Summerslam 2022 has been and gone…and, let’s face it, there were only two contenders for Match of the Night: the opening bout and the closing bout. The opening bout, a WrestleMania rematch between Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch, was almost as great as their Mania clash. However, it merely met my (admittedly high) expectations. The main event, between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. Truly, it was the quality bout I always knew they could achieve together!
The two have clashed over and over again, most notably at three WrestleManias (including this year’s one, in one of the most disappointing bouts of the two night PLE). And, apart from their first Mania clash, all of their bouts have been repetitive and dull. That Mania 31 bout was enlivened by Seth Rollins’ Money in the Bank cash-in. But every clash after that suffered from a bored crowd, and even more boring in-ring action. Even their most recent bout of the most heavily hyped Mania main events in recent history, was a letdown.
Apart from a Cage clash at a Saudi Arabia event (the name escapes me), all of their bouts were straight singles competitions. I always wondered why they didn’t have stipulations/gimmick bouts for their many rematches. So their Last Man Standing bout at Summerslam 2022 promised at least something a little different…and it sure did deliver. This was mayhem right from the start, with Lesnar coming down to the ring in a bloody tractor!
Right from the off, the ring saw little action as Lesnar pulverised Reigns on the outside. Around the ring, into the crowd, down the ramp…these two had a wild, Attitude Era style brawl for most of the match. Finally, somethinf different from these two! It felt like a Last Man Standing match, with both wrestlers trying to beat each other unconscious (well, more Lesnar than Reigns; Brock was dominant for most of the match…). There were more than a few times where the reckless Lesnar looked like he genuinely hurt Reigns, like a botched clothesline of the ring barrier, or a slam into a broken table that rattled Reigns’ neck.
And that’s the horrific beauty of a Lesnar match when he is motivated (and when he isn’t!). His offence looks stiff and painful, as if he doesn’t kayfabe care about protecting his opponent. His belly to back suplexes on the Usos later on in the match almost dropped each brother on their heads. His offence fits a Last Man Standing match perfectly.
The match reached an absurd peak when Lesnar used the tractor (Chekov’s tractor, if you will) to lift the ring up, something I’ve never seen before (and unlikely will again). Of course, Reigns was in the ring, and he took a long, humorous but dangerous looking fall to the outside. After that, admittedly, the match reached overkill, with the Usos and Paul Heyman interfering, and both wrestlers dishing out the same punishmemt to each other over and over again.
But from the entrances to the even now-legendary tractor moment, this was stupendous. It was the Reigns/Lesnar match I’ve always wanted, and thought I might have seen at WrestleMania. Their heel/face dynamic was so much more involved and deep here than ‘Mania. The Last Man Standing stipulation ensured that they could do whatever they wanted, and they pretty much did!
The last five minutes of the bout descended into overkill, and almost undid all of the great work the two wrestlers accomplished beforehand. But that is easily forgiven, and to an extent, I enjoyed the overkill; it seemed fitting for the two biggest male stars in WWE. Finally, Reigns and Lesnar can say they had a great match together!!!
Hammy’s Rating: **** (out of 5)
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Further Reviews of Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar Matches:
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns (Universal Championship Match, WrestleMania 31)
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns (Universal Championship Match, WrestleMania 34)
- Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns (Winner Takes All Unification Match, WrestleMania 38 Night 2)
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns (Cage Match for the Universal Championship, WWE The Greatest Royal Rumble 2018)
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, Summerslam 2018)
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