Every move in a Brock Lesnar match matters…
Brock Lesnar matches are different. That we only to get to see a handful of them a year only adds to the appeal.
From 2012-onwards Lesnar has re-invented the role of an attraction in pro-wrestling. The real magic WWE has worked with him however, is they’ve made it so every move in his matches matters, similar to how they did for his fights in the UFC. Every move has impact, and every move could lead to the finish. The result has been a collection of short but impactful wrestling matches scattered throughout the last 5 years.
WWE from time to time takes criticism for not going outside their comfort zone, or doing things differently than they are used to. Brock Lesnar style matches however, were outside anyone’s comfort zone in 2012 when he returned to the company. They are short, unique, and exciting as hell.
Below I’ve broken down every single move in the Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe match from the inaugural Great Balls of Fire PPV. It’s my hope that you will find this at least mildly interesting. Otherwise I’ve completely wasted my time.
Blow-By-Blow Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Great Balls of Fire
July 9th, 2017
American Airlines Center
Before the Bell (2 minutes and 39 seconds):
- At 2 hours and 54 minutes into the PPV, Paul Heyman took the microphone from JoJo in order to introduce Brock Lesnar himself. The show would be off the air in 11 minutes later.
- The camera cut to a close up of Heyman’s face 30 seconds later, conveniently missing Samoa Joe charging out of his corner at the champion.
- He hit Lesnar from behind at 2:54.31, knocking him to the outside.
- Joe followed Lesnar to the floor. He got him in a thai clinch and gave him one hard knee.
- Joe then threw Lesnar into the barricade and hit him with 3 jabs.
- Joe then turned his attention to the announce tables, bouncing Lesnar’s head off of one, and then giving him a urinage on, and through, the other.
- At that point, Joe got in the back of the ring and waited for Lesnar to get up.
- Graves commented that he wasn’t sure if the match would start.
- As Lesnar crawled back into the ring, fans chanted “Joe is going to kill you” at him.
- Lesnar was back up and in his corner by 2:56.37, and the ref called for the match to begin at 2:56.39.
- Lesnar was smiling as he told the referee he was good to go.
- As soon as the bell rang, Joe charged at Lesnar with an elbow in the corner followed by an enziguri type kick.
- Joe landed a couple of headbutts with Lesnar down on his knees. Lesnar then stumbled to an opposing corner.
- Joe grabbed him in a thai clinch and landed two knees to the body.
- The two spilled up against the ropes and this time Lesnar put the thai clinch on Joe, landing 4 knees to the body.
- Then Lesnar pushed Joe up against the ropes, but Joe muscled Lesnar into the corner and gave him a few shoulder blocks.
- Joe switched to more jabs, and then tried to take Lesnar down.
- Lesnar reversed it on him and pushed Joe up into the corner. He then landed two shoulder blocks and two knees.
- Joe answered back with a headbutt which rocked Lesnar against the ropes.
- At 2:57.48, Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch for the first time.
Coquina Clutches and Suplexes
- Joe didn’t have the Coquina Clutch locked in for long however, as Lesnar ran forward and drove Joe into the turnbuckle, breaking the hold.
- Now with Joe stumbled by the ropes, Lesnar grabbed him from behind and gave him a belly-to-back suplex, his first of the match.
- Lesnar then grabbed Joe from behind again and gave him another belly-to-back suplex. He hit a third suplex, but Joe had a plan for the 4th.
Joe’s Low Blow
- As Lesnar went for his 4th belly-to-back suplex in a row, Joe ran towards the ropes, with Lesnar’s arms still wrapped around his waist.
- As the referee went to un-tie the two wrestlers, Joe drapped his arm around him, which blocked his view of Joe giving Lesnar a low blow at 2:59:08 into the PPV.
- Joe’s low-blow was the second dastardly tactic he used during the match, the first being attacking Lesnar before the bell.
Coquina Clutch #2 and A Brock Lesnar Comeback
- Joe then hit another urinage, covered Lesnar, and got a 2-count.
- After the near-fall, Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch again at 3:00:04, this time in the centre of the ring.
- Lesnar would try and pull Joe’s arms off him, but Joe would always lock the move back in.
- Graves pointed out that Lesnar’s face was getting mighty red, and he looked as though he was going to pass out.
- Lesnar started to go down, but at 3:00:50 seconds he picked Joe up and gave him a sidewalk slam.
- Each guy took their time getting to their feel.
- Joe got to his feet and leaned against the turnbuckle, Lesnar got up in the centre of the ring and charged at Joe.
- Joe moved and Lesnar crashed his shoulder right into the post.
- He then went to put the Coquina Clutch on for a 3rd time, but Lesnar ducked down, went through Joe’s legs and gave his opponent another belly-to-back suplex.
- Lesnar then gave Joe a 5th belly-to-back suplex, and a 6th right after.
- At 3:01:54 Lesnar picked Joe up to give him the F-5, but Joe countered and locked in the Coquina Clutch for a 3rd time.
- Lesnar backed Joe into the corner, but Joe continued to hold on.
- Brock stumbled forward to the centre of the ring and went down to a knee.
- Lesnar continued to look as though he was going to be put to sleep.
- At 3:02:54 Lesnar countered Joe’s Coquina Clutch into an F-5 and pinned him.
- The ref’s hand hit the mat for a 3 count at 3:03:05 and the bell rang to end the match at 3:03:06.
- The match itself was only 6 minutes and 29 seconds. If you include the opening skirmish before the bell, it was 9 minutes and 8 seconds long.
When Every Move Matters
Fans have come to understand that Brock Lesnar matches will often feature something they have never seen before.
- We hadn’t seen a superstar like John Cena lose in a squash match before Brock Lesnar made that happen at SummerSlam 2014.
- Fans hadn’t seen a championship match end in under 2 minutes until Brock Lesnar lost to Goldberg at Survivor Series 2016.
- Many people never thought we would see Undertaker lose at Wrestlemania, but we did when Lesnar defeated him at WrestleMania 30.
When Brock decides to retire to the woods in Saskatchewan, possibly never to return again, his will have been one of the most unique careers in pro-wrestling history.