off of I would not even really consider him for the list. I’m failing to understand your assertion that because Brock is booked strong (believably so) that he somehow only a sideshow act as opposed to a legitimate pro-wrestler. 

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2 minutes ago, urbanecowboy said:

If I only had his Pre-2012 return career to go off of I would not even really consider him for the list. I’m failing to understand your assertion that because Brock is booked strong (believably so) that he somehow only a sideshow act as opposed to a legitimate pro-wrestler. 

Nothing screws up a wrestling company quite like this.

5-daffy-and-riggan-commit-suicide-on-sta

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Brock’s highest highs (when he “gives a shit” as everyone likes to claim) are higher than any of his peers. Even his lesser matches feel important. A Brock Lesnar match is an event in itself and it took most of his peers many more years to reach that status and even then, I don’t think there’s anybody who’s matches Lesnar on that level. Add in the fact that he’s one of the few that truly understand how to sell at such a high level. I understand certain things about Brock rub folks the wrong way but this guy, is just such a special gift to pro-wrestling 

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2 hours ago, kid dracula said:

Just to emphasize one other point -- I think it's an established part of Brock's character that he has one weakness. When he's "rocked" with an unexpected strike, he struggles to recover. His selling in these instances is very strong, and it leads to thrilling moments where suddenly you think Daniel Bryan (or whoever) might pull it out after all. I think that he learned the dramatic power of this from his UFC fights, which is pretty clever.

Yeah but something that both amuse me and annoy me is that it's almost always a low blow. Taker, Rollins, Bryan, Joe, Ambrose, Ricochet... It has become a running gag and I'm not sure I like it.

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On 6/30/2021 at 12:46 PM, Tetsujin said:

Yeah but something that both amuse me and annoy me is that it's almost always a low blow. Taker, Rollins, Bryan, Joe, Ambrose, Ricochet... It has become a running gag and I'm not sure I like it.

I am a strong Lesnar advocate and this is something I have definitely thought about, and I have pretty much decided to forgive it. Do I think that logically Brock should be expecting a low-blow and do more to prevent it? Yes. I think in most instances it has worked pretty well and Brock was reasonably distracted. Ideally, it won’t happen again but I don’t know how much it detracts for me. I need to go back and watch the Ambrose and Joe matches because I haven’t seen those since they were live but I think I feel the others are justified. 

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1 hour ago, Clayton Jones said:

Why is a babyface low blowing a heel, who isn't even cheating, justified?

He’s cheating on a meta-textual level.

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38 minutes ago, kid dracula said:

Was it "cheating" when Johnny Cage punched Goro in the nuts, saving Earth from an Outworld invasion? I ask you

I'm not even joking, I came back to this thread to make this exact point. Beat me to it.

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