#4 – Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe
During Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship reign last year, the Beast Incarnate faced off against the titans of Monday Night Raw. In 2017 alone he battled Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, and more. And while these were mostly one-off bouts for the majority of his challengers, the Samoan Submission Machine managed to make a short one-month feud feel like a personal half-year long war.
It wouldn't be too over the top to consider Samoa Joe as one of, if not, the best promo in the entire WWE at the moment. The United States Champion is able to make any feud feel real. Look what we saw when he challenged AJ Styles for the WWE Championship in the summer of 2018. Stalking Styles' family, claiming that he wasn't a real father because all he cared about was the championship? Whenever Joe sets his sights on someone, he goes for the throat both physically and mentally.
That's exactly what he did when he was next in line for Brock Lesnar's Universal Championship. Joe made it clear, repeatedly, that he didn't fear the Beast Incarnate. He was jealous of everything that Lesnar had and he was going to do everything in his power to take the success, the money, and the championship away from him.
Heyman, in a terrible decision, decided to meet Joe in the ring and tell him that Lesnar didn't fear him. Heyman, though, was bothered by that and considered Samoa Joe the most dangerous competitor that Lesnar could face. Strowman, Rollins, Wyatt, Reigns, he considered them a tier below the Destroyer.
He shook Joe's hand, but was backed into a corner. At this point, the TV audience heard something that the live crowd didn't get to. He explained, very matter of factly, as politely as he possibly could, that he was going to choke Heyman out. He felt disrespected that Lesnar didn't show up to accept his challenge himself and decided to punish his manager instead.
It was surreal. It was terrifying. It was exactly what we needed in a hoss fight. Over the next few weeks, Joe and Lesnar would attempt to get in each other's head. However, two weeks before their championship bout at Great Balls of Fire, he choked out the champ.
Heyman introduced Lesnar to a live crowd, expecting to intimidate Joe. However, it had the opposite effect, and the #1 contender quickly locked Lesnar in the Coquina Clutch. Lesnar tried to fight out of it, sending Joe into the screens on the stage. However, Joe kept the hold locked in, and nearly put the Universal Champion to sleep. Luckily, several Raw superstars pulled him away.
There was never a point in Brock Lesnar's Universal Title reign where he looked so human. Joe was his kryptonite, and always seemed to walk away with the upper hand. At Great Balls of Fire, we got a pretty short match, lasting a little over 6 minutes. Joe attacked Lesnar before the bell and nearly put him to sleep at the beginning. However, he would eventually regain his composure, and would manage to put Joe away with an F-5.
Considering how hot this feud was from start to finish, and how easy it was for Joe to get under the skin of the Beast Incarnate and the Advocate, it's kind of incredible that we never got a rematch or a continuation of their feud in a one-on-one way.
This was the best we ever saw from Joe on the main roster, and it's, arguably, the best we ever saw from Lesnar in 2018. It's too bad we never got to finish this, because Lesnar vs Joe for the Universal Championship was truly a story that finished too soon.Published 24 Apr 2019, 19:00 IST