Brock Lesnar’s first WWE match since Extreme Rules in May is less than two weeks away and I decided this is a good time to review one of Lesnar’s WWE matches. I don’t think I have reviewed a Lesnar match yet. Lesnar has been in only 25 WWE PPV matches and that hasn’t prevented him from having many classic matches. Five of his most famous PPV matches from his first WWE stint were his matches against Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 19 and SummerSlam 2003, his Hell in a Cell match against Undertaker at No Mercy 2002, his match against Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out 2004 and his match against The Rock at SummerSlam 2002. I didn’t want to review any of those matches because my goal every week is to avoid popular matches and review underappreciated matches. One of my favorite Lesnar matches is a match that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. The match I’m reviewing this week is Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle vs. Big Show from WWE Vengeance 2003.
I’m including a new feature to this review and I would appreciate it if you let me know in the comments if I should continue doing it in future reviews. I understand my opinion is not going to be the same as everyone else’s opinions. A match I enjoy might be hated by someone else so I decided to gather star ratings of this match from other reviewers and add them to this review. The star ratings are from reviewers who write or wrote for major wrestling websites. The ratings will be below my rating.
- This match happened at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The attendance was 9,500.
- Vengeance 2003 was the first ever Smackdown brand exclusive WWE PPV.
- This match was the main event of Vengeance 2003 and Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship was on the line.
- Kurt Angle made his return to WWE TV on the June 5, 2003 Smackdown. Angle underwent neck surgery in April after wrestling Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX.
- The famous Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show Smackdown match that ended with the ring collapsing aired on June 12, 2003.
- Michael Cole and Tazz were the announcers during this match.
- The time length of this match was 17:29.
- This match can be watched on YouTube at http://youtu.be/P-kippQLO3c.
Before the match started, the ring announcer said there would be no disqualifications in this match. Michael Cole on commentary seemed to be surprised that this was a no DQ match. I thought all triple threat matches are no DQ. All three men entered the ring and the bell rang to start the match. Angle and Lesnar stared at each other and then both attacked Big Show. Good idea to get the big guy out of the match early. It didn’t work. Big Show hit them with a double clothesline. Angle got thrown out of the ring and Big Show hit Lesnar with a choke slam. Angle got back into the ring to break-up the pin attempt and prevented what would have been one of the shortest PPV main events in WWE history. I would imagine the fans would be pissed if that was the finish. Lesnar rolled out of the ring. Big Show got Angle in the corner and gave him a chop to the chest. The fans wooed even though it was not a Ric Flair knife edge chop. Angle tried to hit Big Show with a German suplex, but Big Show avoided it and hit Angle with a clothesline. I would have loved to see Angle hit Big Show with a German suplex! That would have been very impressive. Angle took Big Show down and tried to apply the ankle lock, but Big Show countered it. Big Show knocked Angle down and hit him with a leg drop. Lesnar returned to the ring and broke up the pin attempt. Angle rolled out of the ring. Lesnar attacked Big Show in the corner. Lesnar jumped off the top rope and knocked Big Show down. Big Show hit Lesnar in the back and then hit Lesnar with a move that Cole called “The Big Show”. That can’t be right. Big Show had a move in 2003 that was called “The Big Show”? I did some research and it looks like it was renamed to the “Final Cut”. Lesnar kicked out of the pin attempt. Angle returned to the ring with two garbage can lids. Lesnar and Angle started attacking Big Show with the lids. That’s a good way to stop Big Show’s dominance. Big Show had been in control of almost the entire match at that point. They were hitting Big Show on the head and that had to give him a concussion. Angle and Lesnar tried to suplex Big Show and Big Show hit them with a double suplex! Big Show tried to hit them with a double chokeslam and Lesnar and Angle chokeslammed Big Show! Wow! Lesnar tried to pin Big Show and Angle pulled him off. Lesnar hit Angle with the F5! Angle rolled to the ropes. Lesnar hit Big Show with the F5! Lesnar covered Big Show and Angle pulled the referee out of the ring.
Lesnar attacked Angle outside the ring. Lesnar was back in the ring and he was on the top rope with Big Show. Lesnar was on the turnbuckles and Big Show was on the ropes in a position to hit Lesnar with a superplex. Cole said the last time Big Show and Lesnar were both on the top rope the ring collapsed. Lesnar avoided the superplex and hit Big Show with a running powerbomb! That was awesome! Lesnar covered Big Show and Angle broke it up with a chair shot to Lesnar. Angle hit Lesnar with a chairshot to the head! Lesnar fell out of the ring. Angle covered Big Show and Big Show kicked out. Angle hit Big Show with the chair and Big Show fell out of the ring. Angle hit Big Show with an Angle Slam through the Spanish announce table! Angle and Lesnar got into the ring and both of them were bleeding. Both of them looked injured and were doing great selling. Angle hit Lesnar with punches and then Lesnar hit Angle with punches. Lesnar tossed Angle out of the ring. Angle reversed an Irish whip and whipped Lesnar into the steel steps. Angle and Lesnar got back in the ring. Big Show was still outside the ring on the broken announce table. Angle hit Lesnar with a German suplex and kept his hands locked around Lesnar’s waist. Angle hit another German suplex and released Lesnar which caused Lesnar to flip in the air! Angle tried to do an Angle Slam and Lesnar countered. Spinebuster by Lesnar! A submission hold was applied to Angle and Big Show returned to prevent Lesnar from winning by submission. Big Show did a cool spot where he covered both men at the same time and they kicked out at two. Big Show hit Angle and Lesnar with a double chokeslam! Big Show did two pin attempts and couldn’t win the match. Lesnar countered a chokeslam by kicking Big Show below the waist. Angle applied an ankle lock to Lesnar. Big Show was going to break up the ankle lock and Angle hit him with the Angle Slam! Angle hit Lesnar with the Angle Slam! Angle pinned Lesnar and won the WWE Championship.
Winner: Kurt Angle
***¾ – Dave Meltzer (Wrestling Observer)
**** – Brett Mix (WrestlingDVDNews.com, BSabres87 on YouTube)
**** – Scott Keith (411mania.com, Insidepulse.com and Rspwfaq.net)
***1/4 – J.D. Dunn (411mania)
I enjoyed this match a lot and it was one of the best triple threat matches I have ever seen. Ironically, my favorite triple threat match (The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker) happened at Vengeance 2002 one year before this match. I don’t understand why this match seems to be underappreciated. I hope it’s not because Big Show was in this match. I don’t know what people were saying about this match before it happened because I wasn’t watching WWE in 2003, but I imagine that a lot of people would have liked this match to be a Lesnar vs. Angle singles match. I know that I was disappointed last year when No Way Out had a CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane triple threat match instead of a Punk vs. Bryan rematch. This was possibly Big Show’s best match in WWE. When I say that, I don’t mean that this was the best match Big Show was in. I’m saying Big Show was one of the reasons I enjoyed this match. Two of the best spots of the match were Lesnar’s running powerbomb and the Angle Slam through the table. The man who took the bump in both spots was Big Show. If Lesnar and Angle did those spots to each other, they wouldn’t be impressive. They were impressive because Lesnar and Angle did those spots to someone who was a lot bigger than them. Big Show did a great job being the unstoppable monster in this match. It took both men to suplex Big Show. He got hit on the head with garbage can lids, got F5ed, got Angle Slammed through a table and he kept getting up. Big Show’s double chokeslam was impressive because Lesnar and Angle aren’t small guys. Big Show was a big reason (no pun intended) why this match was so fun to watch. I love how everyone in this triple threat match did great. Sometimes, a triple threat match has two great wrestlers and one wrestler who you wish wasn’t in the match. I thought Big Show hurt last year’s SummerSlam WWE Championship match that included CM Punk and John Cena. The Punk vs. Cena Night of Champions match that happened one month later was the match that should have happened at SummerSlam. This triple threat match wasn’t like that. All three wrestlers made this match great and I can’t say this match would have been better if one of them was replaced with someone else.
Another thing I love about this match is that it was a great set-up match for SummerSlam which was the next WWE PPV. One of the main event matches of SummerSlam 2003 was Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. If I was booking WWE PPVs in 2003, I would not want to do Lesnar vs. Angle at Vengeance 2003 even though I assume that was the match fans wanted to see because it was Angle’s return to PPV after losing his WWE Championship to Lesnar at WrestleMania. It was smart to make it a triple threat match with Big Show because then the Lesnar vs. Angle match at SummerSlam wouldn’t be a rematch that fans had seen a month ago. It would make the SummerSlam match a WrestleMania rematch. It’s better to have that rematch at a major PPV like SummerSlam than a “B” PPV like Vengeance. One thing I would have changed is I would have had Angle pin Big Show to win the WWE Championship at Vengeance. Then Lesnar could say that Angle didn’t deserve to be the WWE Champion because Angle did not defeat Lesnar at Vengeance. I haven’t seen the SummerSlam match yet, but it deserves to be recognized as one of Lesnar’s best matches if it was as good as this awesome triple threat match.