The Ruler and The Killer: John Cena vs Brock Lesnar (A History Lesson)

summerslam-john-cena-brock-lesnarEach year, we get a PPV in August that reinvigorates our love for professional wrestling. SummerSlam has been a staple for the WWE for years and it always is headlined by matches that mean something. Matches that have tons of hype and, quite possibly, have a lot of history. They can catapult a yearlong storylines or build new stars. This year’s SummerSlam is no exception as the highlight match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship features two men who are no stranger to one another. John Cena and Brock Lesnar have faced each other on four other occasions and not every time has been epic. It’s interesting to look back on when they had their first match back in 2002 and where they will have their first match now, here in 2014. So, let’s take a look at the history between John Cena and Brock Lesnar and how this match will be the best match between the two. Hands down.

MATCH ONE: WWE SmackDown, September 19th, 2002

Brock Lesnar was fresh off of his SummerSlam victory over The Rock which had him capture the WWE Undisputed Championship. Brock Lesnar was three days away from defending against The Undertaker, of all people, and the newcomer John Cena was still wrestling in boots and trunks.

Brock Lesnar was already an established star and John Cena was just the new kid on the block. I mean, look at the tale of the tape. Cena had no accomplishments and the F-U wasn’t even his move yet (we’ll get to that later). He was just a guy who talked a lot of trash and wanted a chance to go against the youngest WWE Champion in history. However, in less than ten minutes, Brock Lesnar crushes John Cena and moves on to defeat The Undertaker at No Way Out.

BROCK LESNAR – 1
JOHN CENA – 0

Accomplishments:

Brock Lesnar:
– 2002 King of The Ring Winner
– 1x WWE Champion

John Cena:
None

MATCH TWO: WWE SmackDown, February 13th, 2003

Check out the Tale of The Tape… Just fantastic.
Check out the Tale of The Tape… Just fantastic.

Not too long after Brock Lesnar and John Cena had their first match and Brock destroyed Cena, the two decided to square off yet again. Brock Lesnar had just won the 2003 Royal Rumble and was on his way to headline Wrestlemania XIX. The crowd was loving Brock but Cena had finally grown into his own and adopted the widely remembered Dr. Of Thuganomics gimmick. Cena was starting to get his groove but things would turn sour for him really quick. The difference between Brock and Cena at this point was that Brock knew how to be a dominant star in the WWE. John Cena was still learning. Brock Lesnar would dominate most of this match and he would put John Cena on the shelf by F-5’ing him into the ring post. Ouch.

BROCK LESNAR – 2
JOHN CENA – 0

Accomplishments:

Brock Lesnar
– 2003 Royal Rumble Winner
– 1x WWE Champion
– 2002 King Of The Ring Winner

John Cena
– None

MATCH THREE: Backlash 2003

Brock Lesnar had defeated Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XIX for the WWE Championship and was challenging all comers. There was a tournament on SmackDown for the chance to face The Next Big Thing at Backlash and who won that tournament? John Cena. Remember, Lesnar had shattered Cena’s knee a few months back and he was looking for revenge. So this opportunity could not come at a better time for him. Cena went toe to toe with the WWE Champion for almost a good 15 minutes. He tried everything he could but, alas, could not come up with the results he wanted. One F-5 and three seconds later, Brock Lesnar remained your WWE Champion.

However, because of their match and this feud we were able to get this promo during the build which created the name for John Cena’s Finisher… the F-U (before it was changed to the more PG friendly “Attitude Adjustment”)

BROCK LESNAR – 3
JOHN CENA – 0

Accomplishments:

Brock Lesnar
– 2x WWE Champion
– 2003 Royal Rumble Winner
– 2002 King Of The Ring Winner

John Cena
– None

It would be a solid nine years before these two would even be seen together in a match. Brock Lesnar would leave and join UFC and accomplish things there while John Cena would become the leader of the WWE, the face of the WWE, and run rampant over his opponents. Cena would carry this company on his back for nine strong years. Fans were tired of it. Fans were sick of it. They wanted a change. They wanted something different. In 2012, on the Monday Night Raw after Wrestlemania 28, John Cena would be out to address the WWE Universe after his crushing loss to The Rock, and this would happen…

After 8 long years, Brock Lesnar would return to the WWE to face an old nemesis. An old foe. Someone who stood for everything Brock Lesnar was against. Brock Lesnar was a different man when he returned to the WWE. Before he left he was the mat wrestler and the beast. Now he was just The Beast. He was fresh off a UFC Championship reign and wanted more. He wanted to showcase his new talents to a different audience. He wanted a new face to destroy. And he would get it in John Cena. He told Cena throughout all of this that he was not a wrestler, he was an asskicker.

MATCH FOUR: WWE Extreme Rules 2012

Brock Lesnar was looking to continue his undefeated streak against Cena in a battle for the ages. This wasn’t the same WWE when Brock left. Things have changed… people have changed. But the brutality between these two was still real. The two men battled ruthlessly in a match some people called one of the matches of the year. Brock Lesnar was brutalizing him throughout the match. Cena, however, knew he could not lose his fourth match to Brock Lesnar. It took the move that he created to battle Brock Lesnar, the F-U, on steel steps to grasp the one thing that eluded him in his now illustrious career: a victory over The Beast Brock Lesnar.

BROCK LESNAR – 3
JOHN CENA – 1

Accomplishments:

Brock Lesnar
– 3x WWE Champion
– 2003 Royal Rumble Winner
– 2002 King Of The Ring

John Cena
– 10x WWE Champion
– 2x World Heavyweight Champion
– 3x United States Champion
– 2x WWE Tag Team Champion
– 2x World Tag Team Champion
– 2008 Royal Rumble Winner
– Money In The Bank winner (2012)

As you can see, the accomplishments after this match in 2012 for John Cena greatly outweigh the accomplishments for Brock Lesnar. Brock Lesnar might have been the bigger threat but John Cena cannot be denied with his legacy. Brock Lesnar would disappear and John Cena would go on to win the 2013 Royal Rumble, defeat The Rock at Wrestlemania 29 for the WWE Championship, win the World Championship from Alberto Del Rio in late 2013. He and Randy Orton would unify the championships and John Cena, currently, is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. 15 times John Cena has been world champion to Brock Lesnar’s 3 times.

At SummerSlam 2014, Lesnar looks to make it 4 times.

Brock Lesnar has accomplished many great accolades. You could even say his three championship reigns were more impressive than Cena’s fifteen. The people he defeated and the way he defeated them are legendary. His match with The Rock at SummerSlam 2002 will live in history. His shooting star attempt at Wrestlemania 19 will always be remembred. How could we forget about the sixty minute iron man match against Kurt Angle where he won the championship for a third time? John Cena has had his breakthrough matches as well. Defeating JBL at Wrestlemania 21 to capture his first championship to beating The Rock in the main event of Wrestlemania 29 to winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for a 15th time at Money In The Bank 2014. Brock Lesnar has had a stand out 2014 so far as he ended The Undertaker’s illustrious Wrestlemania streak at Wrestlemania 30. His year has been great and he hopes to capitalize on an era where the WWE Universe does not want Cena as champion.

The real question is, 12 years later, will Brock Lesnar capture yet another championship at SummerSlam? Or is John Cena taking down, ultimately, his biggest challenge yet? August 17th we will find out all the answers. John Cena has one victory over Brock and wants another one. Will John Cena retain his championship and prove he is, in fact, untouchable?

Or will Brock Lesnar capture his fourth WWE World Heavyweight Championship while also grabbing his fourth victory over John Cena?

You can follow me, Ant The Villain, on Twitter @hailmegatron.

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