Brock Lesnar’s “suplex city” statement has coined t-shirts and memes since he first uttered it. But did you know that the remark pre-dates Lesnar uttering it this year by some 12 years? No? Then read on to find out who first uttered the phrase.
It was at Wrestlemania 31 against Roman Reigns where the ‘Beast’ Brock Lesnar coined the phrase…”Suplex City!” Ever since Lesnar screamed out those words on the biggest show of the year…it seemed to take on a life of its own. Fans chant it in the arenas…countless memes have been created about it and merchandise like T-shirts are now in stores.
Why has such a simple phrase become so popular? Perhaps its because of the man who uttered it…Brock Lesnar. Lesnar is a believable and legitimate bad ass and it just seems like he can do no wrong. What if I told you, that the original Suplex city wasn’t founded in 2015…but in 2003?
Oh sure, the suplex maneuver has been around for years and years and years. There have been countless “masters of the suplex” or “su-play” as the dean Gordon Solie use to call it. From Harley Race to Chris Benoit to Taz to Kurt Angle….there have been many memorable moments with that wrestling move used. There was one night, however, that the original Suplex city seemed to have been founded and stands out…but for all the wrong reasons.
In 2002, after a tremendously successful stint with WCW….Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner joined the WWE. While this wasn’t Steiner’s first go around with the company…it was the first in his new solo gimmick as the genetic freak. At the Survivor Series of that year….Scott Steiner returned to a thunderous Madison Square Garden ovation. His reaction was a sign that Steiner would be a major force in the WWE for awhile to come.
It did appear to be that way…at first…as Steiner was being groomed to feud with the World Champion Triple H. Their title match was booked for the Royal Rumble in January of 2003. It was built up with a lot of hype and a whole lot of expectations. The Game versus The Big Bad Booty Daddy….The cerebral assassin versus a true real life ticking time bomb in Scott Steiner. Both chiseled out of granite…both capable wrestlers both in the ring and on the mic. While Triple H could break down an opponent with his words…Steiner was the unpredictable one with a live microphone.
The match at the Royal Rumble had all the makings of a true classic encounter. That’s what fans were expecting…what they got instead was the original “Suplex City.” Now, while that catchphrase was still over 12 years away from birth….the match between Triple H and Steiner was the foundations to that imaginary location.
It was a solid 18 minutes of…what else…suplexes. With an added suplex here and another suplex there….maybe a rest hold to catch their breath…and then Steiner would go back to the classic belly to belly suplexes. Followed by other variations….Repeatedly!!!
You would think that all those suplexes would put the WWE fans into a chaotic frenzy. It worked so well with Kurt Angle suplexing the hell out of Shane McMahon and of course it worked with Lesnar against both Reigns and John Cena. You would be wrong if you thought that, because all there was was dead silence…followed by groans…followed by the dreaded boring chants.
A full 18 minutes of uncomfortable…excruciating suplexes that not only killed the match…but killed any momentum Steiner might have had prior to that match and essentially buried him completely. So what happened? It apparently was more complex then you’d think.
Scott Steiner had a history of foot issues. At the time of his signing with the WWE….Steiner had severe nerve damage in his foot known as “Drop Foot Syndrome.” It’s an injury where a person’s foot is basically paralyzed. Add to that, Triple H was also dealing with a partially torn quadriceps muscle. With both wrestlers dealing with debilitating injuries….it might have made more sense to postpone their title match…or just make it short and sweet. Yet, we all had to endure 18 minutes of boredom and a burial of Scott Steiner.
It was a match that Steiner never recovered from for the rest of his WWE tenure. He wound up getting foot surgery after departing the company. So next time you hear Brock or Paul Heyman talk about Suplex City…never forget that even though Brock is the mayor…Scott Steiner was the governor.