Brock’s career in his own words.
Previous chapters can be found here: https://www.voicesofwrestling.com/category/vow-latest/columns/brockumentary/
After tapping out to Kurt Angle at SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar found himself without the WWE Title and on the outs with Vince McMahon. However, he had a chance to get himself back in the picture on the next episode of SmackDown in a three-way #1 contender’s match with The Undertaker and The Big Show.
Well that didn’t work. The Undertaker pinned Brock to earn a WWE Title match the next week against Angle. That WWE Title match ended in a no contest, with Lesnar laying both men out with a steel chair. Later that night, Vince McMahon announced that Lesnar, the new #1 contender, would get a rematch with Angle for the title. This match would be a 60-minute Ironman match, the first to ever be on free WWE television. Brock celebrated this, as one does, by throwing poor Zach Gowen down a set of stairs.
Fun fact: The original plan was for Brock to F5 off the FIST 👊 through the stage but we couldn't come up with HOW we would get up there. That plan evolved into him throwing me down the stairs in a wheelchair pic.twitter.com/UcGfl7NlpM
— Zach Gowen (@ZachGowen) April 22, 2022
So it was set. Lesnar/Angle III. Sixty minutes on the clock. Who would leave Raleigh, North Carolina, as the WWE Champion?
September 18, 2003
60 Minute Iron Man Match for WWE Championship
Brock Lesnar def. Kurt Angle (c)
This is Angle’s third defense of his 4th reign as champion. I’m watching the full sixty-minute version of this match, courtesy of the collector’s edition Brock Lesnar “Here Comes The Pain” retrospective DVD. I bought this DVD over a year ago, it’s weird to actually be using it now. I’m gonna cover this one fall-by-fall. The rules are the same: the man with the most falls in an hour wins the title, with a 15-second break period in between falls.
Lesnar jumps Angle at the bell, but Angle gets a quick advantage by going after Brock’s knee. A lot of stalling from Lesnar, already burning 5 minutes off the clock. Brock, a Minnesota boy, must have learned those Larry Zbyszko tendencies from up in the AWA. Angle follows Brock outside and gets sent into the post. Lesnar grabs a chair and drills Angle in the head with it, purposely dropping the first fall by DQ in about 9 minutes. Nothing going on here.
Second Fall (Angle 1-0):
Brock toys with Angle for a moment before hitting an F-5 and pinning Angle about a minute later. Michael Cole finally figures out why Lesnar hit Angle with the chair to drop the first fall. Nothing gets past you, Mike.
Third Fall (Tied at 1-1) :
Brock stalks Angle for a minute before putting an Ankle Lock on and getting a quick submission at 12 minutes. I’m not a fan of 60-minute matches as it’s usually a ton of stalling, and this match is not looking to break new ground.
Fourth Fall (Lesnar 2-1):
Lesnar hits an Angle Slam for another fall, but Angle kicks out and shows some life. Brock locks on a rear-naked choke as both guys take a breather as it looks like they’re in a commercial break. Brock posts himself and Angle heats up and hit some Germans before Brock dumps him to the floor. Brock sends Angle into the barricade and hits an F-5 on the floor before sliding into the ring and scoring a countout fall 20 minutes in.
Fifth Fall (Lesnar 3-1):
This isn’t a match designed to go a full hour, it’s a match that has to fill time to get to an hour. The energy of their earlier matches is not here because these guys know they have to work sixty minutes either way, and this match suffers because of it. There’s logic in the falls, but there’s no real ramp-up of energy and aggression. Angle has barely gotten anything in, as Lesnar gets more heat. Michael Cole: “Brock Lesnar idolizes Vince Mcmahon, which says a lot about Brock as a person.” Boy, I’ll say. As I say that, Angle catches Brock with an Angle Slam 26 minutes in and scores his first pinfall. There wasn’t a lot of buildup to it, he just got him with his move.
Sixth Fall (Lesnar 3-2):
Cole gets handed a note at ringside, and he’s told that if the match ends in a tie, UPN has granted them extra time so the match can continue. I like covering little details like that. It allows people to really lose themselves in the match instead of watching the time. Finisher reversals lead to an Ankle Lock on Brock, but the ref ends up getting bumped. An Angle Slam gets a phantom cover, but Brock hits a low blow once Angle gets up. A belt shot gives Lesnar his fourth fall at the midway point of the match.
Seventh Fall (Lesnar 4-2):
Brock sends Angle to the floor, but Angle drags him outside and sends him into the stairs. Angle hits a double axe handle from the top to Lesnar on the floor, then hits a big missile dropkick for a nearfall. Angle goes for his picture-perfect moonsault, but hits nothing but canvas as Lesnar moves. A massive belly-to-belly suplex from Brock gets a nearfall. Angle gets another Ankle Lock, but Lesnar counters it by rolling through again. Lesnar grabs the stairs and tries to get them in the ring, but Angle dropkicks them into his face. Angle gets cut off by a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER before Lesnar hits a big ass Powerbomb for another nearfall as the clock ticks down to 20 minutes. Cole gets handed another note at ringside that says the same thing about UPN giving them overtime. Lesnar hits a sick top-rope fisherman’s suplex and scores his fifth fall with 18 minutes left.
Eighth Fall (Lesnar 5-2):
Lesnar hits some suplexes before Angle reverses one into a German. I wish I kept a count of how many Germans were thrown in this one, but I’m not going back and counting. Angle hits a German that sends Brock ass-over-teakettle and hurts Brock’s knee. Angle gets sent to the floor as we’re now under 14 minutes. Lesnar goes for an F-5 into the post but Angle reverses it and hits his own F-5, sending Lesnar’s bad leg into the post and getting a measure of revenge for Zack Gowen and Brian Kendrick in the meantime. Angle locks on a single leg crab and transitions it into an Ankle Lock, but Lesnar gets to the ropes. Lesnar keeps playing defense before hitting another F-5, but Angle kicks out. Lesnar goes to the top rope, but Angle runs up the ropes and scores his third fall with the top rope belly-to-belly suplex.
Ninth Fall (Lesnar 5-3):
Both men are down as the clock runs under 9 minutes. This is apparently the “season premiere” of Smackdown, which may be why UPN is willing to go overtime for them. I don’t remember Girlfriends ever getting that courtesy, but that’s neither here nor there. Angle goes for another Angle Slam, but Lesnar shoves him away and gets a nearfall off of a DDT. 7 minutes to go as Lesnar hits a series of Germans. Angle breaks the chain and hits his own set of Germans as the clock hits 5 minutes. Lesnar tries another German but Angle rolls through into another Ankle Lock, his fourth try in the match. Just like Summerslam, Brock can’t keep his hands on the ropes and is forced to tap out with 4 minutes to go.
Tenth Fall (Lesnar 5-4):
The Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Finals. The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI. Will Brock Lesnar blow a 5-2 lead in the Ironman match in 18 minutes? Lesnar gets out of another Ankle Lock, but Angle locks on an STF that Brock elbows his way out of. Lesnar rolls to the floor, but Angle gets another Ankle Lock on outside before sending him back in. Brock is just trying to run out the clock, but Angle get him in the ring and hits more Germans. Lesnar grabs the ref and hits a low blow, but Angle gets and Ankle Lock on with 15 seconds to go. Angle rips and tears at Brock’s ankle, but Brock gets saved by the bell and wins the title as the clock runs out. ***3/4
This was the last singles match Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle would wrestle on WWE television. And according to the Wrestling Observer, there was a big scare that almost kept it from happening.
“Lesnar blew out his knee while wrestling a tune-up match in Richmond on 9/14, and the next night in Greenville, NC, he and Angle only did about a 1:00 match, with much interference, to protect him. The exact nature of the injury hasn’t been determined. The first diagnosis was floating cartilage in the knee, which caused it to lock, but there was some fear by the next night that it was a torn ACL. The company was going on the belief that the injury was not that serious since the original plan of Lesnar going over to win his third WWE championship wasn’t changed.” – Wrestling Observer Newsletter, September 22, 2003
Given the scare with Brock’s knee, I can ease up on them for not going all out to start. Of their three title matches, I would say this is the “worst” one of the three, but it is still a logical, well-wrestled match that suffers from its length. If you like Ironman matches more than I do, I guarantee you will like this more than I did, and I thought it was pretty good. I just don’t the concept of Ironman matches. I find there to be more drama in seeing who wins a match, not how many times someone can win. A best of three falls match would’ve been more my speed personally. If I had to rank the three, I would go SummerSlam – WrestleMania – Ironman, but all three are well worth the time.
Brock Lesnar is now a three-time WWE Champion, he’s earned the respect of Vince McMahon again, and he’s put Kurt Angle in the rearview mirror. Life is good for the Next Big Thing. Well, it was until a big pissed-off biker showed up. As it turns out, The Undertaker is annoyed that Brock cost him the title. And thanks to Stephanie McMahon, whose beef with Vince is culminating soon, Taker gets the first shot at Brock at No Mercy in a special Biker Chain match.
WWE No Mercy
October 19th, 2003
Biker Chain Match for WWE Championship
Brock Lesnar def. The Undertaker
This is Brock’s second defense of his third reign. His first defense was a minute-long squash of Paul London on Smackdown two weeks prior. A Biker Chain match means that there’s a “Biker Chain” on a pole, and whoever gets it can use it.
Cole and Tazz are still trying to get “man-ster” over as a nickname, bless them. The opening of the match was a lot of basic stuff, set around Brock avoiding the Old School. Undertaker eventually gets it, then hits a La Magistral cradle for a nearfall. Guess Ultimo Dragon gave him some Toryumon tapes in the back one day. Taker keeps going for covers before they ever go for the chain, which makes the chain on the pole pointless. Just work a match! Taker dumps Brock over the ropes and heads for the chain…when the lights go out. They come back up…and nothing happened. No one is there, Undertaker just got down on the mat and Brock cut him off. Brock sends Taker into a set of stairs that he brought into the ring, but Taker fights back and hits a piledriver onto the steps on the outside. Brock cuts off Taker going for the chain again, but Taker puts on something that we will call “a modified” Triangle over the ropes. Brock low-blows Taker and hits him with the stairs for a two count. Again, why are they going for nearfalls before they get the chain? Why even bother with the chain? Brock goes up for the chain, but in the most obvious counter in hindsight, Taker catches him in Last Ride position. Brock slips out and they hit a double down spot. Taker gets some offense going and goes for a chokeslam, but Brock reverses out into a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER. However, Undertaker’s been watching his Tito Ortiz tapes too, and he busts out a beta version of the Hell’s Gate that Brock powerbombs his way out of. Taker locks on the TCB. You know? The TCB? Takin’ Care of Business? His dragon sleeper submission hold? Well whatever, Brock turns it into an F-5 for a nearfall.
Brock decides that maybe the chain could be useful, so he goes up for it. Taker chokeslams Brock off the top and goes up to for the chain before the Full Blooded Italians get involved. No JT Smith here, this is Johnny the Bull and post-Billy & Chuck wedding Chuck Palumbo. Taker fights them off and hits a Superman dive to the floor to take them out. Nunzio goes for the chain, but Taker knocks him down and finally gets the chain. Taker waits on the top rope for Vince McMahon to knock him down, and Vince obliges and crotches him on the ropes. Brock gets the chain that he didn’t get off of the pole and hits Taker with it to win the match. **
This was the last singles match that Brock and the Undertaker would have, at least in this timeline, and it’s a shame.
A year ago, Undertaker bled buckets inside Hell In A Cell and put Brock over as strongly as he possibly could, in what may end up being the best match of the series. Here, they had a tedious, overbooked main event that only happened to build up to Undertaker vs. Vince McMahon at Survivor Series. The chain on the pole was completely unnecessary, only serving as a way to get Undertaker to the top so Vince could knock him down. I wasn’t super high on the Ironman match, but at least that match made sense. This was a useless match as far as Brock was concerned, and as we’re gonna see coming up, the well of Lesnar challengers is drying up quite quickly.
Lesnar got the win in the main event of No Mercy. Earlier in the night, Stephanie McMahon lost her I Quit match against her father Vince McMahon. As a result, she had to
go get married quit her job as SmackDown General Manager. Her replacement would be one Paul Heyman, who we last saw on the Brockumentary get beaten off of TV by Brock Lesnar in a steel cage. How will that affect Brock and the WWE Title? That’s a story for another chapter of the Brockumentary.
How did you enjoy this chapter? Do you have any thoughts on the Ironman match or a Biker Chain factoid you want to drop? Let me know on Twitter @SuitWilliams.
See you next time on the Brockumentary.