Here is the best of the “Next Big Thing”.  Brock Lesnar isn’t only a monster, but he’s a thoughtful wrestler who has an innate ability in terms of timing and psychology that few in the last decade or so have ever matched.  It’s quite amazing to think how many great matches Lesnar has had in what has essentially been a very short WWE career.  In a way it’s almost sad to think of what he could have made of his wrestling career if he had stuck around first time and was working more dates this time around.  That said, Lesnar is a businessman who clearly doesn’t need the money for working a full-time schedule, and I have every respect in the world for him in that.  Whether he would have been my choice to end The Streak is a different topic for a different time…

    Honourable Mention; his No Way Out 2004 bout with Eddie Guerrero was one of my all-time favourite matches but as great as it was (and as great as Brock was in that one), for me that’s more about Eddie Guerrero and his moment rather than Brock.  I wouldn’t argue against it’s inclusion in a list of the best Brock Lesnar matches, but it doesn’t quite fit my criteria here.

    vs Hulk Hogan (Smackdown – August 2002) 

    If the stories are true and Hulk Hogan did this job under the impression that he was going to make a triumphant return at that year’s Survivor Series  to defeat Lesnar then it’s even more worthy of mention.  Imagine that, Hulk Hogan being out-maneuvered like that.  But even on it’s own merits this deserves a spot on the list. As an example of one man’s utter destruction capabilities this takes some beating.  Credit to Hogan for an unbelievable sell job, but Lesnar oozed marketability here and looked like a true killer.  Although he had looked like a monster prior to this, it was only now that his reign of terror was marked with a legendary victim who put Lesnar over on those terms. You’d long for a bona fide legend to put over a young talent, of any description, with such veracity today…whatever the self-serving nature of it.  Because lets face it, certain WWE top-liners today wouldn’t even grasp the idea of selling for a foe to make them a bigger threat down the line would they? 

    vs The Rock (SummerSlam 2002) 

    What I enjoyed about this one started with the build-up.  The WWE treated this as a serious sporting contest in many ways. There were clips of the two men training in their own unique ways and this made the bout seem a serious and, dare I say it, legitimate concern.  Both men were simply looking to win.  It was quite the rise for Lesnar considering he had only been on-screen for a matter of months in the WWE. But the presentation of him and things like the victory over Hogan that has already been on this list had contributed to making it easy to believe that Lesnar belonged.  His performance here helped to cement that, as did the Rock to be fair to the Great One as well. 

    vs The Undertaker (Hell In A Cell, No Mercy 2002) 

    If the previous two matches on this list helped to  build the growing legacy and main-event status of Brock, this was perhaps the match that cemented him as the true next big thing. Again it seems as if it’s a broken record to state the credit that should go to his opponent here for “doing the right thing” but the difference between that behaviour and what might happen today bear repeating.  Anyway, this was a bloody and brutal Hell In A Cell match that often gets unfairly forgotten amongst the more “spectacular” affairs in the HiaC cannon.  It was a superb effort from both men but it was Lesnar who proved that he could hang with the top dog and that his meteoric rise to superstardom was more than justified. 

    vs Kurt Angle (Iron Man Match, Smackdown – September 2003) 

    Two ideal opponents given their amateur wrestling backgrounds, Brock and Kurt Angle had innumerable great matches; this hour long effort is the best of the lot in my opinion.  The two showed that whatever you might say about either man, both simply “got” what wrestling was all about. This had a mixture of everything; the action was top-notch as you might expect but the psychology that both men showed was something that you simply cannot teach to an aspiring pro.  They mixed it up with different styles and moves and created an hour of wrestling that was never dull or boring.  (And as much as I enjoyed the Bret/Shawn match from WrestleMania XII you have to admit that dragged).  

    vs CM Punk (SummerSlam 2013) 

    I think Lesnar has been amazing since his return to the company in 2012.  He may have been bafflingly booked at times, but you cannot question his quality in the ring.  His match with John Cena though was ruined by Cena’s ridiculous non-selling (especially after the match) and his series with Triple H was over-blown, lasted too long and was a disarming throwback to HHH’s earlier ego-filled days as a wrestler. We won’t go into the troubles with his match against The Undertaker either.  But his match with Punk at SummerSlam was everything a Brock Lesnar match should be in this day and age.  It was believable despite the massive size difference between the two and in amongst all the power moves, Lesnar again showed great timing and psychology.  Punk is very good, no question, but Lesnar was his equal and more here. Hopefully the downturn in quality for Lesnar’s 2014 matches so far will be reversed when he steps back in the ring later this year.

    – By Matthew Roberts | @IWFICON

    Do you agree with Matthew’s choices? What are YOUR favourite Brock Lesnar matches? Let us know in the comments below!