5 reasons why Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles is a match of the year candidate
Last night at Survivor Series 2017 Raw's Universal Champion Brock Lesnar went one-on-one with the "Phenomenal One", SmackDown's WWE Champion AJ Styles. Not only was this the first ever match pitting a Universal Champion against a WWE Champion, but it was also the first time Lesnar and Styles exchanged blows in the ring in a match that had every true WWE and Indy fan salivating.
Survivor Series originally looked like an underwhelming PPV, with a match card that pitted the Lesnar against...of all people...Jinder Mahal. What a waste of one of Lesnar's limited appearances. Luckily the "Beast Incarnate" and his advocate Paul Heyman shared that sentiment and nixed the Lesnar-Mahal match.
Hype surrounding NXT War Games forced WWE to completely revamp the Survivor Series card, including giving Lesnar a more...phenomenal opponent. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship on SmackDown Live (Hallelujah!), catapulting him into the champion vs. champion match against Lesnar at Survivor Series. There were concerns that this dream match of epic proportions would not be properly booked, but thankfully it was. It was so good that for these five reasons it may even be the match of the year.
#5 Not a squash match
If you've seen one Lesnar match since his cataclysmic Hell in a Cell match against The Undertaker on October 25, 2015, then you've seen them all; shoulder thrusts and knee strikes in the corner, a barrage of German suplexes that make your head and neck hurt by just watching, maybe a Kimura Lock depending on the credibility of his opponent, and then an F-5 to seal a victory that was never in doubt. And people complain about Hulk Hogan's five moves of doom.
Lesnar has been putting in considerably more work in the ring with the likes of Goldberg, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman, but it was always going to be hard not to worry about Styles suffering the same fate as Randy Orton did at Summer Slam 2016. Lesnar is capable of so much more than strikes and german suplexes, when he debuted he powerbombed Spike Dudley three times in a row, Lesnar used to utilize backbreakers, power slams, a variety of different suplexes, and the devastating Brock Lock submission hold.
It was easy to imagine AJ Styles being sacrificed to the "Beast Incarnate" in order to appease Vince McMahon who wants to keep Lesnar looking unstoppable until his inevitable WrestleMania match against Roman Reigns. Styles was, however, booked to push Lesnar to his limit. Styles forced Lesnar to reach down into his bag of tricks, dusting off some manoeuvres we haven't seen from him in quite some time.
The match clocked in at 15:25 -- the longest singles match for Lesnar this year.