WWE Extreme Rules: 5 Steel Cage Matches Brock Lesnar and Triple H Should Emulate
There are several great ones that these men should try to match and borrow from. Lesnar and Triple H can pay homage to Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich or Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart by snagging elements from those masterpieces.
In this current era, Triple H and Lesnar will certainly have to tone down the violence of those matches, but even if they can't match them in terms of bloodshed, they can match them in emotion.
In chronological order, here are five steel cage matches that Lesnar and Triple H should try to emulate at Extreme Rules.
AWA 1979: The Crusher vs. Nick Bockwinkel
Trait to Emulate: Brutality
Triple H and Brock Lesnar may get vicious on Sunday, but they likely won't be as sadistic as The Crusher and Nick Bockwinkel were to each other in their 1979 cage match. Still, borrowing some of that match's brutality will help The Game and Lesnar compose a classic.
Crusher and Bockwinkel traded fists. They slammed each other in the cage wall. Bockwinkel even bit Crusher’s head open.
WWE fans likely won’t see Lesnar bite Triple H, but if he hammers his forearms on his foe's head like Bockwinkel did, their match will benefit from it. They can also borrow the grinding pace of that matchup and the visual of the two men both slow to get up, weary from punishment.
WCCW Star Wars 1982: Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich
Trait to Emulate: Chaos
Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich's cage match for the NWA world title is known more for the historic feud it started than the great match itself. Michael Hayes served as a special enforcer who got too involved in the action. His interference along with his partner Terry Gordy smashing Von Erich in the head with the cage door began the storied Von Erichs vs. Freebirds feud.
The knock on Triple H and Brock Lesnar has been that it probably won't lead to anything. Both men are part-time stars and are likely to take some time off after Extreme Rules.
If Triple H and Lesnar's bout can be simultaneously be the culmination of their feud and the catalyst for an intriguing new storyline, the match will be more important and more entertaining.
Paul Heyman's presence could have a similar effect to Hayes'.
Does this lead into Lesnar's next feud or to Heyman's clientele growing? If so, the match and the pay-per-view will benefit greatly.
SummerSlam 1994: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Trait to Emulate: Hatred
One of WWE's best feuds can't be duplicated, but if Triple H and Brock Lesnar manage to capture a good amount of the hatred that flowed between Bret and Owen Hart, their match on Sunday will be a masterpiece.
The cage clanged and the ropes shook as the two brothers tortured each other in the ring.
Owen Hart clamped on the sharpshooter, looked in the camera and said, "I'm going to break his legs." This is the kind of passion and emotion that Lesnar and The Game should attempt to convey.
Bret and Owen's loathing of each other was so visceral and radiating that it was difficult to turn away from. That should be Lesnar and Triple H's goal going into Extreme Rules.
WWE Raw 2001: Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Trait to Emulate: Intensity
Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit attacked each other with such compelling fury to open their cage match on WWE Raw that the audience couldn't help but be sucked in.
Instead, Lesnar and Triple H can try to capture Angle and Benoit's near-perfect chemistry, their mix of wrestling and fighting, suplexes and fists.
Intensity as powerful as what Angle and Benoit produced makes a match unforgettable. Lesnar and Triple H should aspire to match this classic. Even if they come up short, delivering a bout with a fraction of Angle and Benoit's emotion will make the Extreme Rules bout an excellent one.
TNA Lockdown 2008: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
Trait to Emulate: Big-fight feel
From the booming voice of the announcer, the special guest from the world of MMA and the energy that permeated the arena that night, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe's battle for the TNA world title felt grand, like an instant classic.
Maybe WWE asks Howard Finkel to announce Brock Lesnar's and Triple H's names on Sunday. Maybe a special-guest referee is added to the mix. Anything that helps that match capture some of the larger-than-life feel that Angle vs. Joe had would elevate Extreme Rules.
Angle's then-wife stood in the crowd wearing a worried look. WWE could easily put Stephanie McMahon in the audience and ask her to emote for the sake of the match.
Angle vs. Joe also felt somewhat like an MMA bout because of Angle's gear and his cautious approach to the open the match. That and the drama that Joe and Angle derived from submissions are elements Lesnar and Triple H should borrow.
Triple H doesn't have the submission-heavy repertoire that either Joe or Angle have, but perhaps he borrows his mentor Ric Flair's figure-four or some other surprising hold.