WWE Extreme Rules: John Cena vs Brock Lesnar 4/29/2012
Oh boy, here we go.
I absolutely loved the opening to this match. It is what every Cena-hater and most internet fans have wished would happen for the last 9 years. John Cena gets destroyed. Not the typical pro wrestling style destruction either but a realistic destruction with possible hardway juice. Cena sold well and Brock played his character well. It's getting off to a hot start...Honestly, you could stop it here and I don't think anyone would complain. Somewhere during this we had our first ref bump.
Brock takes Cena to the outside and after tying him up, Cena attempts a good comeback. Brock quickly takes care of it. Cena again tries to make a comeback, but we get our second ref bump of the match. Another ref comes in and takes a nice shot for ref bump #3.
Brock goes to get ring steps which kind of doesnt make sense, since he's showing he doesn't need it, but let's see how it plays out. Brock turns the ringsteps into a posing platform and I love it. SuperCena returns and gets put in a kimura for his troubles.
Cena gets sent to the outside and we get AIR LESNAR. Holy crap. I have no idea what Lesnar was thinking but he takes a bump which may be more botched than his SSP WM 19 bump. Really wild bump.
Brock gets almost right up and celebrates the bump. During this time, Cena gets his chain. Cena hulks up and the crowd is loving it. We get an FU on the stairs and that's it! What?
Where to start, where to start...
I loved the opening. I'm always up for aggressive and quick matches like someone like Kana would do. I loved the initial beatdown and to be honest, it was so good that I would have just ended it there.
The crowd was hot and it honestly felt real. Cole was even using the word "fight" which shows you how WWE wanted to portray this.
I had no real problems with the middle. Brock went nuts and looked like the Terminator. Cena's comebacks were great. Usually, they are quite hokey, but he pulled it off. He brought the right amount of expression and all the blood made for great effects. It started to drag for a second, but they quickly moved on before it got to that point.
Then we come to the ending. Cena has to cheat in order to beat the terminator. However, the terminator goes down pretty quickly. Aside from a couple of punches and a steps slam, Brock goes down with a chain shot and an FU onto stairs. On paper I guess it doesn't seem bad, but if Brock's gigantic crash couldn't stop him, it's hard to believe anything else can.
While Brock's loss did not look as bad as it did when I read about it as opposed to watching, and credit to WWE for that, it was completely unnecessary. WWE had a chance to do something really special here. They finally had someone who was not just another guy, but by the end of it, he became just another guy. John Cena had the chance to go into a new non-SuperCena direction and instead we got more of the same.
I know some people are defending this booking and talking about how it doesn't make it difference but it does. Everyone who has done this so far has ended up having Brock get built up again to lead to another Cena/Brock match. They have it reach the same place but they have it taking a longer and more confusing route.If the goal is Brock/Cena II, then why redo everything again when it was already done? Brock was built up already. Brock looked strong coming into this and Brock could have stretched this out for over a year.
Cena winning really accomplishes nothing. First of all, he's going away. Who knows how long, but him going away after a crushing defeat from Brock would have built up more interest in a rematch, given Cena the break he needs and helped Brock look strong. Number two, where do you really go from here? Cena challenges Brock again? Why? He's already beat him. The only real way to go is to have Brock bring more pain to everyone in the WWE in order to build him back up. However, since this was already there before his loss, it makes no sense to go back to it. Really, the only way I can make logic of this decision is if they are not going to do anything else with Brock.
Some people have also suggested that this match was a test to see if Brock could do business. My response is, if Brock wasn't going to do buisness, why hire him in the first place? To me, if Brock doesn't do what you want, then it's worthless to even have him in the first place. I think Vince knows this too as he fired Warrior for similar reasons and screwed Bret.
Here's how I would have booked this match:
I would have gone into the whole feud a different way. I would have tried to push the MMA vs Wrestling thing. I also wouldn't have made the first match until Summerslam. I would have done press conferences, a face to face interview and just about anything I could think of where they would interact without touching each other. I would have also tried to have gotten Brock to bring out his former UFC title just for show and for MMA vs Wrestling. As for the match...
I really would have just kept the opening and scrapped everything else. Brock would have again beat the crap out of Cena and would have busted him open. This would have been done quickly and the refs would have probably still gotten involved. Brock continues to pound on Cena until he lets off to pose or maybe to even hit another ref. During this Cena uses the ropes to get up and gives one last "you can't see me" gesture and Brock knocks his head into the 5th row with a right. Cena is out cold and Brock celebrates by standing over top of Cena.
The next night, WWE could claim Cena suffered a concussion or something to that effect and that they don't know when he would return. About 2 weeks later, Cena would make an appearance live from his hospital bed vowing revenge. Brock responds a week or two later and the challenge is made for Summerslam. Then you do it completely Rocky IV style. Cena is shown doing different physical feats of strength and exercises to build up again. Maybe Cena even does some kind of MMA training to prepare himself for battle. Really simple stuff again. From there, you have the match. Cena can either win or lose. Cena can win and end the whole thing there or WWE could try to milk it another ppv and Cena could finally get the big win the 3rd time around. You could even add some kind of stip that WWE hasn't killed yet along with that(Cena putting something up at stake in exchange for a third match). Cena wins a few matches to build up to it and finally gets the big win over Brock.
This one is tough not overrate, but I think I'll have to. My immediate reaction was 5 stars and it's probably going to be in the 4.5-5 stars range. The match reminded me of the Punk/Cena match from last year and is going to be one of those matches that we remember for years to come.