Review: WWE Brock Lesnar: Here Comes The Pain (Collector’s Edition) DVD

November 5, 2012 by Joe Israel

I still remember buying Here Comes the Pain when it came out in 2003.  At the time, the WWE was making a shift towards higher-end documentaries on their DVD’s, and I really enjoyed it when it first came out.  It gave a good overview of Lesnar’s first year in the WWE, and seemed like the best type of documentary we were going to get from the WWE.

Brock Lesnar Here Comes The Pain Collector's Edition DVD

In hindsight, this was pretty far from the truth.  While it’s by no means painful to sit through, the documentary doesn’t hold up great when looked at next to the releases we’ve gotten recently (especially with the fact that it has to follow the Punk DVD).  The DVD features the original documentary from 2003, with the bonus matches on discs 2 and 3 interspersed with a new interview from Lesnar.  Disc 1 runs around 1 hour, 10 minutes, and Discs 2 and 3 each run around 3 hours.  The DVD is rated TV-14.  As has been reported here on in the past, this is the first DVD to feature the WWF scratch logo unedited, which will hopefully be true from here on out.


“Next Big Thing”: The Documentary & Format

As I mentioned in the intro to this review, the documentary, while entertaining, has not aged particularly well.  It serves as a nice trip down memory lane revisiting all of Lesnar’s feuds from his first year in the WWE.  The documentary doesn’t really give us anything more substantive than this, though.  It begins with a brief look at his childhood, and quickly runs down the timeline of Brock’s career through June of 2003.  The format is very simple, but you can see the shift the WWE was making at the time towards more groundbreaking documentaries.  Some of the interviews are told out of character, while some interviews (such as those from Michael Hayes) are told from the point of view of Brock Lesnar, the character.  This dichotomy becomes a bit confusing.  The growing pains of the WWE Home Video department are clear here.

WWE Brock Lesnar with JR

I had forgotten just how prominent feud recap video packages were on these old documentaries.  A lot of time on this doc is made up of video packages like the ones you would see recapping a feud before a PPV match.  When they are well made, they can be a lot of fun to watch.  This isn’t really what we’ve come to expect on DVD’s anymore though.  Some videos recapping a feud is great, but interspersing this with interviews from the different superstars and writers involved is what really makes it interesting.  These are few and far between here.  If you go in with your expectations shifted a bit, you’ll probably enjoy the documentary well enough, but if you expect more, you’re going to be disappointed.

WWE Brock Lesnar Interview

The new interview with Lesnar, which we get a segment of between each match on Discs 2 and 3, is pretty bizarre.  First off, I love the fact that there is an interview between every match.  This is how all match compilations should be set up from the WWE.  Unfortunately, most of the interviews don’t have much to do with the match we are about to watch.  There are some connections you can make, but oftentimes it feels like the order of clips was randomly chosen.  If you saw the great 5 minute Lesnar sit-down interview promo the WWE ran back in April after Lesnar’s return, you should know what to expect from this interview.  What worked great in 5 minutes doesn’t work as well over this many segments, though.  They become very repetitive, with Lesnar basically talking about how he is a soulless machine and an ass-kicker in many different ways.  Lesnar also isn’t a great interview, and that starts to become apparent here.  The most entertaining aspect of the interview was just waiting to see what bizarre statement Lesnar would make next.  It’s certainly not worth going out of your way to see.


“F-5!”: The Matches

WWE Brock Lesnar vs Batista

Brock Lesnar Vs. Leviathan (OVW, 7/28/01) – **

A standard match that feels like it’s taking place in the “training league”.  Not bad, but very basic. Fun to see Batista chain wrestling.

OVW Southern Tag Team Championship Match: The Minnesota Stretching Crew Vs. Prototype & Rico Constantino (OVW, 11/10/01) – ** 1/4

Like the other OVW match, a very simple tag team match.  Lesnar & Benjamin have pretty good chemistry together; I can’t say that much is true for Rico & Prototype (Cena).

Brock Lesnar Vs. Jeff Hardy (Backlash, 4/21/02) – * 3/4

A glorified squash match.  A great finish, which makes Lesnar look like a monster and Heyman look like the diabolical trainer.

King of the Ring Finals: Brock Lesnar Vs. Rob Van Dam (King of the Ring, 6/23/02) – **

For the finals of a major tournament, this match was shockingly short.  Not bad while it lasted, but it never shifts out of second gear and the finish comes out of nowhere.

Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker Vs. Rob Van Dam & Ric Flair (Raw, 7/15/02) – ***

A very fun main event-level TV match.

WWE Brock Lesnar Hulk Hogan

#1 Contender’s Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. Hulk Hogan (SmackDown, 8/8/02) – *** 1/2

I’m not going to pretend that this match is a technical masterpiece, but the booking is so perfect that I needed to give it a high star rating.  Hogan was super over with the crowd at this point, and the way Lesnar beats him was excellent.  A classic visual to end this episode of SmackDown.

WWE Undisputed Championship Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. The Rock (SummerSlam, 8/25/02) – *** 3/4

This match is very competently put together, but there’s nothing unique about it that elevates it from “very good” to “great”.

Brock Lesnar Vs. Randy Orton (SmackDown, 9/5/02) – * 1/2

Another glorified squash match.  The fun part about this match is watching a young Orton take such a beating.

WWE Undisputed Championship Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. The Undertaker (Unforgiven, 9/22/02) – *** 1/2

For a match that ends in a non-finish, its still good while it lasts.  Lesnar & Undertaker have great chemistry, and they even make the non-finish work.  Unfortunately, on this DVD not all of the post-match is included (they cut out the great moment where Taker throws Lesnar through the Unforgiven logo).

Brock Lesnar Undertaker Hell in a Cell

WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. The Undertaker (No Mercy, 10/20/02) – **** 3/4

One of the better Hell in a Cell matches of all time.  Great use of the cell gimmick without doing any crazy spots on top of the cell.  As mentioned above, the chemistry here is fantastic.

Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble, 1/19/03) – N/A

This match is joined in progress at Lesnar’s entrance (#29).  Despite being a huge fan of the Rumble match, even I have to admit this is one of the weaker installments.

Brock Lesnar Vs. Team Angle (SmackDown, 2/27/03) – ** 1/4

A well put together, but unspectacular, match.  A good build for the WrestleMania main event between Lesnar & Angle.

WWE Brock Lesnar Kurt Angle

WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. Kurt Angle (WrestleMania XIX, 3/30/03) – **** 1/4

An excellent technical contest that, unfortunately, is remembered more for the botched Shooting Star Press than the great wrestling.

WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. John Cena (Backlash, 4/27/03) – ** 3/4

You can begin to see glimpses here of what Cena will become, but this was his first shot at a high-profile match.  A fun match, but nothing memorable.

WWE Championship 60-Minute Ironman Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. Kurt Angle (SmackDown, 9/18/03) – **** 1/2

In a 60-minute match, pacing will either make or break it.  The pacing in this one is great, and the match never drags throughout the course of the hour.  Lesnar & Angle created many different “stages” for the match to enter, which helps keep it interesting.

WWE Brock Lock

Brock Lesnar Vs. Rey Mysterio (SmackDown, 12/11/03) – *** 1/2

The big man vs. little man match has been done many times before, but Lesnar & Mysterio found ways to keep it different in this match.  This is the biggest sleeper match on the entire DVD.  Also, the match is won by one of my favorite “forgotten finishers” in the WWE, the Brock Lock.

WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar Vs. Big Show (SmackDown, 6/12/03) – **

The ending of this match is amazing (and I still kind of hate that it was recreated last year).  The rest of the match is fine, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

Brock Lesnar Vs. Goldberg (WrestleMania XX, 3/14/04) – DUD

The term “disasterpiece” is sometimes used to describe big-budget, high prestige films that end up being bloated, brilliant failures.  This match is wrestling’s equivalent of a “disasterpiece”.  As bad as it may be, the spectacle is fascinating, and if you’ve never seen this match, it truly is a must-see for all the wrong reasons.


“The Landscape of the WWE Has Been Drastically Changed”: Closing Thoughts

WWE Brock Lesnar Return

With most WWE DVD releases, the answers to the questions “Is this a good DVD?” and “Would you recommend someone buy this DVD?” are the same.  In this case, though, the answers to those questions are going to be different for an umber of fans.  Yes, this is a good DVD with some classic matches, and I had no problems sitting back and enjoying it.  However, for a good number of fans, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying it.

The main reason this DVD is so good is because of a great collection of bonus matches.  Lesnar was great in the ring, and it shows throughout Discs 2 and 3.  Most of the great matches are available on other DVD’s, though.  If you are missing a good number of these matches from your collection, then I would heartily recommend this DVD.  If you followed WWE in 2002 and 2003, you will probably enjoy the nostalgia trip as well.  If your main reason to pick up the DVD is for the documentary or new interview, I don’t think there is enough here to justify the purchase.  There are a few bonus segments on Disc 1, including Lesnar’s WWE debut and his 2012 return, and I am happy that I have both of these moments on DVD.  I’d be shocked if Lesnar’s return isn’t on this year’s best of Raw & SmackDown set, though.  Again, this DVD is very enjoyable, but if you are a long time collector, you probably already have a good number of these matches on DVD (not to mention the original documentary).

Buy it :: Amazon US.   Silver Vision UK.   Shock Australia.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll be back next week with a review brought to you by the New World Order.

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33 Comments left on this article...

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  1. Jacob Gutierrez says:

    I am a HUGE fan of Brock Lesnar and really look forward to watching this Blu-Ray Set but what I’m bothered by is that I don’t see the Stretcher Match against Big Show for the WWE Championship from the Original 2003 DVD Release listed on this Blu-Ray Set and some of the chapters from the Documentary aren’t there either like Road to Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania, Training for Summerslam and one other one.

  2. Deon says:

    It’s definitely worth getting considering the previous DVD release had only 5 matches as extras! My only complaint about it was ironically the part I was looking forward to the most: Lesnar talking. I thought he was going to go into detail about his career or at least give his thoughts on his matches and feuds, but you get throwaway interviews instead. All you need to know about everything he said is that he is a tough guy and he will be WWE (or World) Champion again.

  3. Anonymous says:

    you lesnar fans are losers. just kill yourselves already. trust me no one will miss you when you’re gone.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else notice they blurred out benoits name on the stretcher match video package on the documentary?

    • Brad Attitude says:

      yeah i noticed it. wwe also cut out benoit being powerbombed by undertaker when he became the number 1 contender to lesnar’s title.

  5. Nick says:

    Can we finally have the attitude era listing now.

  6. Brad Attitude says:

    I’m waiting for my blu-ray copy to arrive in the mail. As a huge Lesnar fan follower from WWE to Japan to UFC and back to WWE, this is definetly my bluray of the year as far as wrestling goes. I just wish the review here was done for the bluray although the review itself was fun to read as it was short, simple and to the point … So many classic matches I’ll be revisiting here.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m neither a Lesnar nor nWo fan, but I really believe the Lesnar release to be SO MUCH better from the perspective of the match listing.

    The nWo release resembles a match listing compiled to showcase why WCW went out of business. Terrible match listings that really spoiled this release that was arguably the one I was most looking forward to in the last half of the year. Not anymore.

    On the other hand, the Lesnar Blu-Ray has great matches with the likes of Angle, Rock, Flair, Hogan, Mysterio, Cena and the Undertaker. It’s really a must have if you were a fan of the early 2000s era or if you skipped out on that era and want to see some of the best portions that you missed.

    And, this is coming from a guy who VERY MUCH preferred the late 90s WCW wrestling product to everything that’s followed it.

  8. Jesus Lopez says:

    Great review. I already own the original release (which I found to be great-no filler!). What brings me back to this set in 2012 is extra matches it provides. This review is on the money and I agree with it completely. As a Lesnar fan, yes, you want it. Everyone else, don’t feel the need to sprint to this one-You are fine with the original release. Once again, great review and I look forward to your thoughts on the nWo release.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I own the original copy I liked it but when I heard this was coming outon blu ray with a more complete match listing it was a no doubt must have for me and all the match look great in dvd. as for as wwe forcusing you to buy blu ray its not so much them forcing you it is the demand of the format blu ray holds allot more content as we can see with the loaded blu ray extras of punks blu ray

  10. Vincenzzzzzo says:

    Thanks for the review. I just picked up the Collectors Edition Blu-ray this past Saturday, but haven’t watched it yet though. Will watch it sometime this week when I have the time to enjoy it more. I really enjoyed the sit down interview Lesnar gave when he returned earlier this year, and glad they broke it up in parts between the matches. Very entertaining interview.

  11. Scott says:

    My local Walmart actually has this on Blu, and the CM Punk set as well. First Blu sets I have seen at that store since The Rock set earlier this year. I pretty much get every new WWE release through Amazon so its no big deal to me personally, but the Blu’s won’t sell very well if you don’t put them where people can find them.

  12. Fer says:

    Nowadays the WWE is kinda forcing you to get blu-ray the sets just feel incomplete without the blu-ray extras

    • CRG says:

      Yeah they are. Infact I just bought my first blu ray player because I felt WWE forced it on me. Knowing that they are cheaper then what I paid for my last dvd player is kind of annoying though.

    • Marty says:

      To some degree, I feel it’s the other way around. Where I’m located, WWE Blu-rays don’t consistently arrive in nearby stores, but the DVDs do. I guess if you want to make the argument that the BRs have more, then yes, but at the same time, they’re not taking the same amount of chances on BR sets (mainly with distribution) that other home video entertainment (movies, TV shows) are. Just my opinion based on observation.

      Anyways, that Smackdown match vs. Mysterio is a treat. Totally forgot it existed. Never thought there’d be such a thing as a hidden gem between a WWE-turned-UFC star and one of the highest drawing/most exciting Mexican stars they’ve had, but this would be it. Well, worth checking out either the DVD/BR sets for that match.

    • Dave says:

      Not only WWE but the entire movie industry are pushing Blu-ray to consumers. These days the DVDs are barebones and the Blu-ray is loaded with special features.

      The PS3 was pushed with Blu-ray and studios started jumping from HD-DVD. Warner Bro. going exclusive to Blu-ray was the nail in the coffin for HD-DVD…i’m actually glad i waited to collect Blu-rays once HD-DVD was discontinued.

  13. Nick says:

    Anyone want to give ratings for the blu ray matches.

    • Joe Israel says:

      I haven’t seen it in a while, but I can tell you I remember really enjoying the Vengeance 2003 triple threat match, which is a bonus feature on the Blu Ray.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d rank vs. Flair, the 6 man tag, and the Rock/HHH/Brock match at around three stars. I’d say vs. Cena and the Show/Angle/Brock one are four stars.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree blu ray, was worth it!

  15. nightmare says:

    Great review thanks that sucks that they cut out where Taker throws Lesnar through the Unforgiven logo).I wonder why that was one of the best part of the match .

  16. Anonymous says:

    Get the Blu-Ray, not the DVD if you can. Worth it for the extra matches.

  17. mommy says:

    good review, not to long or short, and your ratings are generally accurate

    your review is great for both casual and hardcore fans, a quick way to find out if the dvd is worth it without getting to nerdy about it

  18. Nick says:

    Just waiting for the blu ray in the mail, haven’t seen that iron man match since it aired. Probably a good thing a new doc wasn’t made, if he’s not a good interview forget it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    is the iron man match ithe full version with what happened during commercial breaks and everything?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, its the complete match and no fade to black during commercials…you just don’t hear the commentary.

      • Anonymous says:

        Great going to order this set now, glad now that I did not buy that other shitty set only for the full Iron Man Match

  20. Dennis says:

    I know this is completely unrelated, but any word on when we’ll see any content listings for the Attitude Era dvd? Should it be any time soon?

    • Dave says:

      Possibly sometime next week.

      Actually looking forward to it, especially how the format will play out…i assume will be matches in chronological order with segments in-between.

  21. mason says:

    oddnhow they did not put the cena lesnar match from this year because they have his return on here but not his return match just seems odd to me not that i care much cuz i have extreme rules on dvd i beleave its a blu ray exclusive sorry for bad spelling

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