Brock’s career in his own words.
Previous chapters can be found here: https://www.voicesofwrestling.com/category/vow-latest/columns/brockumentary/
After Vince McMahon helped him beat The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar had a new problem to deal with.
The new General Manager of Smackdown was Paul Heyman, the man that was last seen getting beaten up in a steel cage by…Brock Lesnar (read about that beatdown here). However, Paul Heyman is a businessman and thought it would be best for business to stay on Brock’s good side. He demonstrated this by helping Brock fill out his Survivor Series team with new US Champion Big Show, the returning Nathan Jones, and the d-d-debuting m-m-m-Matt Morgan. Wait, they didn’t give him the stuttering gimmick until later? Well, there goes half of my material.
Lesnar would gain A-Train as a fifth man to take on the team captained by Kurt Angle. He would team up with old partner Chris Benoit, fresh new babyface John Cena, APA’s Bradshaw, and the returning Hardcore Holly. Wait, returning? What was he returning from again?
WWE Survivor Series 2003
November 16, 2003
Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Bradshaw, Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, & John Cena) def. Team Lesnar (Brock Lesnar, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones, The A-Train & The Big Show)
John Cena does one of his pre-match raps and basically runs down the card. One bar ends in “gravedigger” and I got a little nervous, but he only asks that they make the grave for the Buried Alive match bigger. Phew. Hardcore Holly gets a slightly bigger pop than unknowns Matt Morgan and Nathan Jones. They make up for this lack of reaction by eliminating Holly first, as he shoves a referee while beating up Brock on the floor. Not a big loss there. I mean, it’s not like career mid-carder Hardcore Holly was, or will soon be, in a prominent position on the card anyway. A-Train is right behind him, as he misses a splash and eats a Clothesline From Hell from Bradshaw to get eliminated. Bradshaw goes for the same combo on Big Show, but Nathan Jones kicks him in the back, leading to a Big Show chokeslam and an elimination. Three eliminations in 2 minutes lead to Team Lesnar having a 4-3 advantage. At least this thing is moving with some pace. Matt Morgan gets some offense in on John Cena, as someone’s dream match from 2009 comes true.
Do you think Matt Morgan saw Brock’s back tattoo and got some inspiration? Anyway, we get some heat on both Cena and Benoit before Angle comes in and cleans house. Morgan eats a boot from Jones in a melee, leading to an Angle Slam and Morgan’s elimination. Jones gets an accidental clothesline from Big Show, leading to an Ankle Lock and a tapout from Jones. Immediately after that, Lesnar catches Angle with an F-5 and eliminates him. We’re down to Benoit and Cena vs. Lesnar and Big Show. Benoit starts working Lesnar’s arm for the Crossface, but Lesnar is in the ropes. Benoit gets the Crossface in the middle of the ring and gets the tap on Lesnar! How about that? Big Show takes on Benoit, but a blind tag from Cena leads to a chain shot and the FU for the win. Team Angle wins, with Benoit and Cena as the survivors. This was pretty good. The action came fast and furious, the green guys were protected, and the crowd was into it. Both Benoit and Cena are fresh opponents for Brock, so I’m excited to see those matches as well. A good night at the office all around. ***1/2
With Cena and Benoit becoming threats to Brock, Paul Heyman made it clear to give them as many roadblocks as possible to keep them away from the WWE Title. Instead of Benoit getting a title shot for getting a clean fall over the WWE Champion, Heyman held a Thanksgiving battle royal for a title shot…that Benoit and Cena had to qualify for in separate matches. Benoit and Cena would win their matches, get into the battle royal, and be the final two men standing. It wouldn’t be that easy for them, as they ended up going out at the same time because of tropes. I’m shocked that they didn’t do the “guy hiding under the ring pops out and wins” ending, but they went with an old favorite nonetheless. Benoit and Cena would have to wrestle the next week in a one-on-one match, with the winner facing Lesnar the same night. Benoit won, giving us the title match that almost main-evented WrestleMania 19.
December 4, 2003
Brock Lesnar (c) def. Chris Benoit
This is Brock’s third defense of his third reign as WWE Champion.
Brock gets a jump start and works over Benoit as YOU TAPPED OUT chants rain down over Lesnar. Benoit posts Lesnar before going for the Crossface, but Brock escapes out of the ring. Brock hotshots Benoit on the ropes before hitting an awesome standing Muscle Buster for a near fall. Brock tosses Benoit to the floor and gorilla presses him into the announce table. Earlier in the night, Brock promised that whoever he wrestled would tap out, so Brock puts on a rear-naked choke-type hold. Benoit fights out and busts Lesnar’s nose up on the comeback, but Brock low-bridges Benoit and sends him to the floor again. Brock goes after Benoit, but Benoit sends Brock into the stairs. Brock runs from Benoit, giving him enough space to hit an elbow and a massive German for a double down. Lesnar posts himself again, allowing Benoit to hit the trio of Germans. Benoit goes for the suicide headbutt (there’s a joke I could make, but I’ll be classy) for a big near fall. Benoit and Brock fight for positioning on the Crossface, and Brian Hebner gets bumped in the process. Benoit gets the Crossface and the tap, but there’s no ref. Brock hits a big F-5 for a slow 2 count. Hebner is still down, so Brock gets a chair and drills Benoit in the leg. We then get the debut of Lesnar’s Stretch Muffler variant…it’s THE BROCK LOCK! The Brock Lock was just too much for Benoit, and he passes out. After the match, Brock lives up to his word by putting Benoit in the Crossface and physically making his limp hand tap out. A really heated TV main event and I have no doubt that these two would have a better PPV match in them. Unfortunately, we would never get that PPV match as this would be their only televised match against each other. ***1/2
The next week, Brock would come out and talk crap about the city Smackdown was running that night. Well that city just so happened to be San Diego, California. And no one insults the Whale’s Vagina on Rey Mysterio’s watch!
December 11, 2003
Brock Lesnar def. Rey Mysterio
If Rey wins, he’ll get a title match next week. Rey’s family is in the front row. His wife Angie, his daughter Aliyah, and his son Dominik, who was showing the charisma at age 6 that would propel him to a landmark run in the WWE today. It’s also Rey’s birthday! You may as well put a big graphic on the screen saying REY IS LOSING. Michael Cole brings up how Rey won the Cruiserweight Title “just up the road in Anaheim.” Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim is 90 miles away from the San Diego Sports Arena, which in California traffic may as well be 3 hours away.
Brock overpowers Rey easily, so Rey uses his speed to pepper Brock with shots and leads him on a chase around the ring. Brock gets pissed and picks up the stairs, which allows Rey to dropkick the stairs in his face. Brock gets control for a second, but Rey sends him into the barricade and the post before finishing his combo with a springboard crossbody as they go to break. They come back and Rey gets caught off the top as Brock hits 2 backbreakers before bumping the ref to hit a low blow. Brock beats up on Rey and puts him in a unique straitjacket submission before shooting him to the floor. Brock sarcastically cheers Rey on to get back in the ring, but Rey crotches him on the ropes. Brock gets sent to the ropes, leading to a 619 around the ring post and a Dropping of Da Dime for a near fall. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors sends Brock flying, leading to a mistimed spot in the corner as Brock isn’t in position. Rey goes up and hits a rana for another near fall. Rey goes for another springboard, but Brock catches him and drops him with a sick powerbomb. Brock grabs Rey and puts on the Brock Lock for the submission win. This match ruled so much. Rey brought the speed needed to look like a threat to Brock, and Brock bumped like an absolute boss for Rey. They missed that one spot in the corner, but otherwise, this was an excellent TV main event. I wish we got more of these two at this time, but we have…other plans to get to. ***3/4
One of Rey’s friends in the crowd hops the barricade and gets stopped by security. He shoves the security away and unmasks to reveal…Hardcore Holly. It’s our hero, Hardcore Holly. In a Quentin Jammer Chargers hoodie, Holly sends Lesnar out of the ring and stands tall as SmackDown goes off the air.
Hardcore Holly is back, he’s here for revenge, and he’s making that our problem. But that’s a story for another chapter.
Thanks for reading this chapter of the Brockumentary. Let me know any memories you have of this time in Brock’s career, and follow me for updates on the series @SuitWilliams on Twitter.