Lesnar on Smackdown - August 2002:
Brock Lesnar Vs Mark Henry - SD 01/08/2002
The Next Big Thing, BROOOOOOCCCKKKK LESSSSSSSNAAAR Vs The World's Strongest Man Mark Henry. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Henry is fresh off his win at the first Arnold Strongman contest (which btw, I'm 99% positive was a fix so Henry could win and WWE would promote the shit out of it to help it get off the ground), and Lesnar is still the young, impressively powerful rookie looking to dominate anyone.
I'd LOVE to see this happen today. Hall of Pain Henry Vs MMA Lesnar. Fuck.
But 2002 version was still a ton of fucking fun. Henry is the only guy up to this point that can stand toe to toe with Lesnar and even be the STRONGER of the two, but Lesnar has the amateur wrestling background and is super fast, so he can use his power in a different way to take down Henry.
Holy shit, delayed vertical suplex on Lesnar! Awesome to see someone be able to manhandle Lesnar, and it makes it all the more special when Lesnar hits an overhead belly to belly, and F5, and gets the win. Short but oh so sweet.
Brock Lesnar Vs Hulk Hogan - SD 08/08/2002
Not the greatest match, but a ton of fun for sure. Crowd are insane for Hogan. Love how they built up Hogan as being almost the ultimate challenge for Lesnar at this point in his career. Heyman on the outside yelling to Brock "He's different! He's Hulk Hogan, he's DIFFERENT!" while Lesnar is playing with Hulk like he did with everyone else at the time, being too inexperienced to truly understand who he's in the ring with. Hogan did his usual schtick; no selling stuff but not anything major that pissed you off, just in the way that is part of his gimmick. He even has Brock reeling and even begging him off, the first time we'd seen this kind of thing from Lesnar. And then Bock got it. He understood who he was in the ring with. It started with the ledgrop, and once Brock kicked out, he evolved. He went after Hulk like a man possessed. No more messing about. F-5. Busted Hogan wide open. And then locked in the bear hug and beat Hogan in perhaps THE most decisive way that Hogan has ever been beaten in. Perfect build up match to SS imo. Heyman was proclaiming Lesnar to be the next big thing. He was young, athletic, powerful. He had EVERYTHING but experience, but week after week we'd see him get better and better, and in this match its like he went from a rookie to a veteran; that's how much he learnt. He wasn't in the ring with your average guy. No more Hardy Boys (just popular team at the time). No Rikishi. No Booker T. No RVD. He was in the ring with one of THE stars. One of THE legends. He went into the match inexperienced. He made mistakes. Then he LEARNT. He adapted. He evolved. He grew. And he took OUT Hulk Hogan, and was finally ready for The Rock and the WWE Title at SummerSlam. Great stuff here, telling a pretty magnificent story imo. And Hogan taking a fucking POWERBOMB (albeit out of the corner, but all that did was allow Hogan to not have to try and flip himself up onto Brock's shoulders lol)? Awesome lol.
Brock Lesnar Vs Rikishi - SD 15/08/2002
Rikishi might not be as strong as Henry, but he's a big bastard so seeing Lesnar dominate him couldn't be anything less than fun!
Nice callback spot to the Henry match though (doubt it was intentional, but I like to think so
). Lesnar charges into Rikishi, and like Henry, he doesn't move. Do Rikishi eggs on Lesnar to try again, only Lesnar goes for a clothesline instead, which levelled Henry. Rikishi though sees it coming and ducks, taking down Lesnar with a clothesline of his own
Some nice arm work for the 30 seconds it takes place, and nice selling from Rikishi too. BELLY TO BELLY OVERHEAD. I mark for that move every time. BEARHUG. Watching Bossman matches at the RR killed the Bearhug for me, but LESNAR using it is still great. He BEAT HOGAN with it the week before, so its credible as fuck.
Great little comeback from Rikishi, including a stinkface to Heyman who sells it amazingly, before Lesnar breaks him in half with an F5 for the win. Super fun.
Brock Lesnar Vs Matt Hardy - SD 29/08/2002
Lesnar won the Undisputed title at SummerSlam days earlier, and now he's exclusive to SD. Hardy went to Stephanie and asked for a match with Lesnar. Guess he was out of his mind back in 02 as well?
Lol, Lesnar just dumps Hardy over the ropes when he's posing during his entrance. Hardy tries, but Lesnar is on a whole other level and just mauls him. MAULS HIM. And I love every second of it. Does that make me a bad person?
Lesnar catching Hardy from a crossbody from the top rope to the OUTSIDE was amazing. They make it seem like someone is the strongest person everaz when they do the same thing, but in the ring rather than outside. Lesnar had to catch Matt falling from like an extra 3 feet. Awesome. Another fun match from Lesnar. I think the "Lesnar doesn't have a bad match" saying might be right. Except for RR Vs Holly and WM Vs Goldberg