Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #15 John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules, WWE Extreme Rules 2012)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31357435/?contentId=31357435&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=extreme_rules )

Brock Lesnar’s returned to the WWE after ten years in 2012. It was a big deal. His first opponent was none other than John Cena. Of course, coming back and giving John Cena an F-5 made him a firm fan favourite. Who doesn’t like seeing Cena get beaten up? I was one of the many people excited for their match at Extreme Rules 2012. I loved every second of it (until the end). However, upon rewatching it for this review, I found myself bored to tears. Without the hype, it was just a plain match that meandered from spot to spot.

Lesnar’s return was fuelled by his success in UFC. It was a major selling point for his character. It also added a veneer of realism to WWE. However, it was clear that he wasn’t prepared for a wrestling match. Yes, he executes a German Suplex or three. But the majority of the match consists of Lesnar punching, elbowing, or kicking Cena. There’s not much else to the match! I remember this match being brutal, but my second viewing saw little brutality. Lesnar may make Cena bleed with a vicious elbow in the first few minutes of the match. That makes it stand out it my mind. But the match is stopped so the medics can stem the bleeding. It’s a sign that the PG era is alive and well.

A spot that would have been much more brutal if Lesnar would have used a chair…

Other flashes of brutality stayed in my mind, like the use of a chain. But all Lesnar does with it is wrap it around Cena’s legs and hang him from a ring post. Now, that does sound brutal. But Lesnar punches him a few times and frees him. Steel stairs comes into play later in the match, but only because Lesnar wants to execute the Kimura hold on Cena whilst lying on the steps. Where’s the sense in that? How does that accentuate the submission hold?

Maybe the sight of seeing John Cena get battered for most of the match made me enjoy it more than I should have done. If you want to see Cena get battered in an entertaining way by Lesnar, maybe watch their match at Summerslam 2014. But this match consists of Lesnar punching Cena for the majority of its duration. There’s the initial excitement of Cena being outmatched by an opponent, but that quickly withers away as Lesnar isn’t prepared for a WWE match. CM Punk’s match with Lesnar that was placed at #28 (click here for my review) should be in this place.

VERDICT: 4/10. If you want to see Cena get punched a lot, this is the match for you. If you want an exciting match, this match isn’t for you. The boredom creeps in after a few minutes and doesn’t leave the match.

Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches To See Before You Die? Leave your comments below!

Click here for my review of #16 Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WWE Wrestlemania X) 

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Review: WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches: #79 Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship, 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, Extreme Rules 2012)

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At WrestleMania 28, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus fought for the World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan lost in less than ten seconds. What a waste of a wrestling match! The upside was that the lack of a proper match led to the ‘Yes’ chants and Bryan’s escalating popularity. Without that quick loss, the rise of Bryan may never have happened. However, we did get a proper match between these two at the following PPV, Extreme Rules 2012. They certainly proved that we missed out on a classic WrestleMania match. A back and forth battle that is Sheamus’ best match of his career, and one of Bryan’s best as well! Continue reading