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THE BROAD PERSPECTIVE
In Defense of Judgment Day
May 16, 2003

by Erin Anderson
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com

 

The ICW seems less than enthused over the card for this Sunday's Judgment Day pay-per-view. I won't be seeing it myself, but that's more a result of me having to work than anything else. The biggest gripes over the booking of the show are related to the main events: Triple H v. Kevin Nash, and Brock Lesnar v. Big Show.

I've heard it all about Triple H/Nash: the ring work will be sloppy, these two need to give some younger performers a chance, Battle of the Pantene Twins, etc. While that may be true, most wrestling fans are underestimating the potential for this contest.

I have a feeling that Triple H/Nash will be a lot more entertaining than it has any right to be. You know that these two are going to work their asses off for each other, being close friends, and having Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair at ringside guarantees a ref bump and interference. While Triple H and Nash aren't always dependable performers, Michaels and Flair are. Give them some time to make their presence known, and the match should come off just fine.

Big Show v. Lesnar, however, has the potential to completely steal the show on Sunday. Not only that, it must be the last match of Judgment Day. No, really. Stay with me on this.

At first glance, it seems like filler for the main-event scene on Smackdown! before the likes of Cena and Benoit are given a real shot at the title, and before guys like Kurt Angle and the Undertaker return. But the Big Show/Lesnar match has the potential to become one of the most memorable matches of the year.

Their first feud was fun, with the question, "Can Brock really F-5 the Big Show?" constantly in the backs of our minds. Their second match was merely an afterthought to Brock winning the Royal Rumble. The stretcher stipulation for their third outing, on the surface, looks like a desperate attempt to spike buyrates for this Sunday. If that's the case, WWE's ploy will fail miserably. But the fans who do shell out the bucks for the pay-per-view may very well be pleasantly surprised.

We've seen a couple of different sides of Lesnar in his short WWE tenure: his mean streak, his power, and even his mat-wrestling abilities in his Wrestlemania match with Angle. But we've never truly seen just how much of a sadistic bastard he can be, not even in his Hell in a Cell match with the Undertaker.

The no-holds-barred aspect of a stretcher match is just the place for Lesnar to showcase his brutality. For this match to be any good, I expect it to involve chairs, flattened announce tables, two-by-fours (preferably wrapped in barbed wire while lit on fire), sledgehammers, trash cans, thumb tacks, a set of Titleist golf clubs, fire extinguishers, lots and lots of blood, iron skillets, wooden stakes, a forklift, five unnecessary ref bumps, a few zambonis, one of those tiny cars packed with two dozen clowns, a giant mongoose with rabies, and at least three pairs of ballroom-dancing midgets. Oh yeah… and a stretcher, too.

In short, Show and Lesnar need to throw everything into this match but the kitchen sink (come to think of it, cracking a kitchen sink over a guy's head would be pretty cool).

The last time WWE held a stretcher match, I was only three years old. I have no idea what they looked like seventeen years ago, but I do know that winning such a match requires the total decimation of one's opponent. WWE's fans, being the sadistic bastards that they are (myself included), love this kind of shit.

Good ol' J.R. loves to use the word "carnage" in his commentary, but the word might actually be the correct descriptive term for what we could see here. Imagine it: Show and Lesnar fighting all over the arena, ring ropes broken, both announcers' tables destroyed, weapons strewn all over the place, barricades knocked over, the set pieces at the top of the ramp crumpled to the floor… hell, they can ruin the Titan Tron while they're at it. All of that can make for a match that fans won't soon forget, and if that's what WWE is going for with this, the match will have to be the one to close out the pay-per-view.

Any type of no-disqualification stipulation can act as an equalizer between opponents in a match, but a stretcher match favors Brock, despite Tazz's ramblings . Even the Big Show will have to bow down to a severe beating with various foreign objects, and we all know that Brock is capable of lifting Show onto a stretcher. I'm envisioning an F-5 onto the stretcher, so long as its legs have been reinforced.

Big Show can benefit from the stipulations as well. Remember the "holy shit" vibe when he used Rey Mysterio as a baseball bat at Backlash? Well, he's one of the few competitors on the WWE roster who can convincingly manhandle Brock. He'll make himself look like a badass in the process, all while hiding his shortcomings as a sports entertainer.

It seems pretty obvious that Brock will retain his championship. WWE ran a test run with Show as their champion already, and the fans didn't bite; his title reign was more of a side note to the feud between Angle and Brock. But even without winning the title, he can truly get himself over with the fans with an especially brutal performance on Sunday. When I saw Backlash at Hooters last month, everyone in the bar applauded when Big Show destroyed Mysterio on the stretcher; he can capitalize on that by handling Lesnar, a much larger opponent, in the same way.

But Brock is the one who'll come out as the ultimate winner, if he plays this out right. Remember Triple H's legendary street fight with Cactus Jack? It's the match that truly made Triple H, and Brock is in a position to do the same for himself here. A lot of the casual fans already love him, but I've spoken to quite a few who don't think very highly of him. If Lesnar really goes for broke here, he can shut up all of the nay-sayers.

Run-ins will be inevitable, and any number of wrestlers could make a cameo: Benoit (and therefore the FBI, Rhyno, and Spanky), Mysterio, A-train, Team Angle, Kurt Angle himself, or even Paul Heyman. Not too shabby, especially since over half of those wrestlers would be willing to take some sick bumps involving tables, chairs, or falling from very high places. The nature of the match itself and the competitors involved can make this a hell of a lot of fun, if not a workrate classic.

This whole set-up is a golden opportunity for the careers of Brock and Big Show; an up-and-comer can establish himself as deserving of all the hype, and a former superstar can find himself back in the favor of the very unforgiving IWC. In the short-term, they can save a pay-per-view from a lackluster card. Both men are capable of pulling it off, and they've just been handed the opportunity.

Now, all we need do is say a prayer that they don't fuck it up.

E-MAIL ERIN
BROWSE THE BROAD'S ARCHIVES

Erin Anderson is an Atlanta native and a student at Georgia State University. Since writing about wrestling didn't go over too well with her English professors, she vents here at Online Onslaught.


  
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