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Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles (WWE Survivor Series 11/19/17)

Brock Lesnar AJ Styles WWE 2017

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#1 Microstatistics

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:00 PM

Good match but pretty disappointing overall. I preferred the Goldberg, Joe and Strowman matches for Lesnar. Brock toned down suplex city so I suspect people are going to like this the best. Something about the pacing was off and it felt awkward at times. Still, good individual performances by both. Some really great bumping by AJ and he got in quite a lot of offense. Neat leg selling by Brock. Him violently powering out of the calf crusher was the best, most memorable spot. *** 1/4



#2 jcmmnx

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:09 PM

Easily Brock's best singles match since Mania vs Roman. The Strowman match stunk.



#3 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:22 PM

***** Absolutely amazing match! Microstatistics cmon brutha, I need more to understand your criticism.

 

WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs WWE Champion AJ Styles - Survivor Series 2017

 

Honestly was looking at plane tickets to Houston to see this match in person. For my money the two best American wrestlers of this millennium and the idea of them locking it up was so tantalizing. I was scared that Brock give his most recent efforts and this would not be as good as it could be. THANK GOD I WAS WRONG! Brock absolutely brutalizes AJ at the start. AJ does his best to try to die for our pleasure. Those bumps he was taking were insane. He took a corner shouldertackle over the top rope! Once I saw that, I knew we were in for a treat. AJ was throwing himself into every gnarly bump. It was absolute decimation. I was loving it because it was AJ at his bumping best and Brock at his most violent. Cocky Brock is always great loved the trash talking. The way he was ducking those punches and then grabbed the leg and just leveled him. Loved it all. That High Knee in the corner was amazing. Then he misses it. I was like it is on like Donkey Kong. Styles attacking the legs, going for the DDT. It was the perfect AJ strategy. Head rock to disorient, take on the knees to unbalance the Beast. You couldn't have done it better, AJ. I loved how chaotic and uncooperative this was at time. It was raw and organic. The Pele Kick to the kneeling Brock was nasty. That's type of shit AJ had to do to stay in this match. The Pele Kick has been used throughout AJ's career as his way to setup his big finish offense because it comes out of nowhere and disorients by rocking your head. This is the key to all of AJ's strategy. Then Brock becomes desperate. He is overzealous and goes flying over the top. AJ does something so simple but often overlooked. He just SHOVE Brock into the steel steps hurting his leg. Genius. Now he takes his already awesome strategy and mixes in the Punk strategy of 2013 by going aerial. Using the springboard and the steps to make his offense that much more impactful. Beatuiful, beautiful Springboard 450. I would be remiss to mention how damn good is Brock Lesnar at selling. Holy shit! His legs, disorientation. Awesome! The Calf Crusher felt huge. I loved the violent way he repeatedly bounced AJ's head off the mat. Springboard forearm gets AJ one last nearfall. Then you know what will happen AJ goes for it again, catch and F-5!!! Perfect.

 

Simply perfect. Sweet, sweet demolition as violent Brock has the greatest bumper of our generation to make it look amazing. They have strong transition to bring AJ back into. Then AJ's strategy of combining leg attacks and head shots is gripping and watch the gradualism. Brock is selling more and more and AJ is gaining more and more momentum. It doesn't happen all at once. The finish run from AJ is immaculate. The ultimate finish is perfect.

 

DREAMS DO COME TRUE! ALL THE STARS!!! *****



#4 SmartMark15

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:28 PM

This was fucking awesome. Opens up with one of the best Lesnar heat segments in a long, long time with AJ Styles bumping around like an absolute idiot to make Brock look even more dominant than he already does. It's been a really long time since I saw Brock use the belly-to-belly and AJ made it look absolutely insanely devastating. The first half of the match was really an absolute masterclass in bumping and selling from AJ Styles. He really kept the energy of the match up even when just selling down on the mat.

 

The crowd was hot enough and AJ credible enough that he became an actually believable babyface to pit against Brock Lesnar. For the first time in a long while we had a babyface who could sell and was over going up against Brock and that might have been one of the missing components to his recent matches. Every time AJ tried to find an opening, I could feel myself firing up and the need to see him succeed only grew as the match went on longer. When he finally created an opening by going after Brock's leg, I was losing it.

 

The simple structure of it and the effectiveness of the transition made all of AJ's offense after that incredibly believable. It also helps that AJ was smart enough to stay on that knee, driving Lesnar into the steel steps to add more money in the bank. The One-F5-Killer looms over the match such that whenever Brock has AJ up on the shoulders, there's actual tension and an expectation for the match to end which only makes it even more satisfying for AJ to counter it. It's been talked about a lot but, yes, the Calf Crusher escape was fucking brilliant. But it can not be understated how well Brock sold the move itself, creating an intensity and even a bit of doubt to it. Hell, Brock's leg selling was pretty much on point for the whole match.

 

The nearfalls were simple, exciting, and not overdone. And the match ended at a really good time. My rating for now is a tentative one, I see it might have the potential to grow as my original rating for the Lesnar-Cena Extreme Rules match might.

 

****1/2



#5 SmartMark15

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:35 PM

Good match but pretty disappointing overall. I preferred the Goldberg, Joe and Strowman matches for Lesnar. Brock toned down suplex city so I suspect people are going to like this the best. Something about the pacing was off and it felt awkward at times. Still, good individual performances by both. Some really great bumping by AJ and he got in quite a lot of offense. Neat leg selling by Brock. Him violently powering out of the calf crusher was the best, most memorable spot. *** 1/4

 

I can see why someone might prefer the Goldberg match as it was tighter and more impactful. But I don't see how the Strowman match could top this or even the Joe match. Care to expound?



#6 SmartMark15

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 11:37 PM

 



#7 Microstatistics

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:00 AM

***** Absolutely amazing match! Microstatistics cmon brutha, I need more to understand your criticism.

 

 

 

 

Good match but pretty disappointing overall. I preferred the Goldberg, Joe and Strowman matches for Lesnar. Brock toned down suplex city so I suspect people are going to like this the best. Something about the pacing was off and it felt awkward at times. Still, good individual performances by both. Some really great bumping by AJ and he got in quite a lot of offense. Neat leg selling by Brock. Him violently powering out of the calf crusher was the best, most memorable spot. *** 1/4

 

I can see why someone might prefer the Goldberg match as it was tighter and more impactful. But I don't see how the Strowman match could top this or even the Joe match. Care to expound?

 

 

 

Some specifics: The initial Brock domination of AJ was too deliberate for me, I much preferred how it was done in the Cena and Roman matches. Styles comebacks were also too sudden and not very compelling. I am a big proponent of spots not looking perfect, slightly uneven execution and even "botches" but here, it just came off as awkward rather than uncooperative or gritty. For example that tornado DDT counter spot looked pretty bad, I didn't think they redeemed it too well.  

 

But, overall, I preferred the pacing and structure of those matches. This probably had better individual spots but, as a whole, those matches were just constructed better. There was just something intrinsically iffy about the pacing in this match. Probably not a terribly helpful explanation but there it is. 



#8 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:26 AM

There is NO ONE in the history that takes bumps in such enjoyable, beautiful fashion like AJ Styles. NO ONE. And then there's NO ONE in the history that gives a menacing beating like Brock Lesnar does. NO ONE. And as you can probably guess from those lines, I very much enjoyed Brock just ragdolling AJ around in the early stages of the match. He threw him around, he beat the shit out of him with those brutal knees. I loved it. AJ's bumping was legendary as was his selling. LOVED Brock's trashtalk, asking AJ to bring the fight to him. Well AJ sure did eventually bring that fight to The Beast - he made the most out of his first real opening & started targeting Lesnar's knee. He does EXCELLENT work over the knee throughout the match & Brock demonstrated why he is one of the greatest sellers of all-time; he sold his ass off for AJ. The Calf Crusher spot has to be one of my favorite ones ever - they got the crowd believing that Brock would TAP OUT to a goddamn Calf Crusher. In 2017. Hell, they even made me believe even though I knew the result of the match! PERFECT drama that went perfectly with the story they had been telling. Brock just going crazy with bouncing AJ's head repeatedly to the mat was so amazing. The finishing stretch with AJ getting one last nearfall w/ the Phenomenal Forearm before getting put away by the F5, in which Lesnar still sold the work AJ had done to his knee perfectly, was the perfect ending to the match. Masterful work by both men. Take a freaking bow. AJ Styles & Brock Lesnar. Two of the greatest of all-time. *****

2nd best match in both guys' careers. #1 for Brock is the Punk match & for AJ it's the Suzuki match.



#9 Kadaveri

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 06:51 AM

Incredible match. Watched it twice now. Not much more to add than what's been said above. One very slight problem I have with it is the finish was essentially a repeat of the Cena-Styles Rumble match. Both guys put in fantastic selling performances. I went in to the match with no doubt Brock was winning, but twice he had me believe we might see a major upset. I really love little details like how AJ was elbowing Lesnar in the face trying to fight out of the F5 rather than just going limp and taking it.

 

****3/4



#10 CapitalTTruth

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 07:23 AM

I need to watch it again today or tomorrow, but on first watch I am thinking it is probably the best WWE match of the year (the four way is the only thing close) and it is probably a ****3/4 match in my mind. 

 

I generally don't get the rabid Brock hate I see sometimes, but this really shines a light on how he has taken a step back in terms of his average output. This was just so much better than anything he has done recently (imo).  This would have fit in with 2014-2015 Brock, when he was churning out classics.

 

Brock deserves some credit for this; he clearly had his working boots on and put the time into this one, but this was an all time performance from Styles.  Styles works his ass off selling and when Brock slowed considerably it was Styles keeping the pace of the match going.

 

I can understand the criticisms of the match, but it must just be a matter of taste. I thought Brock's domination sequence was great. It went right to the brink of where I started thinking they were going to just make it a squash. It made genuinely surprised and invested in the comebacks. I also thought they did pretty well with the Tornado DDT. Could it have been better? Sure.  Were there other slightly awkward moments? Sure. That keeps it from the full 5 for me, but in the grand scheme of things I think those spots tend to blend in better to how the whole match comes access aesthetically as a Styles fighting for his life.

 

The structure was good. The execution was generally very good to great in spots, and even when they biffed something they made it work. The story they told was simple and made sense. I actually believed what they were selling (that Brock would get the squash and then that Styles might win). The home stretch puts it over the top for me.  Brock's escape from the calf crusher and then catching Styles in mid air (with the limp!), those were "OH SHIT" moments that turn a very good match into a great match for me. 

 

Also, two little things that I loved. Styles doesn't take a bunch of finishers but instead avoids them. I am a sucker for finisher teasers that get avoided via trickery, gameplanning, luck, etc rather than lots of kick outs.  Also, there is a spot in the first comeback where I am pretty sure Styles chops Brock square in the face and then takes a knee to cut off the run. Little stuff like that that doesn't get blown up by the announce team, but is really gritty and hard hitting gets me. This was a brutal match, but that chop did as much to establish that as anything Brock did, to me at least

 

I loved it. On first watch it gets ****3/4 from me.



#11 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:07 AM

Lovin' the love! All ya all can be on team any day. My only regret was not being in Houston to watch my two favorite wrestlers of this millennium tear the house down.

#12 Matt D

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 08:09 AM

To me, the great joy in watching wrestling is to see how the pieces on the table (offensive moves, bumping, selling, the connective tissue between moves) come together to impart meaning on action and reaction, to create a greater whole. That's part of why I have been down on Brock over the last couple of years. His matches tend to be visceral. They tend to stir emotion, to be exciting, to feel special, to have their own aura of electricity, but that, in and of itself, is just one element of greatness. It's rare in modern WWE, so it stands out, but that's more about modern WWE as a whole, where there are no stakes or grudges, where there is no real hatred or animosity, where it's all about entertaining the fans or making a memorable meme-worthy moment. What makes Brock matches special is as much about the absence of that in everything else as it is about what Brock brings to the table. It's like candy, a great sugar rush in the moment, maybe fondly remembered as well, but the substance just isn't there. It's not true in all cases, but that's how it plays out more often than not. You might get a fun exchange or two or a beautiful transition or an interesting start, but it all devolves into a meaningless cacophony of diminishing returns (suplexes) before the end.

 

This was not that. Why? Because it was much more carefully put together and because instead of appeasing your sugar tooth, there was thought and restraint, even in a match that was fast paced and full of constant action. For one thing, there was an outright physical mismatch. There's a mindset that's hardly prevalent in 2017 that flyers work best against bases and while that's not exactly what AJ is, when compared to the sheer force of Brock, it was the symbolic (if not literal) role he played here. They didn't go straight to the suplexes. At the same time, it didn't start on even footing either. Styles is dangerous and competent. He can stand with anyone in the WWE (except for maybe against Shane's punches and superior wrestling skill?), but Brock's the storm and Styles is not Braun, Goldberg, or even Joe (who had to rely on an ambush anyway). they didn't start with suplexes, but they did start with Brock manhandling Styles, tossing him around, crushing him in the corner, oppressing him on the mat. Styles' bumps made it all work. It made a simply throw across the ring or whip more impactful and meaningful than ten Brock suplexes. It was like getting tossed around by a tornado even though there wasn't anything in there which would be considered an actual "move."

 

Brock is always something of a tweener, beloved by the crowd in the same way they'd love a malicious, successful gladiator. Styles is more of a direct babyface than Braun or Joe, and I'd argue more of a conventional 2017 one than Goldberg, and he was able to garner sympathy with the bumps, with his selling, with scant and futile attempts to get into the match. By going straight to Brock so definitively but also letting the match have an opening, letting it have some build, letting it have a first act and not just jumping straight to suplexes, it built up the tension and primed the fans for Styles finally fighting back. It's not the only way that wrestling can work, but it's certainly the purest and most straightforward and here it worked beautifully. Styles isn't a Del Rio or Rusev or Harper. He's established. He's a force. The fans knew he was going to be able to make a comeback somehow. He's also not a Cena or a Reigns, though. Whatever comeback he made certainly wasn't going to be a superman one. So as Brock was compellingly battering him up and down (though never escalating into things that should be in a later act, because Brock's stuff is so legitimate and because Styles' bumping and selling is so good), there was a buzz of intrigue on just how Styles could possibly battle back. 

 

And they nailed it. A shot to the leg, not as an end unto itself but as the means to unlock Styles full offensive potential. It would have been okay for him to stay on the leg, to work his comeback that way, but it would have been a different sort of match. That's a twenty, twenty-five minute match, not a ten minute one. To me, this is where it felt like a Hansen match (against someone like Kobashi, maybe). Styles wanted to meet Brock head on (perhaps had to, because you can't beat a tornado by chipping away at it) and the leg was just a means to that. They came back to it three of four times (with the whip to the stairs on the outside that allowed for the first of the forearms, for instance), culminating in the calf crusher and the act break that followed with Brock viciously fighting his way out like an animal. That animal intensity is part of why the botches don't really hurt the match too. It all came off as struggle. None of it seemed contrived. It all had its own impactfulness even if it wasn't entirely clean (in some ways it's better for not being clean like in some of the best Sasha vs Charlotte matches). When a match is wrestled as such, especially if it's hitting other narrative marks, it makes some things forgivable.

 

The finishing sequence was part of the rehabilitation of the F5, which I think will pay off in spades over the next many months. Styles tried for the Styles Clash and almost paid for it. He was having much more luck, in and out of the ring with the forearm. We all knew that eventually he was going to get caught on something if he didn't put Brock away, and I especially liked the touch of him pulling down the elbow pad to set up the second one. That helped rationalize why he'd try the same thing again. It had been working for him, but not enough to finish Brock. Maybe this would make the difference. If not, what else did he have? It was a calculated risk, a desperate last ditch risk for someone who was in control of the match but fighting nature itself, and it failed him. There's no shame in that though.

 

This was, despite its uniqueness, still a Brock match, which meant constant stimulation. It meant keeping the fans up for ten minutes instead of going up and down. That they were able to manage that while still investing meaning upon almost every movement and upon the match as a whole is hugely impressive to me. It's a real testament to how the parts can come together. Expectations matter. Escalation matters. Bumping matters. Selling matters. A logical, interesting transition matters. Appropriate intensity matters. Foreshadowing matters. Payoff matters, maybe most of all. Meaning is when all all of this comes together and that's the absolute beauty of pro wrestling. We're lucky to have it.



#13 SmartMark15

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:37 AM

Rewatched. What a classic.

 

****3/4



#14 JKWebb

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:55 AM

Matt D:   "The animal intensity is part of why the botches don't really hurt the match..."  Exactly.  It feels like a FIGHT.  I don't really have much to add, but just wanted to throw in on the love for this match.  It was on a clearly different level of anything else on the card.  I watched with other folks, and people were talking throughout the night... except during this match... it became silent and grew into a clear emotional investment in the story that was being told for everyone in the room.  Matches like this remind me of why I was there for 4+ hours.  I'm with Sleeze on this one... It's my favorite match of the year to this point.  Also, the look on Brock's face during the calf crusher... priceless!



#15 Microstatistics

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:11 PM

Wow, I am way off from the consensus on this one. 



#16 SmartMark15

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 05:29 PM

Wow, I am way off from the consensus on this one.


But that's the joy of this forum!

#17 NickH

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:39 AM

I've watched this twice and I can only give it ****1/4.

 

The first half was Brock in full WCW Vader mode which was awesome. I was expecting Brock to throw AJ Spike Dudley style into the crowd. Thankfully AJ came back and made it competitive but the awkward spinning DDT miss and the Brock clothesline which I don't think AJ was expecting just brings this down a tad, other than that it's a very good match, the calf crusher spot was awesome, Brock's face reminded me of Austin in the anklelock at Summerslam 01. I hope they have a rematch, I think they could outdo this one easily. 



#18 FMKK

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 06:05 AM

To me this one was in the **** to ****1/4 range rather than the tip top ratings others have for it. Still a great performance from AJ and the best Brock has looked probably since the Reigns and Undertaker matches in 2015.

#19 Boss Rock

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:24 PM

2017 has really been the year of A.J. getting the most out of absolutely anyone not named Kevin Owens. First few minutes were your standard Brock squash, but A.J. did a great job bumping and selling the devastation. Once A.J. made his comeback we were off to the races. Very smart work going after the leg and the set up for the Calf Crusher was great. And as shot as Brock was after the opening few minutes, he did a good job selling the leg at the end. Fantastic carry-job.

 

****1/4



#20 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 07:12 PM

Im being genuine: who carried who? I can infer because you are a wrestling fan posting a message board that you mean AJ carried Brock because AJ is 5' 9", 200 lbs and Brock being what 6' 3", near 300 lbs means that Brock cant wrestle.

 

But nowhere in your review do you make it sound like Brock was not good. In what world was Brock being carried? Brock was a visceral force of devastation in the beginning. For AJ to have carried Brock in the beginning, that would mean you don't believe in Brock Lesnar's offense. Do you not believe in Brock Lesnar's offense? When AJ is making his comeback, are you telling me that Brock did not sell the leg well, that Brock did not sell disorientation well from the head rocking shots. Are you telling me that Brock Lesnar did not make you believe in AJ Styles? Brock is the best seller in this company by a country mile. No one sells the big moments of a match better than Brock. What will it take for Brock to get the credit he deserves? Oh I know: Shrink 6 inches and lose a 100 lbs. Gimme a break. Brock has a stronger grasp on pro wrestling psychology than any body on this roster besides AJ. Carry? I usually don't get worked up. But to say Brock was carried? CARRIED?

 

You don't carry Brock Fucking Lesnar.

 

Dude, it is nothing personal. I am sick and tired of the stigma super heavyweights face online. I am sick and tired of Brock Lesnar not getting the credit he deserves. You just happen to write that one post that broke the camel's back.







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