I thought the first showdown with Bane was pretty good actually. It was brutal and violent and hard to watch, just like you would expect it to be. And maybe Batman should have been better prepared, but he (like us) probably didn't expect Bane to be so hard to take down. Since he basically looked like just another big, musclebound stooge.
I do think Nolan probably made Bane a little TOO tough and unstoppable though. Despite his size, we should still have seen Batman doing more damage than he did, with the armor he was wearing and the powerful punches he was throwing.
The movie basically made it look like he was fighting Hulk or Superman or something, which seems a bit far-fetched.