WWE Turning Point: Analyzing Historical Impact of Brock Lesnar's SummerSlam Win

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIAugust 22, 2014

Credit: WWE.com

For the first time in nearly 11 years, Brock Lesnar is in possession of the top title in WWE once again. This came after a devastating victory over John Cena.

Only Ric Flair has held more world titles than Cena, who has been the face of WWE for the better part of a decade. That's what makes it so shocking that he was defeated in the manner he was at SummerSlam.

In fact, it was so shocking that we may have never seen the likes of it before. Here, we will take a look at where Lesnar's win fits in the history of WWE in terms of being the top Superstar in the company.

From the days when Hulkamania ran wild to current fans either absolutely loving or completely hating Cena, the WWE has only had a few guys carry the torch for the top wrestling promotion in the world. 

But were any of these guys ever dominated in a title match the way Cena was last Sunday? 


Hulk Hogan

Hogan had an incredible run in WWE, winning the WWE title five times as well as being in the main event of seven of the first eight WrestleManias. At WrestleMania IX, he left with the title to close the show.

Hogan's first title reign lasted an incredible four years. But when he finally lost it at 1988's Main Event, it was hardly in dominant fashion, despite the fact that he was taking on the 520-pound Andre the Giant.

Andre was awarded the title following a three-count in which Hogan clearly had a shoulder up. This was a way for WWE to create a controversial storyline, and Hogan and Andre would go on to have one of the most historic rivalries in WWE history.

This was just WWE's way of protecting its top guy.

When Hogan lost the title to Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI, it was in a long, competitive affair where Warrior just got the best of him.

However, in what was known as the "Gravest Challenge," Hogan defended the title against The Undertaker at the 1991 Survivor Series.

Credit: WWE.com

This may be the closest example we can find to what Lesnar did on Sunday.

In that match, Hogan did put up a fight, but it was the unsettling feeling that was in the arena following the match that everyone remembers.

Yes, it took interference from Flair and a Tombstone Piledriver on a steel chair to beat Hogan, but how many people expected that to happen?

At the time, Undertaker had only been in WWE for one year. It was a major step up for him to not only be in the ring with Hogan but to beat him.

Following the match, Hogan lay on the canvas for an extended period of time while officials checked on him. During that time, several fans were shown with tears in there eyes. On top of that, a grown man in the front row dressed just like Hogan wiped tears from his eyes.

As Bobby Heenan proclaimed that Hulkamania was "dead" on commentary, it all seemed to signify a major moment in WWE history.

Of course, Hogan would regain the title just days later.


Bret Hart

Once Hogan bolted for WCW, WWE went into a bit of a transitional period, settling on Bret Hart as its top Superstar.

Hart won the WWE title four times over a five-year period. He's remembered for defending the title more than any Superstar ever had prior to his reign.

But Hart would also receive protection from WWE when he lost.

Credit: WWE.com

When Yokozuna defeated him at WrestleMania IX, it took salt to the eyes from Mr. Fuji. Bob Backlund would take the title from Hart at Survivor Series 1994, but only after Bret's younger brother Owen convinced their mother to throw in the towel.

This is common practice for WWE as far as its top stars are concerned.


Steve Austin

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin was as big as any star in WWE history. He was a perennial WWE champion during his run at the top, and fans who filled arenas cheered as loud for him as any Superstar in WWE history.

You'll also be hard-pressed to find Austin ever lose a match clean.

Credit: WWE.com

As a six-time WWE champion, Austin rarely lost, and when he did, it was on a technicality or some other reason that created an excuse for his defeat.

When the top Superstar is beaten by a heel, booking has always dictated that the person beating them has to do so via some sort of underhanded tactic.

This has always been the case—except for SummerSlam 2014.


John Cena

Since winning his first major title at WrestleMania 21, John Cena has been a fixture in WWE's main event. It's not often that he loses and is incredibly rare to see him lose clean.

If you're someone who has been waiting to see it happen, you got your wish last Sunday. However, it's likely you never thought you'd see that day come.

Not only was Cena beaten, not only did he lose the title, but he was beaten soundly. There's no way WWE would put its main title on a part-time wrestler, right?


Credit: WWE.com

Lesnar punished Cena, beating him like he stole his property in the process. Cena was dumped on his head repeatedly, absorbing an insane amount of punishment.

In total, Lesnar delivered 16 German suplexes during the course of the match. Sure, Cena got off a tiny bit of offense, but it wasn't nearly enough.

Everyone was waiting for Cena to make his usual comeback. But it never happened. Everyone was expecting Cena to overcome the odds like he always does, but he didn't.

After all of the suplexes and punches to the head and face, Lesnar delivered a second F-5 to win the match.

The collective shock on the faces of those in the crowd was reminiscent of when Lesnar ended Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30. The fans' reactions were reminiscent of the looks on the faces of those in attendance when Undertaker defeated Hogan.

In the process, Lesnar did something no one in the history of WWE has ever done.

He took the poster boy of the company, who is in the prime of his career, and pummeled him. He created a question in the heads of all WWE fans: "Can anyone actually beat that guy?"

What Lesnar did and the manner in which he did it may not ever happen again, and while some may have hated what they watched, others may have found the unpredictability quite refreshing.

Because no face of the company has ever lost his title in the fashion Cena did on Sunday, meaning Lesnar made quite the impact historically.