Since defeating Goldberg at Wrestlemania 34, Brock Lesnar has been considered a dominant Universal Champion who shouldn’t fear many other superstars. And when looking at some of the facts and figures, it’s hard to disagree.
Lesnar stands second in the table of longest world title reigns at 231 days, with CM Punk‘s WWE Championship topping the list at 434 days. It’s also worth noting that both AJ Styles and Brock Lesnar became 2 time WWE Champions within 2 years of joining WWE.
However there are 2 other sets of statistics that creates even more anticipation.
- Brock Lesnar has never been defeated in a 1-1 match that features a new opponent since Goldberg in 2012.
- Brock Lesnar has never won at Survivor Series.
So whether Lesnar wins or not, history will be made on Sunday’s Survivor Series. If AJ Styles wins, he would have become the first person since 2012 to defeat Brock Lesnar in their first 1-1 attempt. If Brock Lesnar wins though, he’ll have broken his Survivor Series Curse which currently stands at 3 defeats out of 3 appearances.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look back at those 3 defeats to remind ourselves that Lesnar may not be invincible as his recent dominance has shown.
2002 – Brock Lesnar VS The Big Show
This match lasted 4 minutes 18 seconds, it is surprisingly short. But it contains a shocking betrayal at it’s heart which prevents Brock from securing the win after performing an F5 on The Big Show. Paul Heyman pulls the referee out of the ring while he is counting Brock’s pin. The Big Show then uses a steel chair, that Heyman introduced to the ring, to defeat Brock Lesnar and gain the WWE title.
Thankfully this is ancient history for Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman won’t be interfering – at least not to help AJ Styles. I would count this as an unfortunate defeat for Lesnar as it wasn’t necessarily his fault, he was stabbed in the back by those around him.
The other bonus for Brock is that AJ Styles won’t weight the same as The Big Show, so performing an F5 on The Phenomenal One should be easier!
2003 – Team Angle VS Team Lesnar
Survivor Series 2003 is an example of Brock Lesnar losing clean. Not only does he submit, his whole team loses.
Team Lesnar: Brock Lesnar, The Big Show, A-Train, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan
Team Angle: Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, JBL, Hardcore Holly, John Cena
Hardcore Holly got disqualified early on in the match, beginning the comeback tale. Cue a mid-match surge from Kurt Angle and a Crippler Crossface from Chris Benoit on Brock Lesnar, with a John Cena finish and there is the underdog team winning in a crowd pleasing fashion.
The key factor here: John Cena. Lesnar made a play early on to get Cena on his team which didn’t work out as Cena solidified himself as a face within the company, joining Team Angle.
Sunday’s Survivor Series match was carded as Heel Champion vs Heel Champion with Jinder Mahal; however it has now become Heel Champion vs Face Champion, giving the crowd a clear direction for their support which should help create an entertaining atmosphere.
2016 – Brock Lesnar VS Goldberg
It seems like only yesterday. A highly anticipated showdown, with a build up to match it, and it was over in a flash. It’s almost the opposite to Brock’s match this year, which has had minimal build up in comparison due to the late change to the card.
While this match in 2016’s Survivor Series was another clean defeat, it started Brock on a path that would end up leading him to WrestleMania 33 and the Universal Championship. In the grand scheme, this was a necessary defeat to enable a greater overall victory and dominant reign.
Within the WWE Universe, it’s clear to say that lack of preparation and strategy lead to Lesnar’s demise. Since AJ Styles is very different to the likes of Goldberg, Jinder Mahal, Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns, Brock will want to make sure he’s done his homework.
In theory is appears as though Lesnar would be able to send AJ to Suplex City with an express ticket, which suggests that Styles will adopt a long-play game plan. I do see Brock VS AJ Styles lasting over 15 minutes as AJ will look to tire out Brock rather than throwing the kitchen sink at him. If AJ wins, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came through a submission.