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[2014-08-17-WWE-Summerslam] John Cena vs Brock Lesnar

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This is pretty much a squash but is probably one of the 3-5 greatest squashes ever. Cena's selling was pretty fantastic here and Lesnar's offense and character work were pitch perfect. A 15 minute+ match that felt like 3 minutes. **** 1/4

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Spectacular squashing here that had to have been inspired by Super Bowl XLVIII. And just like the Broncos managed to squeak in one touchdown in that laugher, Cena did find ways to get some offense in and get a nearfall on the superior Lesnar with a Death Valley Driver. Other than that and his attempts to make comebacks though, this was the Brock Lesnar Show. Sixteen German Suplexes, numerous knees to the gut and ribs, and just nonstop shit-talking from Lesnar made this an uncomfortable sight to witness. Some idiots, having zero instinct on what the ultimate purpose of this match was, even get bored because this is such a one-sided ass-kicking. Lesnar has enough and conquers the face of the company for the last decade, winning the WWE Title for the first time in that time span as well. Like Brie vs. Steph, no special rating from me, but a special match with historic value that may have an ever greater legacy depending on what happens when WM31 closes.

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I pretty much refuse to ever watch this match again. I've rewatched NoC, that match IS very good, though the pacing falls apart when they start waiting for the Rollins DQ spot. But I have nothing close to fondness for this one.

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WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs Brock Lesnar - Summerslam 2014

Brock Lesnar gave a heel performance for the ages in the biggest match of the year. It was the little touches like stepping on Cena's hand, the trash talk, and the desire to make Cena give up. He could have pinned him at pretty much any moment after about two minutes into the match, but he wanted to dominate and humiliate Cena. He wanted to force Cena to tell the referee he could not continue because Brock Lesnar beat him so senseless. Like any good villain, Lesnar's hubris almost cost him on two different occasions. The elbows into the FU was electric and the STFU brought people to their feet. Jerry Lawler was the perfect voice for all the children that did not want to believe their hero was going to be vanquished at the hands of the meanest schoolyard bully there ever was. Good conquers evil, right? Not when evil is Brock Fucking Lesnar. When he did the Zombie Sit-Up complete with a crazed look and maniacal laugh, it was the perfect horror movie image that the monster was not going to stay down. Sufficiently rattle though by STFU, Brock quit playing with his food and hit the F-5 to win the match in a similar vein to the Seahawks' complete annihilation of the Broncos in the 2014 Super Bowl.

I am a Brock mark. As soon as he gets into the ring, I hang on every single explosive and impactful move. Immediately every match becomes bigger when Lesnar is involved and becomes a fight for survival. So many matches from this decade are struggle between being a choreographed exhibition against a predetermined sporting contest. When Lesnar walks down the aisle, all that is effaced from my mind. I know I am going to watch a fight.  The opening 30 seconds of this match maybe my favorite opening 30 seconds from any match (with only Tenryu vs Mutoh from 2001 coming close). The amount of struggle in that opening moment. Cena meeting the Beast head on and trying to fight fire with fire. For Lesnar to snap off an F-5 so early was just an incredible climax. The only thing ballsier than the match they gave us would have been to end the match right there. Part of me thinks they should have. The beatdown was a merciless onslaught of unmitigated violence. Cena's glassy-eyed and foggy selling was so spot on. I talked about Cena's selflessness in the Cesaro match, but on no stage was it more apparent. How many top babyfaces would have been so secure to allow them to essentially be squashed by the top heel on the second biggest PPV of the year? None come to mind. The only two matches that come close to how this one was booked were Vader vs Sting from Great American Bash '92 and Brock Lesnar versus The Rock at Summerslam '02. The difference was the Sting match was a little more competitive and Vader is always willing to bump for his opponent and in the Rock match he was leaving WWE for months. Cena got two flurries of offense and would be expected to show up within coming weeks and continue to compete.

The match is carried by strong heel and babyface performances and unique circumstances, but because of its lopsided nature it is not something I consider a slam dunk Match of the Year Contender. It feels like a great first act in a play that hooks you immediately. I believe wrestling matches should be viewed in context, but ultimately need to be able to stand alone. i do not think this match can standalone and it is too tethered to its aftermath. That aftermath is very disappointing. Just when everyone says they have seen everything ever in wrestling WWE pulls off something that I am struggling to find a comparison point to. I would say this is something never been done before. Yet, they treat it like just another John Cena loss where he comes back with no injuries, dominates the entire Wyatt Family and is hungry as ever. He essentially no sold the match. Just like the spots in a match, which should have consequence on the next spot in a match, the match itself should have consequences in the storyline. If the WWE does not respect their own booking, then how can I? For that reason, it is why I am knocking this match down a peg, because its influence was not as strong as it should have been. ****1/2

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I remember watching this live and all I remember from it is the little kid chanting “let’s go cena” for the entire time. One part of me was annoyed and wanted him to shut up but the other part makes me feel for him seeing his hero get destroyed. So yeah, let’s go Cena. A hot fire start with Lesnar going right in for the kill early, hitting the F5 which set off the pure dominance that Lesnar had the entire match. Cena’s selling for the entire match was great. Loved his desperate attempts at mounting a comeback only for Brock to shut him down - the AA nearfall was amazing. Lesnar’s suplexes were brutal as you can get outside of the neck drop era of All Japan with Cena landing right on top of his head. Lesnar proved his greatness by mocking the Undertaker sit up and sticking his tongue out on Cena who is trying to recover in the corner - what a guy! One of the best squashes ever! ****1/4

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After taking the L during their last bout, Lesnar has been on a tear and gets his win back in dominating fashion. Lesnar's performance was fantastic, mocking the Undertaker's sit-up and his staggering selling being my favourite highlights. Outside of a handful of hope spots, this is all Lesnar. If memory serves me correct, this was the birth of the Suplex City thing. I don't have an issue with this being extremely one-sided, but I thought they spent way too long waiting around after Cena takes a suplex. They could of trimmed off two minutes and achieved the same thing. 

★★★¾

 

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