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[2013-05-19-WWE-Extreme Rules] Brock Lesnar vs Triple H (Steel Cage)

Superstar Sleeze

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Brock Lesnar vs Triple H - WWE Extreme Rules 2013 Steel Cage Match

When HHH smashed Brock's injured leg while he was climbing the cage and Brock just did this awesome sell, I became fully committed to "This match is fucking awesome, why does no one talk about this?"

I know these two are not exactly darlings around here or on the internet in general, but this is a damn great match. I feel like PWO is generally above preconceived notions of pro wrestlers and rate with an open mind so I dont want to assert that the reason this match is not more highly regarded is simply because of the two wrestlers in the match. Therefore, I would love to hear complaints about his match because I thought this was an incredibly dramatic and interesting match. It also proves my point of Brock Lesnar being the best seller on the WWE roster since his return in 2012. 

Building a match around a heel selling a body part is a major risk in any era because either you run the risk of generating sympathy for the heel or undercutting the babyface's obstacle. I think the fact that this came off so well really makes this match unique. I think the situation that this idea is best suited for is a monster heel. A monster heel like an Andre in Japan or a Vader is naturally a mountain to climb so injuring them does not undercut the hero's vanquish the monster. In fact, it makes the match more credible because the hero needs an opening like this to exploit to win the match. In my mind, heel Andre and Vader are the two greats at "wounded bear" selling. After seeing Brock Lesnar in this current string of classics, I would say he has exceeded them as the GOAT at "wounded bear" selling. When an Andre, a Vader or a Brock start that hollering, that desperation selling it becomes so gripping because it is so shocking to see men so big, so tough to scream in agony. It is instantly compelling. That's the hook. Can the hero Triple H take advantage of this opening? Or will Lesnar find a way to win and in this case cheat his ass off to come out on top? I have said this before saying I love seeing men like Brock Lesnar cheat because there is something especially despicable about a strong, big man with shoot skills stooping to cheating. 

I really liked the opening to this match. Triple H jumped Brock during his entrance and threw him into the cage. He hauled off and knocked Heyman's lights out. It was all fists from HHH. This was a fight. It made sense that this is how Triple H would get his shine. He had to jump Brock from behind because Brock always manhandles his opponents at the bell. He throws Brock into the cage. He goes for the killshot early, Pedigree, but Brock backdrops him into the cage. Perfect transition. Now Brock has him trapped. Brock slams the back of HHH's head into the cage and slings him into the cage. Great show of strength from The Beast. I love sending Brock into the cage and then that quick High Knee from HHH. HHH's high knee is his best move. It is such a great explosive move from a wrestler who lacks explosion in all other aspects of in-ring repertoire. Brock snaps off a German to quell the rally. Perfect. Then Brock goes for his own high knee and EATS THE STEEL! It is just money from there. Also people often complain that people do not use cage anymore. You can't say that in this match! The cage was the most pivotal part of the match!

There is great selling, great transition and just very sound psychology. My major complaint is that a sledgehammer gets involved. I hate the sledgehammer because it is unrealistic, but it is a staple of HHH matches and outside of that this is a really good match. The Brock/Paul interactions are so good. Brock's verbal selling is incredible. Brock fighting through the pain is so credible. I like how it takes a significant amount of time for HHH to take over. It is not that Brock injures his knee and HHH pounces. Brock has kicked HHH's ass and HHH still needs to dig himself out of the hole first. So we get Brock trying to end it quickly fighting through an F-5 or using a Kimura liberally because that does not use his legs. Of course since this is a cage match, Paul is like well just get out the door! That's when we see the chop blocks or Brock asking for a chair. All just great stuff to make up for his bum wheel. HHH is never going to win an award for best babyface, but I thought he was very solid on offense. He worked the leg really well. I really liked how he crashed  down with his knee on Brock's injured leg in the corner. The crowning moment of selling was the one that I mentioned at the onset of this review. I also really liked the use of Figure-4 and Sharpshooter as HHH's big nearfalls surrounding the leg work. Heyman having to save Lesnar in the Sharpshooter was a great way to protect HHH and really piss you off. Brock kicking out of the Pedigree restored his monster cred. Heyman ballshotting HHH and Lesnar saying "That's my manager" was gold. Sledgehammer shot, summarily a F-5 and Brock gets his win back. 

The WrestleMania match is boring, but seems to be the match everyone remembers. I love the Summerslam match and I dug this one too. I agree the booking really did not necessitate HHH needing to beat Brock at Mania. I think Brock winning at Summerslam was enough and move on, but hey then we wouldnt have gotten this match and this match rules! Great exhibition of amazing "wounded bear" heel selling and a really psychologically sound wrestling match. ****1/4 



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