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[2017-07-09-WWE-Great Balls of Fire] Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe

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Yet again Lesnar proves that, whenever he shows up, he is the best guy in WWE by a mile.

 

Great performance where he was able to display his resourcefulness and toughness while constantly projecting vulnerability and putting Joe over as a huge threat. He sold the hell out of all of Joe's offense and was very consistent with the selling, basically from the prematch ambush to the end. He even sold when he was on top (for example selling in between executing suplexes). I liked him busting out new stuff like the sideslam or the between the legs switch around which showed he was being forced to dig deep. Joe was good too with the relentlessness and the cheap tactics which put over his desperation.

 

Great finish with a creative use of a finisher. It was almost like a flash pin where Brock took advantage of Joe poor positioning and stunned him just long enough for a 3 count rather than it being anything decisive. Nice post match selling of the neck by Brock as well. *** 1/2

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Fun while it lasted. I have not much else to say about it other than that. I liked Joe's pre-bell outburst, and the struggle in the ring was decent. The low blow was a nice touch.

 

***1/2

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This was EVERYTHING I wanted & expected it to be. Two of my all-time favorites going at it - loved the swagger & intensity shown by Joe throughout, it truly felt like he belonged in there w/ Brock. The attack during the introductions was perfect, my god it was so awesome. Brock also once again demonstrated why he is one of the greatest sellers pro wrestling has ever seen - he made Joe look like an absolute killer w/ that perfect selling of his. Then when the actual match began, it was just a complete hoot; fantastic sprint w/ amazing looking offense by both men, terrific selling, awesome counters, intensity & a true feel of danger. ****1/2

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Lots of little things bothered me about this, but it was by no means a bad match. They were physical. It was gritty. Joe delivered the intensity early on and both men kept it up for the most part. The crowd didn't bite quite as hard on the coquida clutch as I think they thought. They kept Joe looking pretty good in defeat, but having Brock just pop off an F5 and a pin after spending time in the cc seemed odd to me. I like the idea that it is a sort of hybrid between a flash finish and a finsher-finish, but it was eh in the moment. I'll give them credit for trying and really thinking about what they were doing. I think they booked themselves into somewhat of a corner. The build with this was so good that it demanded something with substance, but at the same time they seem to have made other plans. I said it in the ppv thread, they built to a Brock Circa '12-'15 type match and we got Brock '16-'17. This was good and it could have (should have) been epic. Maybe they will get another shot at it after Brock drops the belt to Reigns. ***3/4

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Brock's selling in this match was fantastic. The match told a great story, and I thought it was pretty perfect for the first match of feud that I do not think is over. Brock made Joe look like a badass, and I liked the finish. We didn't need Joe kicking out of multiple F5's. It was like a Tyson punch, he caught him at just the right moment (when Joe wasn't expecting it), and it allowed him to get the three. They both still look monsters coming out of it. I'm hoping we get the rematch at Summerslam, but I could see it being moved around. We'll see...

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I'm tired of these short Brock matches. Remember his 2013 match vs. CM Punk? It was long, competitive, but Brock still used his unique style to make it memorable and very different from every other WWE match going on at the time. He needs to go back to that, and he definitely should have gone back to that here. They should have had an intense fight for a good 15 minutes. Very, very disappointing.

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I wish it would have been longer too, but I think they were using this to build to that bigger longer match. If it doesn't lead to that, then that will be disappointing. I think the idea is that Joe was dominating, but Brock caught him off guard and "stunned" him long enough for pin. Now, Brock has stung the bear, and Joe is pissed and he'll force a rematch. I guess it's likely Roman won't be #1 contender after attempted murder, so maybe Joe does get his rematch at SS where they get the long match. The match against Punk is a top 2 Lesnar match ever for me, it's an all-time classic. I hope Joe and Brock get a chance to try and reach that.

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I'm tired of these short Brock matches. Remember his 2013 match vs. CM Punk? It was long, competitive, but Brock still used his unique style to make it memorable and very different from every other WWE match going on at the time. He needs to go back to that, and he definitely should have gone back to that here. They should have had an intense fight for a good 15 minutes. Very, very disappointing.

 

Once he beat Taker at Mania they really flipped the script with his matches, which is a shame as that Punk match is a SS all-timer. I mean, geez, people forget he did semi-longish stuff with HHH of all people in 2013.

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Things I liked:

- Joe never appearing scared or intimidated
- Joe jumping Brock before the bell (complete continuation of the TV build)
- Brock selling
- Joe blocking Brock's knees (the announcers did not note this)

Dumb things I nitpick on:
- The entire match is a struggle that looks like a fight until they do the first clutch spot and Brock breaks when he runs Joe into the turnbuckle so his head bounces off and then he does wacky I'm dazed selling.
- One pop-up F5 (that the announcers say Joe got caught with, even though he was grinding Brock into the ground with his submission. It wasn't like he let up) does Joe in - a kickout there sends the crowd into a frenzy even though we've seen Brock dish multiple ones before.

And I get rebuilding the F-5, but Brock is guilty for diluting that move over the last year. It feels like the AA (remember when just one of those planted Rusev? Same feeling here).

I was around ***3/4 here, leaning up.

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I thought this had the making of a great match. There was a good build up to it (the wild pull-apart brawls are pretty much the only thing WWE's done in the last few years that has managead to generate universal excitement and approval) which put over Joe as a threat to Lesnar. The match itself had an incredibly gritty feel to it as well as a sense of urgence-I've long thought Lesnar works best as a vulnerable monster, and Joe really brought the fight to him here, his punches were absolutely on point. Another thing that consrasted this from the usual WWE match is how closely fought this was-you had the majority of the match pretty much fought in the clinch, with constant punches, shoves, pulls and so on. Lesnar's selling was on point, and his ability to make the most redundant spots breathtaking with his freakish athleticism is something to behold-the way he slithered underneath Joe was just unreal. My biggest problem with this match was just how annoying Lesnar's use of the German Suplex was to me. It's basically a Clothesline in 1998 WWF, a Shoulder Block in modern BJW or a Reverse Frankensteiner in an indy match. There is no meaning or sense of danger to it, it's just slammed into your head that this weak, unimpressive slam is a marketing scheme for WWE to print shirt off. You have a man who could rip off heads of pretty much everyone on the planet and he's doing something so lame. Why? It doesn't look good, the selling logic is consistent in that his opponents dont' treat it as important, the German Suplexes just add nothing to do match under this structure and eat away precious time. I'm ambivalent on the finish-a plain old flash finish with a pin hold would've worked way better for protecting Joe, but I have no idea where they plan to go with it. They set it up in a manner that didn't make me think Lesnar was ever truly in danger, and considering their goals is probably just protecting Lesnar and having him do something interesting in the mean time, it may have been the right call, unless they need Joe to challenge again. ***3/4

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I am kind of hoping they are taking the build they had and build something bigger. Reigns wins the title at SS and frees Brock up to slow burn something with Joe that comes to a head at Mania. They we get the longer match they deserve to have.

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The crowd is hot for the pre-match table bump, and you get the feeling you are about to witness something special. The initial grappling feel like a struggle, with both guys trying to get some knees in during the exchanges. Lesnar does a good job getting over the danger of Joe's finish, with his terrified facials. Lesnar slithering under Joe to avoid the submission was an unexpectedly cool moment. It's not long until Lesnar manages to get an F5 in and the match comes to a sudden end.  Two years ago, I remember thinking that this might rival both wrestler's best matches and I was extremely disappointed that they had match that was done and dusted with one F5 in a little over six minutes. I also never believed for one second that Joe was going to tap out Lesnar. This should of been much better given the talent and it's a victim to it's own hype, but it's still a stiff hoss fight that's well worth your time.

★★★¼

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