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[2002-10-20-WWE-No Mercy] Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker (Hell In A Cell)

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WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker - No Mercy 2002 Hell In A Cell

 

If you described this finish of this match, most people would think you were describing a murder scene. Undertaker was drenched in his own blood and was spilling blood all over Lesnar. Brock was covered in Taker's blood by the end of it. 2002 was a pretty underwhelming year, but featured some of the all time best bladejobs in pro wrestling history. This match and the Nagata/Murakami match are the standout matches for 2002 to me. I don't yet, which I would place on the top of the heap. Violence is never been the strong suit of the WWF. Character-driven wrestling and Clash of the Titans is where Vince buttered his bread. Occasionally, he dipped into championship wrestling with Bret and out of control brawl with Austin. Austin's out of control barroom brawls are fun and entertaining, but they are not violent in the same way this is. This really feels like two men trying to maim each other very much in the vein of a southern blood feud brawl. It really is something different and something that Brock Lesnar excels at.

 

Brock has proven to be so versatile in his criminally short first run on the the WWE roster. In this match, he plays caged animal to perfection. At first, he is discombobulated and confused by the nature of the Hell In A Cell. He is young and inexperienced. Perhaps he has even bought into The Undertaker's mythos. This is Undertaker's boneyard. He tries to fight, but also tries to escape. There is a real sense of desperation. Taker is confident, but Taker is a veteran and knows how dangerous Brock is. Brock is stronger and quicker than him. He is virtually unbeatable. How many wrestlers could say they have that dual edge on Taker. Taker has his experience, his ability to withstand punishment and brutality on his side. Throughout the match, Taker almost never gained a fair advantage on Lesnar and was always using something to sustain that advantage.

I loved the duality of the cast. Undertaker's hand had been broken twice in the lead up to this match. The cast covered up a weakness for the Undertaker. Remove it and he is vulnerable. With it on, he had a weapon. It was this weapon that scored the first big blow in this war. Brock was sent reeling and was busted open. Paul E. was awesome with his shrieks of horror outside the cage. Taker laid down a savage beating on Brock using the cage, steps and cast at will. But Paul E. got to him. He just could not resist kicking Paul E.'s ass. One big boot into the cage sent Paul E. flying and he bladed. Then he got by the tie and pulled him into the cage repeatedly. I loved the spot where Brock went flying in trying to take advantage of the distraction only to eat the cage and send Paul E. flying. It was the perfect punctuation on the Taker shine. I loved that old school efficiency. You get the punctuation mark and you move on. It never lingers. Brock catapults Taker into the cage. He immediately pounces and throws Taker around. Nobody, but Brock could manhandle Taker this way. It is scary strength. My favorite spot of the match is Brock and Paul E. tying the belt around the cast hand and Brock going to town on the cast. It is so violent those swings ultimately snapping the belt. I loved the struggle over trying to rip off the cast. When he does Brock becomes cocky, he is swinging from the cell roof like Tarzan kicking Taker's ass. Without his cast, Taker pulls out another wily trick: the low blow.

Again, Undertaker needed an underhanded tactic to bring Lesnar to heel. Lesnar is so great at heel selling and the style that reeks of cowering and desperation. Being more afraid to lose than you want to win. Big bumping Brock came out here with a crazy bump off a big boot from the apron into the cage. Taker hit a suicide dive, but it backfired as it took a lot out of him. Brock BLASTED him with the steps twice. I mean he fucking smoked him. Taker came out bleeding an absolute gusher. Between this and cast, I thought this a perfect example of a caged animal becoming extraordinarily violent. Up until here, the match was perfect. It does lose some points because Undertaker is able to use the bad hand to hit some rights and gain an advantage, which kinda sucks. I did like the finish run of Brock teasing a big move and Undertaker countering with a big move only to have Brock kick out. I hated the ref not counting because Brock grabbed the rope, when it was established pinfalls counted on the floor. That is shoddy. Undertaker having to level up each time to finally the Tombstone, which had the crowd going crazy was great build. I loved the tombstone reversal into Brock hositing Taker into a F5 from a totally awkward spot. One F5 and it was over. Oh how I long for this efficiency!

 

Writing this review, I think there are enough details that marr this match to stop from being my choice for 2002 match of the year and I would have Takayama/Ogawa over it too. However, this is easily, the 2002 match of the year. It is crazy to think that Brock Lesnar in his rookie year as champion had a WWE Match of The Year where he was the dominant force in the match. What is there left to say other than BROCK ROCKS~! ****1/2

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No Mercy 2002
WWE Title - Hell in a Cell
Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
With this match taking place in Little Rock, I wonder how many in the SEC region will have been blessed to see both this and the upcoming WrestleMania XXX match in NOLA live. Going into this, Lesnar had broken Taker's hand with a propane tank, so the Dead Man was permitted to wear the cast, which played as both a gift and a curse for him. Taker, furious over Lesnar and Paul Heyman prying into his personal life, of course used the cast to dominate the former National Wrestling Champion early. Lesnar took a fucking beating in this one. However, he was able to return this beating tenfold, working on Taker's broken hand.
It's a very, very, very rare sight to see Undertaker be put in a position in which he has to deliver hope spots, but he was fantastic here in doing so. He really had the crowd behind him, while the WWE Champion did a great job in making sure Taker was sympathetic. But Taker wouldn't go down without a fight, showing primal instinct and fighting off Lesnar to prevent the cast from being torn off. Lesnar eventually was successful in removing it, going right to work on the bare hand of the Phenom, which felt odd to see since Taker wears gloves in every match.
I also loved Taker grabbing Heyman by the tie through a hole in the Cell, bouncing him on the grating steel until the former ECW owner bled. That showed what Heyman was willing to sacrifice to make sure his meal ticket Lesnar could get time to recuperate and gain an advantage. And speaking of blood, holy shit there was a fuckton in this match. Not only was there a moment in which Taker was down on his knees to gasp for breath, his crimson face pouring buckets of blood on the mat (I'm sure Jay Briscoe had to have gotten that idea for his ROH cage match against Samoa Joe from this), but as the match came to its conclusion, his blood was just dripping everywhere, including different parts of Lesnar's body. It was like Undertaker's head/face was a broken faucet. Absolutely fucking disgusting, and yet beautiful to watch unfold.
What a finish too, with Taker about to hit a Tombstone, but likely dazed from the all the punishment and blood loss, losing balance to Lesnar, the WWE Champion then hoisting the WWE icon on his shoulders and dropping him for an F5 to bring this classic to an end. A phenomenal Hell in a Cell match that defines the genre, just drenching with storytelling and psychology. We're in for a treat at the Superdome. ****1/4

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For me, still easily the best Hell in a Cell match in history. This is Tully-Magnum levels of bloody, hate filled, and violent. Lesnar's performance is fantastic and well documented. The guy is just great at pro wrestling. Taker deserves a lot of credit here too. I legitimately for most of the match believed that his hand was broken and that's important. He does let go of that selling towards the end but I can chalk that up to adrenaline as well as the painkiller he took earlier in the PPV. Bloody and violent. I think that this is one of the truest HiaC matches there is up there with the original Badd Blood incarnation.

 

*****

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Simply fantastic. One of the best matches of the match type. Everything a Hell In A Cell Match should be. Didn't go out of the match in some cheap way. It was a bloody slugfest with some great storytelling. Awesome finish too. Brock was great all round here. Dishing out some big bombs or bumping for Taker - anything he was asked to do, he did it well. Taker was not far behind him and sure his selling of the hand wasn't the best but I can put that down to adrenaline. A shout out to Heyman and his great managerial performance too. ****3/4

 

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