After Brock Lesnar’s debut victory over Jeff Hardy at Backlash, the Hardy Boyz would get their likelihood at revenge the subsequent month at Judgment Day. It wouldn’t go properly.
Judgment Day 2002
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman def. The Hardy Boyz (4:47)
The Hardys get a leap begin on Lesnar as Jim Ross calls Heyman “a human urinal.” I…don’t know what meaning. Is Paul Heyman into watersports? As Lesnar takes management, the Nashville crowd chants “GOLDBERG.” Some issues you possibly can’t make up of us. Matt makes a scorching tag to Jeff, who will get a run in on Brock, taking him down with a Whisper within the Wind. Matt and Jeff run wild, sending Lesnar to the ground and getting their photographs in on Heyman. Brock cuts them off rapidly, tossing Jeff into Matt earlier than hitting the F5. Heyman begs for the tag, stumbles his manner into the ring, and pins Jeff for the win in 4:47. Brock saved it easy for essentially the most half, and Heyman was superior at being the weasel heel that escaped getting what was coming to him. **1/2
One month later, Brock Lesnar was set to earn the most important win of his WWE profession. A win that may legitimize him within the eyes of WWE followers worldwide. He was set to beat Stone Chilly Steve Austin in a King of the Ring Qualifying match. Though he would get some assist from Eddie Guerrero, it was nonetheless a win over one of many largest stars in firm historical past. Nevertheless, Austin was already sad along with his artistic course, and dropping a match to an upcoming star on basically no construct felt like a waste of a loss to him. So he “took his ball and went residence”, seemingly leaving Lesnar within the lurch. However as Brock recounts, a slight detour wouldn’t preserve him from the vacation spot.
“Paul pulled me apart and introduced me two steaks from Vince’s workplace. He at all times stole a few Vince’s afternoon steaks and introduced them to me. I by no means requested if Vince knew. I used to be simply completely satisfied to get the prime lower. As I labored on the steak, Paul defined the brand new swerve: Vince himself was going to wrestle Ric Aptitude that evening, in Atlanta—a battle between two fiftysomething guys—with the story-line being a winner-take-all guess for Vince’s story-line 50 p.c of WWE possession in opposition to Aptitude’s story-line 50 p.c. However simply when it appeared to the group like Aptitude was going to beat Vince, I’d come down, leap into the ring, and value Aptitude the match. Vince would then owe an enormous favor to the Subsequent Large Factor. Based on our rapidly ready script, Paul was presupposed to name in my favor for me by telling Vince, on nationwide TV, that if I gained at King of the Ring 2002 , I’d get a title shot on the SummerSlam pay-per-view. The followers watching the present didn’t comprehend it but, however Vince had already determined to make me the youngest WWE Heavyweight Champion in historical past.”
The trail to the Undisputed Championship was set. After two months, Brock Lesnar went from working OVW exhibits in Louisville, Kentucky to having a quick observe to the most important spot in professional wrestling. However for Brock Lesnar, the place as champion was not almost as necessary because the paychecks he obtained from it.
“That’s simply it. It was at all times about enterprise for me. I wasn’t in it for the celebrity or the glory, although I had some enjoyable with each for a short while. I used to be in it for the cash. I needed to feed my household, give my dad and mom and my kids one of the best lives that I might present for them, and get out whereas I used to be nonetheless comparatively younger and wholesome. That summer season on my rocket ship to the highest simply flew by. I don’t actually keep in mind making my Madison Sq. Backyard debut in opposition to Ric Aptitude, however I certain keep in mind getting paid for it. I don’t keep in mind what number of instances we went to the UK that summer season, however I do not forget that my paycheck obtained greater every time I went again. I don’t keep in mind any specifics in regards to the King of the Ring pay-per-view, however I keep in mind it being by far the most important payday I needed to that time in my profession.”
Fortunate for you Brock, that’s why I’m right here! After beating Bubba Ray Dudley and Booker T within the first two rounds, it was time for Brock to take the throne.
King of the Ring 2002 Semi-Finals
Brock Lesnar def. Check (8:18)
Check walks out like a person watching his push vanish earlier than his eyes. Brock lastly has the music he would preserve for the remainder of his WWE profession. The Goldberg chants make their solution to Columbus, Ohio. You’ll be able to’t make these things up of us. Check is the default babyface right here, so he will get a fast comeback earlier than Brock cuts him off with the previous MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER. Issues get sloppy for a minute earlier than Check hits a pumphandle slam for a nearfall. A giant boot will get an enormous nearfall as the group begins entering into it. Check units up for one more boot when Heyman catches his consideration, giving Brock the possibility to drop Check with an F-5 for the win. The final 2 minutes of this had been good, as the group actually bit on the massive boot nearfall. Every thing else was very primary and tedious. **
King of the Ring Finals
Brock Lesnar def. Rob Van Dam (5:44)
These Brock matches are all having the identical challenge. Brock Lesnar is a dynamic performer with a powerful newbie background, but all he’s doing is primary huge man clubberin’. I can’t wait to see when the swap flips, as a result of I can’t blame these followers for not being into him. RVD tries to cut him down, however Brock catches him on a sundown flip try and places him by means of the mat with a powerbomb. He then locks on a bearhug, earlier than RVD fights out. We then quick ahead to the end, the place RVD hits the 5 Star Frog Splash. Heyman hooks him on the ropes, however RVD falls into the quilt and a two-count. Lesnar catches RVD out of a leap and hits the F-5 to turn into the 2002 King of the Ring. Brock Lesnar goes to SummerSlam. ***
It might not be a shock these days, however chances are you’ll marvel why Brock appeared so business-oriented and chilly towards the enterprise this early into his profession. Between the routine of life on the street and the political gamesmanship essential to succeed, the approach to life of a soon-to-be high man in WWE was rapidly changing into tiresome. Within the ebook, Brock brings up recommendation that Curt Hennig gave him early in his coaching, recommendation that may rapidly turn into his mantra on his professional wrestling journey.
“In the meantime, whereas I’m going by means of the motions on the unending treadmill that street life had turn into, all I might consider was getting residence so I might see my child daughter Mya, as a result of she would develop up just a bit bit extra each day I used to be gone. I used to be lacking out on all these fantastic experiences with my youngster, lacking out on all the best issues about being a dad, and was doing the bullshit “shaking-hands routine” with a bunch of individuals I simply noticed just a few hours in the past like they had been long-lost brothers. It was insane. It obtained to the purpose that I keep in mind in the future wanting throughout the locker room at Ric Aptitude, who was then in his midfifties, and saying to myself, “That’s not going to be me.” I don’t imply that as any disrespect towards Ric. He gave his life to the wrestling enterprise. He was really one of many greats, and he deserves lots of credit score for what he did. However with all of the greatness that his identify is meant to signify, and all of the years he had spent on high, what the hell was he nonetheless doing there? He obtained in, however he by no means obtained out. I wasn’t going to be the man lacking his youngsters’ birthday events and graduations. I questioned what number of of his personal youngsters’ birthday events did Aptitude miss? What number of of their graduations? I didn’t need to be pushing sixty years previous and nonetheless carrying tights. Aptitude was often called one of the best, and if the enterprise might break him, it might occur to anybody. Even me. That’s why, each time I checked out Aptitude, each time I noticed him climb within the ring and set free his trademark “Wooooooooooooooo!,” I heard Curt Hennig’s voice in my head: “Get in to get out.””
What are your reminiscences of this time in Brock’s profession?
Let me know on Twitter @SuitWilliams. I’ll be again subsequent time masking the ultimate stops on Brock’s street to SummerSlam and the Undisputed Championship.