During his first stint in World Wrestling Entertainment, few wrestlers proved to be a thorn in the side of Brock Lesnar more than the World's Largest Athlete, the Big Show.
At 7'0'', and nearly 500 pounds, the giant was the one man who could stand toe-to-toe and match Lesnar's physicality. He was able to throw Lesnar around the ring with relative ease, capturing the attention of the audience and making any match between the two must-see television.
They feuded for the better part of eight months, leading to some very memorable matches. Their best, arguably, came in May 2003 at the Judgment Day pay-per-view. The match, a Stretcher match, headlined the show for Lesnar's WWE Championship.
This is its story.
At Backlash in April 2003, Brock Lesnar successfully retained his WWE Championship by defeating a young, up-and-coming star named John Cena, who may or may not have gone on to make something of himself in the industry.
Earlier in the show, Big Show not only defeated Rey Mysterio, he took a stretchered Mysterio and bashed him against a ring post. Not only was the impact of the stretcher hitting the steel incredibly painful, but the fact that Show did not protect him as he hit the ground face-first only made it worse.
On the SmackDown following Backlash, Lesnar took exception to Big Show's actions at the event and stood up to the oversized bully. Show refused to face Lesnar, instead opting to continue his vicious and brutal assaults of smaller Superstars.
He set out to do that to Chris Benoit the following week, strapping him to a stretcher and preparing to bash him into the post. Lesnar made the save, a challenge was made for a Stretcher match and the bout was booked in the marquee spot on the Judgment Day pay-per-view.
Just days before the show, Mysterio returned from injury and joined Lesnar in assaulting Big Show as a bit of payback for the masked cruiserweight.
The match was the most memorable of the otherwise awful Judgment Day pay-per-view, so it succeeded on that level.
Delving deeper, the match is actually a creative take on a gimmick bout that is rarely used in WWE. Big Show used his size advantage to keep Lesnar reeling, but the champion fought back, put his sheer power on display and used his brain to come up with an inventive finish.
Lesnar placed Show on a stretcher, put the stretcher on a forklift and drove the machine up the aisle and past the finish line for the win.
Recently, Daniel Bryan and Kane used a variation of the spot in their Extreme Rules match when Bryan delivered the Big Red Monster back to the ring with a similar forklift.
Historical Significance and Aftermath
Outside of being a pay-per-view main event, the match has little historical significance. Lesnar won, Big Show lost and they continued to feud over the next two months.
On the June 12, 2003 episode of SmackDown, Lesnar and Big Show met in another epic clash. This one ended in a no-contest when Lesnar superplexed Show off the top rope and into the ring, which broke, leaving both Superstars unconscious to end the broadcast.
At Vengeance in July, Lesnar and Big Show competed in a Triple Threat match for the WWE title. A returning Kurt Angle would win that match and the title.
By year's end, Lesnar and Big Show would be allies in their battle against some of the top babyfaces on SmackDown.
In 2014, they reignited their feud when they met at the Royal Rumble. Lesnar won that match, decisively, then left Show writhing in pain following a series of vicious, brutal, violent chair shots.
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