7. Brock Lesnar Vs. John Cena - Night Of Champions 2014
After receiving an absolute pummelling at SummerSlam just one month earlier, this match was about John Cena’s redemption as much as it was the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After their first contest, fans were very intrigued to see how the rematch would play out, and they weren’t disappointed, as Lesnar and Cena put on a far more even contest than the first time.
The quality of the match shouldn’t be surprising. John Cena produced a typical John Cena performance while Lesnar showed off his MMA background, working Cena’s arm for most of the match. Like many Lesnar matches, the first minute was hectic, Cena hitting an AA on the “Beast Incarnate” only for Lesnar to kick out at one got the bout off to a hot start. However, it didn’t take Lesnar long to start dominating, picking Cena apart at his own pace. As the match progressed, both performers got very physical with one another, hitting very stiff elbows and throwing closed-fist punches. Just like the crazy starts to his matches, stiff hits have become another common theme in Lesnar’s matches. Whenever Lesnar’s in the ring, everything seems a lot more real and the line between sports entertainment and real hand-to-hand combat is becomes blurred.
Brock Lesnar’s performance in this match stands apart from the rest of his matches since defeating The Streak. Showing his versatility, Lesnar’s focus on submission moves, particularly the Kimura Lock, made it clear that there’s more to Lesnar than German Suplexes and F-5s. The finish of the match is an example of story progression at the expense of a match. Without a screwy finish, this match would be ranked higher. However, if fans knew what was to come at the time, they’d agree it was a fair trade-off.