Wrestlemania Challenge: Wrestlemania XIX

Whew, this was a pain to jump on but I’m good now.

Here’s a double take of Brock-Angle, I think I’ll do WM 20 and try to squeeze in a rant on “The True Story of Wrestlemania” before calling it a year.

Wrestlemania XIX: Dare to Dream
From Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington on March 30, 2003
Hosted by Michael Cole and Tazz
WWE Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock joins Sid and Sgt. Slaughter as guys who closed the show in his first Wrestlemania (Actually Sid closed both of the Wrestlemanias he was in and kicked out of the legdrop, the man is a genius!). I loved this version of the championship belt. I hate that it didn’t last long. Brock has his ribs taped and poor Michael Cole has all but lost his voice (these days this would be considered an improvement). First collar & elbow gets nothing as Tazz plugs Tito Ortiz’s appearance at the event. Second lock up and Angle gets a front face lock but Brock counters and reverses with a fireman’s carry. Angle does the same thing. Brock reverses again but Angle goes to the head scissors and we break. Brock with a wraparound and a takedown, Angle with a side headlock takedown but Brock breaks with a huge shoulder block. Angle with a single leg but Brock with the go behind and a take down. Angle with an elbow to break but Lesnar counters with the armdrag. Angle finally hits a knee to the ribs but Lesnar with a reversal and an elbow. Corner shoulders from Lesnar but he gets caught with an elbow on the blind charge, Angle charges and gets caught with a powerslam for two. Lesnar misses the clothesline and Angle with the huge german suplex, but Brock no-sells it and hits Angle with a clothesline. Angle tries to take a powder but Lesnar chases and Angle draws in him in the ring. Angle’s advantage doesn’t last for long as Lesnar gives Angle a press slam. Lesnar is caught on a blind charge again and Angle with a german suplex on the top turnbuckle! Wow. I’ve never seen that before. Brock rolls out the ring and Angle goes to town on the ribs, ramming Brock into the ring barricade. Back in the ring, a back suplex gets two. Vertical suplex gets two as well and Angle goes to some sort of head and arm bow and arrow submission. The crazy stuff Angle comes up with.

Angle now has a chinlock with a grapevine on him and now a crossface and back to a rear naked choke. Lesnar gets to his feet and rams Angle into both corners to break the hold. Lesnar back on the offensive but Angle back with the belly to belly overhead and a high knee to the back. A second one sends Lesnar out of the ring. Angle gets a little careless, however, and Lesnar gets the spinebuster that puts both men out. Angle is up first and punching away but Brock with a flying forearm, a clothesline and big kick to the face sends Angle into the corner. Brock follows in with shoulders but misses his 20th blind charge (seriously man, try something new, he’s onto it). Still Brock with a massive belly to belly overhead suplex and a second one gets two. He goes for a third but Angle with the quadruple german suplex! Crowd is real appreciative. Angle slam is countered into an F5 attempt that’s countered into the ankle lock. Lesnar grabs the rope but Angle drags him back to the center of the ring. Angle transitions from the lock to a single crab and Brock gets to the ropes. A running knee to the ribs but a second attempt and Brock back drops Angle from the ring to the floor. Angle misses a charge but Lesnar misses a clothesline and Angle with the release german suplex for two. Brock did the backflip sell on that one. Angle slam gets two! Ooo some of the crowd didn’t like that one. Angle throws a tantrum. A second attempt is countered into a cradle for two and Brock hits the F5! For two!! A second ankle lock on Lesnar and he’s in the middle of the ring and Angle grapevines the leg but Lesnar makes the ropes and kicks Angle off of him. Small package by Angle gets two. Second Angle slam is countered into the second F5. And Lesnar goes to the top rope and damn near kills himself on a shooting star press attempt! What the f--- are you thinking man!! Angle improvises and gets a two count but a third F5 connects and gives us a three count and a new champion. Great match with one major exception and an excellent job of commentary by Tazz and Michael Cole (seriously it was good commentary, amazing what ten years does to a guy).

(Lesnar def. Angle, pinfall, ****, a lot of good stuff but the Shooting Star Press wasn’t one of them. That could have been so bad. I mean that could have been disastrous.)

The Challenger

Summerslam 2003
From the America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona
Hosted by Michael Cole & Tazz

WWE Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar
This is the rematch from Wrestlemania. Angle with a go behind and a takedown into a front face lock. Brock tries to counter but Angle counters that with a drop-toe hold and they break apart. Lock up and Lesnar with a go behind but Angle with a drop-toe and a side headlock, Lesnar breaks out and they reset. Third lock up and Lesnar wins it with power but Angle’s quickness frustrates Lesnar and three armdrags sends the challenger to the floor where he throws a hissy fit. Brock grabs the title and leaves the ring area but Angle chases and they fight on the floor. They trade blows with Angle being send into the side of the ring and Lesnar sent into the ring barricade. In the ring and Angle drops Lesnar with a belly to belly overhead. Brock counters a counter whip and presses Angle over his head and…out of the ring. Wow. He just dumped in. Brock follows him up and sends Angle into the steel steps. Nasty belly to belly overhead suplex by Lesnar gets two. Brock goes for another press slam but Angle counters into a roll up for two but Lesnar recovers off the pinfall attempt with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker that gets two. Lesnar goes to the ground with a side chinlock and a body scissor. Angle escapes but is dropped with a clothesline. Brock with a delayed high-cradle suplex for two. Very nice. Brock corners Angle and lays in the shoulders, Angle rallies but Lesnar casually shoves him off.

Brock sends Angle into the corner again and hits a charging shoulder block. A second attempt hits and crushes the champion, third time and he crushes the post changing the tide. Lesnar grabs his shoulder and Angle with two tackles on the shoulder and a dropkick on the knee. Lesnar tries to stop Angle’s rally but Angle with a flying forearm and he hits the three rolling germans suplexes for two. Lesnar hits a shoulder throw suplex out of nowhere and a big spinebuster for two. F5, however, is countered into a tornado DDT and that gets a near fall as the crowd starts to feel the drama and pops big when Angle drops the straps. Angle slam gets two and a half. Angle pulls the straps up…but thinks and pulls the straps again. Ankle lock (Cole: BREAK HIS DAMN ANKLE!) and he pulls Lesnar off the ropes but Lesnar kicks Angle into the official. Angle charges and Lesnar tries to back drop Angle but Kurt holds and slaps on a wicked head and arm figure four. That s--- is cray! Angle rolls through and turns it into another ankle lock and Lesnar taps like a girl but the referee is out. That gives Vince McMahon time to run in and whack Angle with a chair. Still no ref. Lesnar gets a nasty looking F5 as Angle bounced his head off the mat but the cover only gets a near fall (HUGE crowd pop off the kickout).
McMahon tells Lesnar to do it a second time but Angle counters into a third ankle lock, Brock reaches the ropes but Angle pulls him off. He reaches the ropes again but Angle pulls him back, Brock reaches the ropes a third time and Angle pulls him back again as its too much for Lesnar to handle and he finally taps out. Post match Angle gives Vince an Angle slam on a chair.

(Angle def. Lesnar, submission, ****, some ridiculous counter and submission stuff in that finishing sequence makes that an easy winner.)

The Decision

Match: Technically they are about the same. The Summerslam match had a much better build to the finish whereas the Wrestlemania match was going well until the majorly botched shooting star press. DRAW

Storylines: I remember more of the Summerslam storyline with Lesnar faking the injury in the cage and having the unholy alliance with Vince McMahon. That turn and his reign of terror in the following weeks give it a nice advantage. Edge: Summerslam

Intangibles: The Wrestlemania match seemed a bit more like a formality in terms of result and since Lesnar already had a title, had beaten Hogan, Rock and Undertaker cleanly and won a Royal Rumble. So beating Kurt Angle to regain a title wasn’t exactly mission impossible. It was more about giving the guy Vince thought would be the top man in the promotion the top spot on the top card. Summerslam had a little more intrigue to it because now the Lesnar/Angle feud had evolved with them being friends and then Lesnar turning and becoming a mega heel again. I’m torn here so I go with Wrestlemania because it was meant to be the signature moment for Lesnar as a star in the WWE now and for the future. Of course Vince wasn’t expecting him to leave and become the highest-drawing star in the UFC but whatever. EDGE: Wrestlemania

Verdict: The Scorecards say draw but screw that, I’m going with Wrestlemania in a close decision.