I cold quite easily fill up the first paragraph of this review with nicknames that have been bestowed upon Brock Lesnar since his return in 2012. Obviously having Paul Heyman as your advocate and hype man will do that, but Lesnar has lived up to all of the terms thrown bout to describe him. He is a freak of nature, an athletic wonder, and easily one of the biggest draws in WWE history. As such, it really is about time WWE put out a new release on the ‘Beast Incarnate’, as his last release was in 2003. Obviously he only has three or four matches a year so WWE had to wait a while, but it’s good to see this finally becoming a reality.
The documentary type portion was a nice change of pace, as we get to actually hear from the man himself. Lesnar is not a big talker on television and as previously mentioned having Heyman on hand means we rarely hear from the man himself, outside of a few sit-down interviews they’ve done (some of which have been amazing). I also like that the focus is not on a full blown career retrospective, given the previous DVD encapsulates much of his first run, but more of his reinvigorated post-UFC career as WWE’s premiere prize fighter and arguably biggest draw of recent years.
The match quality is slightly subjective. A Brock Lesnar match is pretty different from anything else you will see on any wrestling show, which is part of the attraction. His suplex based offence is interesting to watch, and in some cases when he’s been allowed to dominate that has been mesmerizing. Examples of this included here are his PPV matches against Seth Rollins, John Cena, Roman Reigns, and to a lesser extent CM Punk. However, that Punk match also showcases a more even, traditional pro wrestling style rather than simple abject domination, which is exemplified in his matches with The Undertaker and Triple H.
These matches are all of a very high standard and it seems no matter who Lesnar is up against the match has a real big fight feel, even after the event. However, for me the most intriguing matches included here are a couple of rarities that made their way on to this set, a tag match from OVW (the former WWE developmental territory, years before NXT existed) alongside a young Shelton Benjamin as part of the Minnesota Stretching Crew which showcased the raw talent Lesnar had before he reached the main roster, and a non-televised match against Curt Hennig aka Mr Perfect. The latter is a real find, and given that Lesnar and Hennig became close friends during their brief crossover in 2002, not that long before Hennig passed away it’s a real treat to see them go at it.
In general terms your interest in this release is going to be dependent on how much you enjoy Brock Lesnar as a performer. This is very match heavy, and the while the documentary style portion doesn’t really reveal much new information it’s nice to hear from Lesnar, and there are certainly a few interesting titbits about his WWE tenure and some of the behind the scenes workings. An entertaining set, with plenty to keep the viewer’s attention, without putting them to sleep, making them want to go off for something to eat, go outside to do some conquering, but also possibly not enough to make you want to watch this on repeat.
The special features here are very generous with five extra matches included. His match with Big show at Royal Rumble 2014 is a glorified squash, much like his bout with Kofi Kingston from Tokyo, but they are both better than the lacklustre match with Dean Ambrose from Wrestlemania 32 which is also included. However, there are some good additions here in the form of his handicap match with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper from Roadblock 2016 which is a fun brawl, and his bout with John Cena at Night of Champions 2014 which has a screwy finish, but is excellent up to that point. A bit of a mixed bag overall, but not terrible by any stretch.