Brock Lesnar (c) vs Samoa Joe
WWE Universal Championship
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
(reviewed 08/06/2017) It’s interesting to see Lesnar work on off nights at this stage of his career. I don’t so much mean “off nights” as in nights in which his wrestling is off, but rather nights in which he doesn’t have to put his full effort in and thus doesn’t. That’s what this is. Both he and Joe are putting on enjoyable performances but they’re very solidly house show performances. Joe’s focusing on the Choke and some striking (one of which, the enzuigiri in the corner, is real great) and that’s about it. Lesnar, strangely enough, is on defense for the vast majority of the match, bumping around selling for this smaller man. He’s great at that so I won’t pretend that it’s bad here, but it’s interesting how relatively little he does here compared to most of his matches. When he’s on offense, too, he’s laid back, sticking to a few knees, a few suplexes. As he’s picking up Joe for the F5 finish, he doesn’t whirl Joe around and hoist him up. He just sort of waits and awkwardly, feebly picks him up before spinning him out. It’s a noted lack of effort on the part of someone who is legitimately a monster of a man, a freakish athlete. Again, I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it’s interesting to see how even when you only have eight matches a year, you have nights where you take it easy.