I wrote a little about dream matches and my expectations of Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire a few weeks ago. Now that the match has actually happened did it meet my expectations? Initially I wanted to say it just fell a little bit short, but now that it’s been about 24 hours I would say that it did. The match actually did a few things that surprised me.
Obviously spoilers are incoming.
The first thing that surprised me was how even in defeat Joe looked like a monster. It’s not often that people come out looking strong after a loss to Brock, but Joe took him to his limit. The crowd even got behind Joe to the point of chanting “Joe’s gonna kill you” at Brock. While that chant is infectious, they bought into the fact Joe could beat Brock. Not many people have had that honor since he’s come back.
The match itself was short and violent. It started with Joe jumping Brock before the opening bell and putting him through an announce table. The rest of the match was high impact moves from both men and ended with Joe being pinned after a single F-5 from Lesnar. At first I was a bit peeved about this, but I think this was actually a good call. We’re in an era where a lot of matches end with multiple kick-outs after finishers so it was a breath of fresh air to see one finisher put someone away. Not every match can be Omega/Okada and sometimes a violent sprint can be satisfying.
Even though it was just one finisher that put Joe down, he didn’t seem to stay down. As Brock and Paul Heyman left Paul kept looking back at the ring to make sure Joe didn’t attack again. It really felt like Brock wasn’t trying to win the match as it was to escape getting choked out by Joe. For the first time since his return it seemed like Brock was desperate. That desperation wasn’t there in the Undertaker or Goldberg feud. His primary goal was to conquer, but with Joe it was just survival. Brock looked beat up as he looked back in the ring and Joe looked like he wasn’t finished yet.
The build-up was amazing and Joe stepped up his game big time. Heyman was on point as usual and Brock seemed to be pretty motivated. In my opinion the match delivered. I didn’t get the feeling that things were over, especially from the murder stare that Joe was directing at Brock. Even if it’s not at Summerslam I’m hoping these two cross paths again.