Chris Benoit vs. Brock Lesnar
San Jose, CA - 4 Decemberber, 2003
WWF Heavyweight Championship Match
So, the wrestler that I love to watch more than any other is Chris Benoit. I could watch Benoit matches all day long. Hell, I have spent entire days watching Chris Benoit matches.
I know he killed his wife and son. I kinda do not care. The mental situation of Chris Benoit and the murder of his family, to me, are a separate issue from his wrestling abilities, and how fun he is to watch.
I know a lot of people that can no longer stand to watch Brock Lesnar matches because he "screwed Vince" by leaving to forge a career in MMA. Screw that too.
I enjoy watching matches by both of these people, so expect some more as project 33 rolls on.
This match was intense as hell. A simple matchmaking device was used to set this match up: Benoit beat Lesnar, so Lesnar wants to beat Benoit. Lesnar has also vowed to make Benoit tap out.
Here is why I like Lesnar matches - Lesnar is a physical specimen, and unless he is in there with a monster like Undertaker or Big Show, he is going to physically dominate them. Benoit, who as Taz says on commentary, is one of the best conditioned wrestlers ever. Lesnar, who really only ever wrestled the WWE style, lays about as stiff of a beating as you will ever see in the WWE on Benoit in this match. Lesnar was full of believeable throws, strikes, and submission holds. At the end of the match, when he puts Benoit in the Stretch Muffler and sits down on his head like a Boston Crab, it is such a simple move, yet Lesnar makes it look beastly. Plus, he had the brute strength to pull it off.
Benoit brings a ridiculous level of intensity to this match as well. For a guy under six feet tall, he had to bring the intensity to make his offense look credible. When he makes his comebacks and his chopping the barrel chest of Lesnar, he is laying in the shots. His suplexes seem to have a little more snap. And it all makes the match work.
The crowd was on fire for this match too. At this point Benoit had never been the heavyweight Champion, and Lesnar, much like in the UFC now, was a polarizing figure. When Lesnar is tossing around and brutalizing Benoit, the crowd is on fire giving Lesnar heat. When Benoit makes a comeback, the place explodes. When Benoit struggles to get the crossface on Lesnar in a series of exchanges, the crowd is electric. As the nearfalls come hard and heavy at the end, the fans are counting along in unison, and you can just tell that they want Benoit to pull it off.
Both of these guys were wrestling machines.