Brock’s profession in his own words.
Two phrases most individuals with information of WWE’s internal workings are aware of. Most occasions that’s because of the head author of the weekly episodic programming having the eye span of a goldfish, however it could be another excuse that modified plans for the WWE Champion in October 2002. Brock Lesnar had simply come off of a star-making win at No Mercy, and was headed to Madison Sq. Backyard to defend the WWE Championship in considered one of two main essential occasions. The Uncooked essential occasion would go as deliberate, with Triple H defending the World Heavyweight Championship contained in the debuting Elimination Chamber. The plan was for the Smackdown essential occasion to be Brock Lesnar defending the WWE Championship in opposition to the person whose blood stained his chest months earlier than, the returning Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
“My subsequent opponent after Undertaker was initially purported to be Hulk Hogan. He was going to return again, in search of revenge after I hammered him on TV. Vince needed to do a narrative line the place Hogan was seeking to settle the rating, and the Lesnar vs. Hogan match would air reside from Madison Sq. Backyard as the primary occasion of Survivor Collection 2002. I might be headlining the primary occasion of Survivor Collection 2002. I might be headlining yet one more pay-per-view. Vince needed Hogan to look actually good, however fall in need of beating me for the title.”
It makes all of the sense on this planet. Hogan coming again and in search of revenge on the brand new monster that took him out months earlier than.
It’s a traditional Hogan story, simply have a look at what he did with Earthquake again at Summerslam 1990. This time, nevertheless, Hogan would come up brief because the Subsequent Large Factor would end the job he began in August and take down Hulkamania within the constructing the place it was born in 1984. Until you keep in mind Hulkamania truly beginning within the AWA the 12 months earlier than that, however no matter. Brock Lesnar was going to beat Hulk Hogan in a Madison Sq. Backyard pay-per-view essential occasion, and be solidified as the highest man within the WWE.
Then, plans modified.
“I suppose the ol’ Hulkster didn’t like that concept an excessive amount of, and subsequent factor I do know, we have been going with “Plan B” . . . the Large Present!”
Hulk Hogan had an allergic response to doing the job, brother. The November 11, 2002, Wrestling Observer Newsletter goes into extra element. Hogan was to return in and do the job for Lesnar, which might serve two functions. One, it could proceed Brock’s megapush on the prime of the corporate. And two, so WWE might promote Hulk Hogan’s autobiography, which the corporate would get a share of earnings. As an alternative, Hogan and Vince McMahon would have a falling out “much like the Austin break-up, however a personal model of it.” It’s attention-grabbing how the megapush of Brock Lesnar led to Vince McMahon falling out with each Stone Chilly and Hulk Hogan. Is it Vince placing all of his eggs within the Brock Lesnar basket? Would these fallouts have occurred anyway, and Brock’s push simply accelerated the method? Is it Vince speeding to make a brand new star within the face of sagging rankings? Uncooked had simply run the Katie Vick angle to a paltry 4.34 million viewers, the least-watched Uncooked in almost 5 years. (Fast apart, however think about the our bodies Vince McMahon would bury to get 4 million folks to observe Uncooked once more.)
We might by no means know the way issues would have shaken out if Austin and Hogan agreed to put down for Brock. However what we do know is that Brock Lesnar goes from beating Hulk Hogan within the constructing the place Hulkamania was born, to wrestling a microwave-heated Large Present, coming off of a lackluster run within the ill-fated, Shawn Michaels-led NWO reboot on Uncooked. From the penthouse, to the outhouse certainly. The construct to this match began the Smackdown after No Mercy.
Large Present opened the present by attacking Rikishi and calling out Brock Lesnar in essentially the most Smackdown: Right here Comes The Ache promo you’ve ever heard. Later within the evening, in a really atrocious phase of tv, the Undertaker took 5 minutes to spit out that he ‘spected Brock Lesnar. Lesnar then threw Heyman underneath the bus, hinting that messing with Taker’s spouse was Paul’s thought to offer him an edge within the feud. Lesnar and Heyman go away whereas You’re Gonna Pay performs. Then, Large Present got here out and known as Taker a has-been, which made Taker name Present an enormous that by no means was. What adopted was, and I swear this truly occurred, Undertaker and Large Present basically taking part in Purple Mild, Inexperienced Mild up the ramp earlier than Large Present lastly threw Taker off the stage. Someday later, Large Present barged into Brock’s locker room, the place Paul Heyman tried to reject his problem. As an alternative, Brock shoved Heyman out of the way in which and accepted.
If that appears like loads, that’s as a result of it’s. They ran by means of a month of angles in a single evening, all so the Large Present might really feel like a reputable challenger for Brock. And that’s the soiled little secret in regards to the Smackdown Six period. The Smackdown Six have been all tied up with one another and the model new WWE Tag Crew titles. If Kurt Angle or Chris Benoit have been freed up, they’d simply be capable of slot into this spot and provides Brock an enormous feud. As an alternative, we get a rushed push on a man who isn’t over. However hey, you possibly can all the time inform us that he’s 7 foot tall, and 5 hundred kilos!
October 31, 2002
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio ends in a no contest
This was a enjoyable encounter on the construct to Survivor Collection 2002 that nobody would suppose would have been rematched 17 years later at Survivor Collection 2019. Rey flew round and tried to remain out of Brock’s fingers, however finally, Brock obtained a maintain on him and busted him up. Brock missed a cost and hit the publish, and Rey obtained a 619 to the intestine. He set Brock up for a 619 correct when the Large Present exhibits up, catches Rey within the ropes, and GORILLA PRESSES HIM INTO THE CROWD. Then he chokeslams Brock by means of the desk as Smackdown fades to black. For all the pieces dangerous I’ve stated, Large Present tossing Rey into the fifth row is dope as hell. Heyman all the time knew the right way to make memorable moments along with his giants. You’ll need extra out of this seeing the names on the web page although. **1/2
November 7, 2002
Brock Lesnar (c) def. Eddie Guerrero
Can Brock Lesnar F-5 the Large Present? May Michael Cole probably ask this query anymore? We get it, it’s gonna be laborious to get that lard ass up. Brock got here out with out Paul Heyman, as Heyman was bored with Brock not listening to him. This was a nothing match, simply to get Brock on TV and get to the post-match angle. That post-match angle being Large Present attacking Brock and urgent him off of the stage identical to he did to the Undertaker. So far as the match goes, I feel these two have a greater match in them. **
WWE Survivor Collection 2002
The Large Present def. Brock Lesnar (c)
Brock got here into this one with a legitimately damaged rib. The announcers attribute it to the stage assault, however the Observer says it occurred at a home present. Large Present and his Wranglers are right here. Sizeable pop for Brock’s music, the primary time I can say I’ve heard that. A giant Let’s Go Lesnar chant rocks MSG, identical to it did in Nassau Coliseum at Summerslam. Because it seems, Brock Lesnar is a robust mofo. He took down Present with a double leg, hit him with a again suplex, a German suplex and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Brock bumped the ref earlier than the belly-to-belly, so Heyman tossed in a chair. Brock drills Present with the chair and hits an enormous F-5. Alternative ref is available in and counts one, two…earlier than Heyman pulled him out and dropped him with a punch. Lesnar was pissed, however Large Present minimize him down with the chair and chokeslammed him on it to win the title. So far as the match goes, it’s a enjoyable time. Brock is legitimately over, and he simply bullrushes Large Present for 3 minutes earlier than the flip occurs. And the flip lets Brock chase for the title, and as everyone knows, the cash is within the chase. The one draw back is that now the title is on the Large Present. Pretty much as good as a five-minute match with a fuck end will ever get. ***1/2
Brock is on the street again to the WWE Title, which simply so occurs to coincide with the Highway To WrestleMania. However as we’ll get into within the subsequent chapter, that street was beginning to personal the Subsequent Large Factor. Received any recollections of this time in Brock’s profession? Have been you a fan of the Large Present and his Wranglers? Let me know on Twitter @SuitWilliams. See you subsequent time.
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