WWE – Brock Lesnar: Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat. (Cert 15)
3 Discs DVD / 2 Discs Blu-ray (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 395 minutes approx.
Ladies and gentlemen my name is not Paul Heyman but I will be presenting to you the beast incarnate, the conqueror, the 1 in 22-1 and the mayor of Suplex City: Brrrrock Lesnarrrrrrrrrrrr!
If anyone at the top of the WWE food chain was ripe for a home video profile release it is Brock Lesnar, having risen to the top of amateur wrestling, pro-wrestling and MMA all before the age of 35! It’s quite a story that needs be told and a unique one at that wit may twists and turns of a remarkable career.
From Lesnar’s meteoric rise to the main event in the WWE in 2002, to his controversial departure at the peak of his run in 2004, there is also his brief stint as an American football player which led to him resurfacing in New Japan Pro Wrestling, a short run that once again ended in controversy. Finally the surprise jump to UFC and the return to WWE there is plenty of ground to cover.
Unfortunately we don’t get that. This is still a career retrospective with archive matches from Lesnar’s early days in OVW to his first WWE run and the big return in 2012 but instead of stories about the man himself we get brief clips of the Beast basically saying the same thing over and over – he is a bad ass and was put on earth to hurt people.
Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration as Brock does offer a little insight into his mindset a competitor and the occasional look at his early life, complete with photos of an unfeasibly skinny child Brock, but the general gist is he hates people. This make might him come across as some kind of enigma to consolidate his bad ass persona but at the same token it hardly screams “role model” either.
The problem is that one honestly cannot tell if Lesnar is in or out of character, as he remains in the same mode whether it is a pre-match hype video or a shoot interview, such as the Stone Cold Podcast from which we see a couple of clips. On every occasion Brock reminds us that he is the same person on TV that he is at home (which must make a scary home life for wife Rena – aka Sable – and their kids).
Yet the matches from the beginning of Brock’s career in OVW and WWE show a much more compliant and professional person, who shows signs of personality, discipline and of course potential. In the OVW match – a tag match with Shelton Benjamin – Brock is the big babyface muscle to Shelton’s smaller athletic guy, a far cry from the monster we know today.
Next is a very rare clip, a TV dark match against Mr. Perfect, whom Lesnar speaks fondly about, revealing he was a role model and mentor to him – ironically after a clip of him saying he has never respected any of his opponents – in which Brock was a cookie cutter big guy who worked safe while Perfect did in the bumping.
It isn’t until an IC Title match against Rob van Dam from RAW in 2002 that we start to see the Brock Lesnar that would be the “Next Big Thing” Paul Heyman would proclaim him to be. From here after the match list is a veritable chronological look at some of the bigger matches Brock had that haven’t already been covered on previous DVD releases from PPVs and WWE Network specials.
With regards to the latter, the only real exclusive here is the match in the Blu-ray extras from the Roadblock event which took place prior to Wrestlemania 32 this year, in which Brock faced off against Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in a handicap match (except Wyatt was injured so it was one-on-one with Harper). As this event hasn’t had a commercial release, only WWE Network subscribers will have seen it before.
Possibly the interesting thing to note when watching this collection is how Lesnar’s work has regressed, for wanting a better term, from someone with great agility, pure wrestling skills and could move about very well, to the almost impenetrable thug we see today, relying only on suplexes and brutal MMA style strikes to the head.
Obviously as a wrestler gets older they want to protect their body and their style will change, and while Brock is still an intimating and impressive physical specimen, he seems to have gone too far into the less is less mode. After revisiting his earlier bouts featured in this set, maybe I won’t be the only one who misses the “old Brock”.
Another thing this presentation lacks is input from anybody else. Brock talks rather quietly, so for someone hard of hearing like myself, the absence of the usual subtitles on this release is a nuisance, yet it would have been nice to hear opinions and stories from other people. Even if it were just Paul Heyman, a corroborating voice or an alternate perspective would have helped flesh things little more.
However I believe that the lack of a candid, comprehensive biography to allow us to get to know Lesnar more and understand him beyond the persona we see on TV would have made this a more interesting and substantial release. I get that Brock is a private person, so the story could have been told through a third party, but he is a fascinating character with a unique story to tell.
If one is simply looking to have a healthy chunk of Brock Lesnar’s matches in one collection and in HD then this will be a treat; if a long awaited career retrospective documentary about The Beast was something you desired this will not suffice.
For the die-hards only.
WWE Royal Rumble – January 26th 2014 – Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show
WWE Night Of Champions – September 21st 2014 – WWE World Heavyweight Title Match – Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
WWE Beast In The East – July 4th 2015 – Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston
WWE Roadblock – March 12th 2016 – Handicap Match – Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
WWE Wrestlemania 32 – April 3rd 2016 – No Holds Barred Street Fight – Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose
Rating – ***
Man In Black