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    Saturday, July 9, 2016

    #TIL (7/10/16): The Only Recorded Lesnar vs. Orton Match In History

    From seemingly out of nowhere, twelve-time world champion Randy Orton will be returning from his long layoff to battle the WWE's resident beast Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam this August.

    WWE is trumpeting the collision between the two ring icons as one of the few true "dream matches" remaining, while Forbes is already declaring this confrontation as one that will save the company from its current TV ratings slump.

    All that hyperbole is fine, but did you know that the two multiple-time world champions have actually already faced off before? Our buddies over at the Internet Wrestling Database are pointing out that the two OVW batchmates have actually squared off four times in the past—but only once in a televised match.

    Let's take a look back at this seven-minute match from a September 2002 edition of SmackDown!, when Lesnar took on Orton in a non-title match.

    Both men have clearly come a long way from this battle over a decade ago; Orton was fresh off his developmental stint and had yet to find his footing in the organization. Even his entrance theme was generic babyface rock at the time.

    Lesnar on the other hand was still in the "Next Big Thing" phase of his career, having absolutely decimated both The Rock and Hulk Hogan on his path towards being crowned the youngest WWE Champion in history.

    Of course, the future Conqueror of the Undertaker's legendary WrestleMania streak already had a familiar face in his corner. You might recognize the fellow.

    Hey, man, we think we know you!
    The match was obviously no five-star classic. But for what it was trying to be, it was immensely entertaining. Orton was in full-on ragdoll mode, pinballing around for Lesnar's offense and nearly impaling himself on the ringpost in the process. Lesnar was already the explosive monster we know today, destroying the young Randy with a vicious array of suplexes and slams, before annihilating him with a roll-through F5 for the finish.

    Orton would later on suffer the nasty shoulder injury that sidelined him for months before redebuting as the resident cocky young upstart "Legend Killer" of Evolution. Lesnar, conversely, would go on to face The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell title defense at No Mercy 2002, absolutely dismantling the Deadman in a way that eerily foreshadowed the destruction of their eventual WrestleMania showdown.

    How do you think their SummerSlam will go, Henrinites? Do you think it will be as dominant a squash win for Lesnar as it was back in 2002, or do you think Randy Orton will surprise us all? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
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    Item Reviewed: #TIL (7/10/16): The Only Recorded Lesnar vs. Orton Match In History Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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