WWE fans think Brock Lesnar purposely busted John Cena's mouth open in legendary fight
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: WWE/YouTube
WWE fans are prone to a madcap theory about whether the world of ‘Sports Entertainment’ sometimes becomes real, but few moments have generated as much speculation as a punch thrown by Brock Lesnar at John Cena in 2012.
See the moment for yourself here before making your mind up:
We can all agree as adults that – for the most part – professional wrestling isn’t real.
OK, as the disclaimer before the old TV shows used to tell us, the fighting isn’t real but the risks really are.
There’s no denying that they are committed athletes and perform incredible feats of skill, bravery, and agility, but in general there is no real animosity between fellow performers – in fact, sometimes they are genuine friends despite being in-ring adversaries.
However, back in 2012 there was a situation that many believed was a rare occasion where the mask of professionalism slipped, and Brock Lesnar punched John Cena for real, causing the then-champion to bleed from the mouth.
Let’s set the scene.
It was the lead up to the pay-per-view Extreme Rules event in 2012, and Cena was supposed to be having a feud with The Rock.
But, a week earlier former UFC man Lesnar had invaded the ring to perform his signature move – the F5 – on Cena after offering his hand in friendship.
That shifted Cena’s focus to a feud with ‘The Beast’.
Next week, as a contract was set to be signed allowing the pair to settle their differences at Extreme Rules, a brawl broke out, causing the whole locker room to come running out with the intention of breaking it up.
This isn’t an unusual thing in wrestling, and doesn’t at all signify that the kayfabe – wrestling’s term for the illusion of reality - was broken.
However, as the pair were separated, Lesnar delivered one last punch to Cena, leaving his mouth bloodied.
This time, Cena broke away and attacked Lesnar, before the two were separated for good.
Of course, it could have all been a part of the hype-train to drive PPV sales for extreme rules.
Cena could have agreed to let out a little crimson in the support of the cause, being the consummate company man that he is.
However, not everyone bought that.
In an article for Bleacher Report at the time, it was speculated: “In the moments following the first picture of Cena with a bloodied mouth, the wrestling fan base began to wonder if Lesnar's right hook that connected was done purposely or a fist that was a little too good for the moment.
“There were questions of if Lesnar had fully adapted back to staged combat or if he was still back in his mixed martial arts mindset.
“Most importantly, did Lesnar punch Cena purposely with the intention of claiming that it was an accident?”
In the end, that article conceded that it was probably part of the act, but not everyone was convinced.
In the moment, one person commented: “....did Brock Lesnar just legitimately punch John Cena in the face??!”
Another said: “Brock Lesnar just flat out punched John Cena. No wrestling acting, this was a proper beat-down punch, blood everywhere.”
A third said: “Brock Lesnar really showed what he learnt from UFC today with one straight punch to John Cena leaving him bleeding!”
If it was an act, it was a pretty good one.