CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE 08/18/13)
Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:57 am
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No DQ, No Countout Match
Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk
Lesnar is of course accompanied by Paul Heyman. He gets the early advantage on Punk with his size and strength, but gets cocky. The starving-for-vengeance Punk capitalizes on that and gets some strikes in, only for Lesnar to manage to quickly gain the advantage again, telling the former WWE and World Champion that this is Lesnar's territory and he owns him. However, Punk was so fueled with anger and determination that he kept bringing the fight to Lesnar, and it took a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor for Lesnar to get some breathing room.
Once they got back in the ring, they continued putting forth a jaw-dropping collision. Lesnar of course continued to rely on his strength, size, and power, but Punk would show his craftiness. Both men did a superb job of avoiding each other's finishers, and there was a reversal segment in the match that was truly something to behold. Punk had Lesnar lifted for the Go 2 Sleep, and as he dropped him, Lesnar landed on his feet and had the Kimura locked on. Punk found enough leverage to escape that and attempt to get an armbar, but Lesnar escaped that, only for Punk to get Lesnar locked in a triangle hold. I need to pause and explain why this segment of the match so far is fucking brilliant. Lesnar is a former UFC World Heavyweight Champion and NCAA National Wrestling Champion, and had said going into this match that Punk's MMA training was subpar and amateur. This was a great way for Lesnar to have to eat those words.
Continuing with this outstanding reversal segment, Lesnar seemed to show serious consideration into tapping out to the triangle choke. However, he once again resorted to his power and lifted Punk to deliver a powerbomb. In a moment of sheer storytelling genius, Punk kept the triangle locked in, absorbing the pain because of his focus and thirst for revenge. This got Lesnar to undoubtedly consider tapping again, but he overcame the struggle and gave Punk a running powerbomb that would make Jushin Liger proud. That finally broke the triangle, and Lesnar followed up with Eddie Guerrero's Three Amigos suplex chain. This entire reversal segment was not only executed perfectly, but enhanced the story of the match and was captivating from start to finish. But this match wasn't over quite yet.
Lesnar went to go get a chair, but had a struggle over it with Punk. Punk took full advantage of the rules and gave Lesnar a blatant lowblow that was timed perfectly and kept this excellent story going. After hitting Lesnar with the chair a couple times, Heyman finally stepped in to distract Punk (he had also done that earlier in the match to get Lesnar out of a jam). Lesnar took advantage to attack Punk from behind, and I liked that Punk didn't duck to have the heels collide with each other. Lesnar attempted another F5, but Punk held on to Heyman's tie. Punk would escape the F5 and land another GTS on Lesnar, and was clearly going to win the match until Heyman jumped on him. Punk got his frustrations out on his former best friend, mentor, and manager, including locking on the Anaconda Vise. But Lesnar hit Punk with the chair, then dropped him with an F5 on it, bringing this work of art to a conclusion.
This is definitely better than the Rumble and Cena vs. Punk matches when discussing WWE's MOTY for 2013. This was phenomenally paced, told a fantastic story, and was genuinely captivating. It lived up to its storyline and hype. This was just as great of a babyface performance from Punk as his matches at Joe vs. Punk II, Death Before Dishonor III, and Money in the Bank 2011. He had Lesnar beat and his performance was so fucking excellent that had he won this match, there's nobody with a working brain that wouldn't have bought it. It was convincing. He got a well-deserved standing ovation afterwards from the L.A. crowd. This would have been a great way to end Punk's most recent tenure as an on-screen character, and it's VERY obvious why he was running on fumes throughout his next several months on the active roster.
As for Lesnar, he earned his salary on this night. His selling was also amazing, allowing the much smaller Punk to look like a true star. But Lesnar didn't lose anything from this match at all, even with Heyman's help. He just came out looking like even more of a son of a bitch when this was over. It's too bad the crowd didn't give him a heated reaction, but perhaps the crowd was just in awe of what they just witnessed. To me, this is Lesnar's greatest match, better than his work with the Rock, John Cena, Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero. I'll be amazed if he can ever manage to top this. ****3/4