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[2014-09-21-WWE-Night Of Champions] Brock Lesnar vs John Cena


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Cena manages to score an early AA as he attempts to avenge his lose from Summerslam, but it has little effect on Lesnar, and it's Suplex City time for Cena. Lesnar mixes up his offence and we see some snap and belly to belly suplexes. Lesnar is hellbent on tapping out Cena, so we also see a Kimura, with Cena selling the pain convincingly.  Cena isn't afraid to potato Lesnar during his comebacks, and he busts up Lesnar's nose. Lesnar taking off his gloves is a neat visual, letting everyone know that he's not fucking around now. The submission exchanges looked organic, and Cena using an AA to weaken Lesnar for the STF made sense, as he sure as hell wasn't scoring a pin fall of that move. The interference finish soured me a tad, but it's not enough to undo the  work that Cena and Lesnar had laid out.

This was excellent, and I feel not enough people talk about this, perhaps due to the lame finish. It's not quite on the level of their Extreme Rules match, but not many matches are. 

★★★★½

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  • 5 weeks later...

YES! Someone else thinks this is excellent! I am not alone! This is overshadowed by the more famous Summerslam match, but this is a badass match. I still think they should taken the trilogy to the logical conclusion and let Cena win at Mania. Gave Roman one more year to heat up. 

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar vs John Cena  

WWE Night of Champions 2014

I have not seen this match on one single match of the year list yet, but currently this is my favorite to be my selection for WWE Match of the Year 2014. I imagine a lot of it has to do with the bad taste people have in their mouth in regards to the finish. I will try to defend the finish, but I understand why it is not for everyone. My initial slight quibble with the match is that John Cena did not discover something new  to defeat Brock Lesnar. Then I realized how unwonted that would be. Cena defeats opponents not because of his MOVEZ~!, but because he has an unbreakable will. Even when it is stupid and dangerous, he is still going to march into the fire and not blink once.

In this match, Cena did learn a couple things from the previous dreadful encounter. First, he could not afford to dig such a deep hole for himself early and just survive the onslaught. He needed to avoid being dropped on his head and he held onto the ropes with all his might. In mirror moment, he scored an early FU, but unlike the the early F5 at Summerslam this had little effect on Lesnar. I loved Lesnar's game plan early of using the Kimura to sap Cena's strength and control Cena. It was a perfect defense against Cena's fastbreak offense. Without the early F5, Lesnar never had the same dominant advantage. Instead, he used the Kimura to cut Cena off and keep Cena at bay. In doing so, he set Cena up for his big throw-based offense. We saw a variety of suplexes from Lesanr and a variety from which he could hit them from including as cutoffs to Cena. Like I said without the early F5, Cena was able to score some more headshots that rattled the Beast. I loved Cena's game plan, which was a mixture of survival, rope a dope and bomb throwing. That was the second thing Cena learned, once he survived, he needed headshots and kill blows. This was not the time for shoulderblocks and bullshit. He was going for hard uncharacteristic Cena elbows. That back elbow was fucking some Misawa-level shit. He just needed to survive long enough for them to take their toll.  I loved Lesnar's reactions to Cena's spells of offense. He is content to play with his food, but he is scared, he does not fuck around. Cena rattles him with a wicked back elbow and goes for the FU, time to drop him on his head. Cena hits the FU and Lesnar right on it going for an F5, but Cena applies the STF. You can feel the desperation from the big bad bully and he goes back to the Kimura. Now control feels fleeting and the tension really is building. It is all because of how all Lesnar's reactions feel desperate and as a heel he is reacting to the babyface. That is perfect heel psychology. He is being forced to play catch up ball because Cena has finally rocked him. Even though Lesnar seems to regain control with the Kimura, it feels much more tenuous. The strength spot from Cena picking Brock up and ramming him in the turnbuckles is babyface wrestling at its finest. Cena will not be denied tonight. Cena quickly hits an FU, but has enough sense to know that is not enough so he locks in the STF to sap Brock's strength and energy. I love how before Brock gets to the ropes he is pulling him back and one time rips Brock from the ropes. It feels like a real struggle and fight. Cena also knows that STF like the Kimura is a setup to something bigger, the knockout blow: a fourth and fatal FU. Then Seth Rollins hits him with the Money In The Bank Briefcase.

So before I defend the finish, let's wrap up the match proper. I thought this was really well-executed, high drama pro wrestling. It demonstrates how important that early F5 was. Cena was able to avoid thus Brock had to go into contain and attack mode. He was never able to hit the F5. He had his chances but he was caught playing with his food, he would go back to the contain (Kimura) and attack (suplexes). At the end of the day, he let Cena hang around too long and Cena made him pay with that wicked back elbow. After that back elbow, he had to play catch up ball. You give Cena an inch and he is going to take the mile. With renewed confidence, Cena was not going to denied on that and you can sense the desperation and fear in Lesnar. It was beautiful pro wrestling. if they ended it with the Cena victory, I would rate the match highly even if, I thought the booking was very myopic and stupid. In fact this is probably the layout I would have selected for the upcoming Royal Rumble match. What I envisioned does not discount the greatness of Cena's and Lesnar's performances in this match.

Defending the finish, from Rollins's perspective if Cena wins outright, Cena will have gone through hell, but he will still be standing and will not be ripe for the pickings. Lesnar by all counts was down and out. So if Rollins could successfully knock Cena out with the briefcase then Rollins should be able to pin Lesnar easily to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champios. The two arguments I have heard why this was stupid was that Lesnar would just BROCK Rollins or Cena would attack Rollins (as happened). To the first, Lesnar was clearly portrayed as being out from the Fourth FU and the added curb stomp and how he was selling there was no way he would just steamroll Rollins. To the second point, well Rollins should have done a better job making sure Cena was knocked out. The plan was foolproof if he executed it properly, but in haste he did not finish the job on Cena so Cena was able to prevent him from cashing in out of anger (YOU FOOL!). I hold that booking was sound on the finish from a psychological point of view even if it was not what I would have chosen. The match never reached the transcendent levels of Brock/Cena Extreme Rules 2011 and with the overbooked finish, it has a tenuous claim to the match of the year at a ****1/2 rating.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2014-09-21-WWE-Night Of Champions] Brock Lesnar vs John Cena

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