July 25, 2005
Charles Williams

WWE World Championship
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Hell in the Cell
No Mercy 02
October 20, 2002
Little Rock, AR

This, to me, was an excellent match, although it was more of a war than a match. This is as utterly violent as anything I've ever seen in WWE; in fact, it's probably the most physically violent match I've ever seen in WWE. Lesnar is just a machine here, dismantling Taker's hand with precision. The multiple chairshots on his hand are cringe-worthy, and there are some terrific spots. I also love the no-frills build. Lesnar and Taker do everything right to communicate hate; well, at least Lesnar does. I'll touch on Taker later. Brock was just about flawless, completely destroying Taker's hand and ripping off the cast, which gets a huge "Oh!" pop from the Little Rock crowd. The other "Oh!" pop comes when Taker starts bleeding. Aside from Eddy's bleeding in Eddy/JBL, this is the sickest bladejob I've seen in WWE. 'Taker is just a mess. The opening minute is really strong, with Taker elbowing the shit out of Lesnar's face and Brock catching him with a great powerslam early on, bringing the cool false finishes right out of the gate. When Taker doesn't back off, Brock tries to get out of the cage and realizes that he can't, so he gets desperate in quick fashion and goes to work on Taker's hand. Taker screams out in agony, which considering his usual no-selling act means a lot. It's the one advantage that him squashing people has; when he does sell for someone, they're automatically taken seriously. Brock doesn't back off and Taker keeps punching him away, and every time he does it, his hand gets weaker and weaker and his screams get louder and louder. Lesnar starts bleeding before long, and his bladejob is weak, especially by contrast to the gusher of his opponent. This was probably the first time he had ever bladed.

The match spills to the floor and Heyman tries to interfere through the holes in the cage, which results in Taker grabbing him by the tie and pulling him face first into the cage repeatedly. The crowd eats it up, and Paul E. motherfucking BLEEDS! I guess "He's hardcore! He's hardcore!" after all. Taker also gets in some other cool offense, including throwing Brock into the cage and clotheslining the fuck out of him. He uses the cage well also, dropping a leg from the top rope to the apron. Heyman, to elaborate more, takes his lumps here, and deserves credit for it. While Taker is pulling him into the cage repeatedly, Brock goes to break it up and goes crashing into both Heyman and the cage. Brock comes back quickly enough running Taker's back back and forth between the ringpost and the cage in an awesome spot.

There were a few things I didn't like. Taker going for a pinfall on the outside was one of them, because in WWE, fans associate falls outside the ring with comedy matches in the hardcore division, and this was not a hardcore match. It's also far out of the view of the fans in the building, so it's nearly impossible to get a pop off of a false finish. So, it was a wasted effort. I also thought that while Taker's selling was strong, his comebacks really weren't. His facial expressions were actually the weakest part of the match, because he looked exhausted, not really in pain. I also didn't like that so much of the match took place outside the ring in that one little corner, because it hurt the heat. Besides that, I can't say much horrible about it.

***3/4

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