Brock Lesnar

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Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar April 2014.jpg
Lesnar on Raw in April 2014
Born Brock Edward Lesnar
(1977-07-12) July 12, 1977 (age 37)
Webster, South Dakota, U.S.
Residence Alexandria, Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Professional wrestler, mixed martial artist
Years active 2000-2007, 2012-present (wrestler)
2006-2011 (MMA fighter)
Spouse(s) Rena Greek (m. 2006)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Brock Lesnar
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Billed weight 286 lb (130 kg)
Billed from Minneapolis, Minnesota
Trained by Ohio Valley Wrestling
Debut October 2000

Brock Edward Lesnar[2] (/ˈlɛznər/; born July 12, 1977)[2] is an American professional wrestler and former professional mixed martial artist.[3] He is currently signed with WWE, where he is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in his fourth reign. Lesnar is also a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NCAA Division I Heavyweight Wrestling Champion,[4][5] making him the only person to have won a WWE championship, UFC championship, and NCAA wrestling championship.

After his successful amateur wrestling career at the University of Minnesota, Lesnar signed with WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) in 2000. He was assigned to its developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling, where he was a three-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion (with Shelton Benjamin). After debuting on WWE's main roster in 2002, he won the WWE Championship on three separate occasions with victories over The Rock and Kurt Angle (twice). Lesnar won his first WWE Championship at the age of 25, making him the youngest WWE Champion ever. He was also the 2002 King of the Ring and winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble, making him the youngest Royal Rumble winner as well.[6][7]

Immediately following his match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar left the WWE and pursued a career in the National Football League (NFL).[8] He played during the preseason for the Minnesota Vikings but was cut prior to the start of the 2004–05 season.[9] In 2005, Lesnar returned to professional wrestling and signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match. After a contractual dispute with NJPW, he also wrestled as IWGP Champion in the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).[1]

After again leaving professional wrestling, Lesnar signed with Hero's to pursue a career in MMA and won his first fight, against Min Soo Kim, in June 2007.[10] He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in October 2007. He lost his UFC debut against Frank Mir and then won his second fight against Heath Herring. On November 15, 2008, Lesnar defeated Randy Couture to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. In 2009, he was sidelined due to diverticulitis but would return at UFC 116 to defeat Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin and unify the heavyweight championships, becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion. Lesnar then lost the championship to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. In 2011, he was once again sidelined due to diverticulitis and underwent surgery.[11] Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December 2011, losing to Alistair Overeem and promptly retired from MMA.[12]

Lesnar was a box office sensation in UFC. He took part in five of the highest selling pay-per-views in UFC history, three of which he main-evented.[13] Due to the pay-per-view bonuses and fight purses, Lesnar became the highest paid UFC fighter in 2010 and was on the ESPN list of highest paid athletes in 30 sports.[14]

On April 2, 2012, Lesnar returned to the WWE after an eight-year hiatus. On April 6, 2014, at WrestleMania XXX, he defeated The Undertaker and ended his undefeated WrestleMania streak. On August 17, 2014, at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated John Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for the fourth time. Lesnar has headlined numerous pay-per-view events in WWE, including WrestleMania XIX.

Early life

Lesnar was born in Webster, South Dakota, the son of Stephanie and Richard Lesnar.[15] He grew up on a dairy farm and joined the National Guard at age 17.[16] He attended Webster High School, where he had a wrestling record of 33–0–0 in his senior year.[16] He then attended Bismarck State College, where he would win the National Junior college wrestling championship during his sophomore year.[17] He transferred to the University of Minnesota on a full wrestling scholarship for his junior and senior years of college. There, he was roommates with fellow wrestler Shelton Benjamin, who served as his assistant coach.[18]

Lesnar won the 2000 NCAA Division I heavyweight wrestling championship his senior year after being the runner-up the year prior. He finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, 1998 NJCAA Heavyweight Champion, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and the 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion with a record of 106–5 overall in four years of college.[19]

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2000–2004)

Training and debut (2000–2002)

In 2000, after graduating college, Lesnar signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was sent to its developmental territory, the Ohio Valley Wrestling.Lesnar was approached by Paul Heyman, who gave him some advice.[20] There, he formed a tag team known as "The Minnesota Stretching Crew" with his former college roommate, Shelton Benjamin. Lesnar and Benjamin won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three separate occasions.[21] Lesnar wrestled several dark matches in 2001 and 2002 before being called up to the main roster.[1]

Lesnar debuted on WWF television on the March 18, 2002 episode of Raw, coming through the crowd and attacking Al Snow, Maven, and Spike Dudley during their match. He was accompanied by Paul Heyman, who was seen giving instructions to Lesnar.[22] When the brand extension was introduced in the WWF, Lesnar was drafted to the Raw brand.[23] Later, Heyman was confirmed to be Lesnar's agent and gave Lesnar the nickname "The Next Big Thing".[24] Lesnar's first feud was with the Hardy Boyz. Lesnar and Jeff Hardy squared off at Backlash in Lesnar's first official televised match.[1] He won the match by knockout after Hardy was unable to respond to referee Theodore Long.[25][26] The next night on Raw Lesnar faced off against Jeff Hardy's brother Matt Hardy and defeated him in the same fashion.[27]

WWE Champion (2002–2004)

Lesnar at a WWE show in 2003.

In June 2002, Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament, defeating Rob Van Dam in the final round,[6] earning him a shot at the Undisputed WWE Championship at SummerSlam. On July 22, Lesnar joined the SmackDown brand.[28] After a quick feud with Hollywood Hulk Hogan in August 2002, Lesnar began feuding with the Undisputed WWE Champion, The Rock.[29] At SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated The Rock to become the Undisputed WWE Champion and youngest WWE Champion at age 25 (a record previously held by The Rock). At the time, the Undisputed WWE Championship was being defended on both brands, so Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff expected Lesnar to be able to return to Raw the following night. However, SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon announced that Lesnar's contract only required him to defend the title on SmackDown, forcing Bischoff to institute a new championship for Raw (the World Heavyweight Championship). Afterwards, the Undisputed WWE Championship became known as simply the WWE Championship.[30]

Lesnar's rapid rise to the top of WWE in 2002 led to a feud with The Undertaker, which involved a match at Unforgiven.[31] The match ended in a double disqualification resulting in Lesnar retaining the title. Lesnar faced The Undertaker again, at No Mercy, this time in a Hell in a Cell match. Leading up to the match, (kayfabe) Lesnar broke the Undertaker's hand with a propane tank.[32] Despite Heyman begging McMahon not to let The Undertaker use his cast as a weapon, the request was denied and the match went on as planned.[33] In a match that saw both wrestlers and even Heyman covered in blood, it ended when Lesnar reversed an attempted Tombstone piledriver into his finishing F-5 maneuver for the win.[31] Six days after his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker, Lesnar successfully retained his WWE title in a Handicap match with Heyman at the Rebellion pay-per-view against Edge.[34]

Lesnar's next opponent was the Big Show. Heyman was convinced more than anyone that Lesnar could not win, trying to talk him out of defending the title.[35] Lesnar refused and would face the Big Show in Madison Square Garden at the Survivor Series pay-per-view. Towards the end of the match, Lesnar delivered an F-5 to the Big Show but when he went for the pin, he was betrayed by Heyman who pulled the referee out of the ring. This allowed the Big Show to capitalize and proceeded to chokeslam Lesnar on a steel chair. Show went on to pin Lesnar and win the title. This loss was Lesnar's first pinfall loss in WWE and led to Lesnar's first face turn.[36] Following Survivor Series, Heyman made it clear that Lesnar would not get a rematch, and had snuck a special clause saying so into his contract.[37] In order to gain his revenge on Big Show and Heyman, Lesnar interfered in his first title defense, which came against Kurt Angle the next month at Armageddon. Lesnar hit the F-5 on the champion, which enabled Angle to pin him and win the title. On the next edition of SmackDown, however, Angle introduced Heyman as his manager and, despite promising Lesnar a title shot earlier in the evening, declared that Lesnar still would not get it. Lesnar was beaten down by Big Show and Angle after the main event, but would get his revenge after the show went off the air. He eventually knocked the Big Show out with a steel chair, leaving Angle alone with Lesnar. Lesnar then chased the champion out of the ring and resumed his assault that culminated when Lesnar used the F-5 to propel Angle's right knee into the steel ringpost. As paramedics tended to a screaming Angle, Lesnar finished off the assault with a kneebreaker on the ringside barricade, (kayfabe) breaking the champion's leg.

With Angle temporarily put out of action, Lesnar's rivalry with Heyman and the Big Show resumed, which culminated in a match at the Royal Rumble in January 2003. A spot in the Royal Rumble match was on the line, and winning the match was Lesnar's only hope for a title shot. Lesnar defeated Big Show to gain entry into the match and entered at #29, the second to last competitor to enter the match. He eliminated Matt Hardy and The World's Greatest Tag Team, which was composed of Charlie Haas and his former OVW teammate, Shelton Benjamin, who were mentored by the WWE champion. Lesnar would eliminate the Undertaker last and win the Royal Rumble, which guaranteed him a title match at WrestleMania XIX.[36]

Lesnar suffered a concussion after botching a shooting star press at WrestleMania XIX.

After the Royal Rumble, Lesnar's feud with Angle, Heyman, and their allies continued as Angle retained the title at the Rumble by defeating Chris Benoit. Lesnar and Benoit faced off against Angle, Haas, and Benjamin at No Way Out the following month and Lesnar's team won the match. This helped to forward the feud leading into the main event at WrestleMania.[36] During the match, Lesnar botched a shooting star press, a move he's done numerous times in developmental matches, and jammed his head and neck by hitting Angle's side and ribcage. Lesnar overestimated the distance he could jump to execute the move and did not get enough rotation on his leap. This stunned Lesnar and forced Angle and Lesnar to improvise the finish of the match. Lesnar would finish the match and pin Angle, after delivering an F-5, to win his second WWE Championship. Lesnar was later diagnosed with a concussion from the botched move.[36]

After WrestleMania, Lesnar turned his attention to John Cena, who had returned from injury in February 2003 and who had been F-5'd into a ringpost in the same manner Angle had been. Cena claimed Lesnar nearly ended his career and even named his new finishing move the "F.U." as a jab at the new champion.[38] The feud ended relatively quickly in a match at Backlash when Lesnar defeated Cena. On the following SmackDown, Lesnar returned to his rivalry with Big Show after he injured Rey Mysterio badly during their match at Backlash. Show's attack resulted in Mysterio being carried out on a stretcher and back board and Big Show took Mysterio off the stretcher and swung the back board into the ringpost, compounding the injury.[36] Lesnar called out the Big Show, who demanded that Lesnar put his title on the line against him. This led to a Stretcher match at Judgment Day for the title. Lesnar successfully retained his title with help from Rey Mysterio and a forklift.[39] During the scripted rivalry, on SmackDown, Lesnar lifted Big Show off the top-rope in a Superplex which caused the ring to collapse on impact.[40]

As Lesnar and Big Show continued their rivalry, Kurt Angle returned from his neck surgery and he and Lesnar began to form a more friendly rivalry, as the two were allies yet contenders for the title. At the first ever SmackDown brand-exclusive pay-per-view in July, Vengeance, Lesnar took on Angle and Big Show in a No Disqualification Triple Threat match for his title, which ended after Angle hit his Angle Slam on both Big Show and Lesnar, pinning the champion to become WWE Champion for a fourth time.[36]

Lesnar and Kurt Angle after their WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XIX.

Lesnar continued to chase Angle's title despite their friendship. Vince McMahon found his way into the angle, at first berating Lesnar, who had involved himself in McMahon's rivalry with Zach Gowen, for losing to Angle. This all turned out to be a huge swerve that came into focus on the August 7, 2003 SmackDown in Kelowna, British Columbia. That night, Lesnar and McMahon were to face each other in a steel cage match with Angle as the special guest referee as per McMahon's orders on the previous week's program. During the match, Lesnar had passed out due to a staged backstage incident and McMahon was set to pin him but Angle refused to allow McMahon to win that way. As the two men began to argue, Lesnar rose to his feet, revealing the ruse to the crowd, and F-5'd Angle. He then brutally beat Angle while McMahon watched, and celebrated with him afterwards, turning heel in the process.[41]

At SummerSlam,[42] Lesnar lost to Angle when Angle made Lesnar tap out to the ankle lock.[43] After that, Lesnar would cement his heel turn by brutalizing smaller wrestlers and attacking his rivals on a more consistent basis. He returned to using the F-5 to propel his opponents' legs into the ringpost, as he did to Spanky and Gowen, and interfered in Angle's matches on two separate occasion.

On September 18, 2003, Lesnar received his third shot at Angle in as many months when he faced the champion in a sixty-minute Iron Man match for the title in what is considered by many as one of the greatest matches in SmackDown history.[44] Lesnar employed an early strategy where he assaulted the champion with a steel chair early in the match, getting himself disqualified to fall behind one fall but doing a fair amount of damage to Angle in the process. Lesnar won the next three falls by hitting Angle with the F-5 and pinning him, putting Angle's own ankle lock on him and forcing him to submit, and then getting Angle counted out after hitting a second F-5 on the floor. Angle recovered to pin the champion after an Angle Slam, but Lesnar pinned him two more times by first leveling him with the championship belt while the referee's back was turned and then hitting a superplex from the top. That made it five falls to two in favor of the challenger with the match more than halfway over. Later, Angle delivered a belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope and pinned Lesnar. Shortly after that, Angle used the ankle lock and Lesnar tapped out. For the final two minutes of the match, with Angle only trailing by one fall, Lesnar tried to dodge Angle by leaving the ring on several occasions. Angle finally caught the champion with 1:12 left and hit a series of German suplexes, keeping Lesnar locked up for nearly 45 seconds. Lesnar then grabbed hold of the referee and kicked Angle below the belt with :35 left without the referee seeing. Despite this, Angle was still able to lock in the ankle lock again, applying a grapevine hold to the lock this time, wrenching hard on Lesnar's ankle for the final fifteen seconds of the bout. Lesnar was able to withstand the hold until time ran out and as a result, won the match and his third WWE Championship by a final count of five to four.[45]

With Angle finally out of his hair for the first time in nearly a year, Lesnar returned to feuding with The Undertaker. Lesnar had previously cost Undertaker the title in a match against then-champion Kurt Angle, which granted him a shot at Lesnar's title.[46] At No Mercy, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Biker Chain match.[47] The rivalry then came to an end after the Undertaker chose to focus on Vince McMahon.

After Paul Heyman returned to WWE as general manager of SmackDown, Lesnar aligned himself with his former manager. Since he had also since been aligning himself with his former rival the Big Show for several weeks after his betrayal of Angle, this brought Lesnar almost full circle from the year prior, where Heyman and Big Show had conspired with each other to rid Lesnar of his title. With Survivor Series coming up, Lesnar decided to challenge Angle to a traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match. Lesnar chose Big Show as his first teammate, with Heyman adding a returning Nathan Jones and a debuting Matt Morgan to bring the team number to four. Angle chose Chris Benoit and The APA to join his team. However, Faarooq was injured during a match with Lesnar and Big Show and Angle's team was forced to not only find a replacement for him, but to fill the fifth spot. Lesnar's team picked A-Train to fill that spot for them after he attacked John Cena, who refused to accept an invitation to join Lesnar's team. Cena instead joined Angle's team, and Angle added Hardcore Holly as the fifth member; Lesnar had injured Holly the year before and he hadn't wrestled since.[48] In the climax of the match, Chris Benoit became only the second wrestler to make Lesnar tap out.[47]

Lesnar faced Benoit in a singles bout two weeks later for the WWE Championship on SmackDown, where Lesnar won after Benoit passed out to Lesnar's debuting Brock Lock submission hold.[49] He then began a brief feud with Hardcore Holly, defeating him at the Royal Rumble in January 2004 to retain his title.

Departure (2004)

Lesnar demonstrating his strength during a SmackDown taping in February 2004.

The Survivor Series event marked the first time Lesnar met Goldberg from the Raw brand, a man to whom Lesnar had been compared due to their similar physiques and undefeated streaks in wrestling. Lesnar claimed in a backstage interview that he could beat anybody in the world, leading to Goldberg interrupting the interview and introducing himself to Lesnar, shaking hands with him before leaving with a staredown.[47] Lesnar followed this rivalry with a feud involving Hardcore Holly.[50] In the storyline, Holly wanted revenge on Lesnar for legitimately injuring his neck during a previous match between the two in 2002 which left Holly in need of neck surgery and out of action for a year. At the Royal Rumble in 2004, Lesnar defeated Holly to retain the WWE Championship.[51] Later in the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar attacked Goldberg and delivered an F-5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him.[47]

In February, Lesnar faced Eddie Guerrero for the title at No Way Out. Goldberg interfered in the match and was able to help Guerrero turn the tide in the match. Lesnar still had his chance to win by nailing an F-5 onto his title belt that he brought into the ring, but Guerrero countered with a DDT to drive the champion into the belt. After a frog splash, Guerrero pinned Lesnar to win the WWE Championship. An angry Lesnar then began feuding with Goldberg, blaming him for losing his title, and a match was set up between the two at WrestleMania XX.[52] During the feud with Goldberg, Lesnar was at odds with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was shown suggesting to Goldberg that he attack Lesnar at No Way Out.[53] When Lesnar attacked Austin on Raw and stole his four-wheeler, Austin was inserted as the special guest referee for the Wrestlemania match.[54] Behind the scenes, it was widely known that the match was Goldberg's last in WWE. Only a week before Wrestlemania, rumors surfaced that Lesnar, too, was leaving to pursue a career in the National Football League.[55] As a result, Lesnar's match with Goldberg became a fiasco as the fans at Madison Square Garden jeered and heckled both wrestlers vociferously.[56] Goldberg gained victory after delivering a Jackhammer to Lesnar and both men subsequently received Stone Cold Stunners from Austin.[56]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2005–2007)

On October 8, 2005, Lesnar won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match with Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in the Tokyo Dome.[57] Lesnar won the match by pinning Masahiro Chono after an F-5, which he had renamed the Verdict since WWE owns the trademark on the F-5 name.[1] After the match, he stated that this name was referring to his lawsuit against WWE. The match was his first pro wrestling match since leaving WWE.[1] Lesnar is one of the few American wrestlers to have held this title.[57]

On December 6, WWE filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent Lesnar from continuing to work with NJPW, but the court did not grant it. Following that, Lesnar had two non-title victories against Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata.[58][59] Lesnar successfully defended his championship on January 4, 2006, against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura.[58] On January 13, WWE once again filed an injunction against Lesnar to stop him from defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship which was also not enforced as he went on to retain his championship against former Sumo Wrestling Grand Champion Akebono after Lesnar hit him with the championship belt and a DDT on March 19, at the Sumo Hall.[60] Lesnar had another successful title defense against the winner of the New Japan Cup, Giant Bernard, on May 3, 2006, in Fukuoka. This was the first American vs. American title match in NJPW since Vader vs. Stan Hansen in 1990.[61]

On July 15, 2006, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced Lesnar would not return to defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship due to "visa issues" and had been stripped of the title. A tournament was held on July 16 to determine the new champion which was won by Hiroshi Tanahashi. Lesnar continued to possess the physical IWGP Championship belt until late June 2007.[62]

Approximately one year later on June 29, 2007, Lesnar defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle in a champion versus champion match. Inoki Genome Federation promoter Antonio Inoki had stated Lesnar was the "proper" IWGP Champion as he was not defeated for the title. Angle would defeat Lesnar to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as recognized by IGF and TNA.[62][63] This was Lesnar's last match as a professional wrestler until 2012, when he re-signed with WWE.

Lawsuit

Lesnar had previously signed a no-compete clause in order to be released from his contract with WWE, which prohibited him from working for any other sports entertainment or mixed martial arts companies before June 2010. Lesnar had anticipated leaving wrestling entirely, but his inability to secure a career in professional football led to him challenging this ruling in court.[64] WWE responded by demanding damages as a result of Lesnar allegedly breaching the agreement by appearing at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in 2004.[65] In July 2005, the two sides dropped their claims and entered negotiations to renew their relationship.[66] WWE had offered Lesnar a contract, but on August 2, 2005, WWE's official website reported that Lesnar had withdrawn from any involvement with the company.[67] The lawsuit was then entered into settlement on September 21, but talks broke down.[68][69]

On January 14, 2006, Judge Christopher Droney stated that unless WWE gave him a good argument between then and the 25th, he would rule in favor of Lesnar, giving him a summary judgment. This would have enabled Lesnar to work anywhere, immediately.[70] WWE was later granted a deadline postponement.[71] On April 24, WWE announced on WWE.com that both parties had mutually come to a settlement and on June 12, a federal judge dismissed Lesnar's lawsuit against WWE after both parties requested the case be dismissed.[72]

Return to WWE (2012–present)

Brock Lesnar faces off with John Cena after his return in April 2012.

Lesnar returned to the WWE on April 2, 2012, on Raw, confronting and delivering an F-5 to John Cena.[73][74] The following week on Raw, general manager John Laurinaitis revealed that he signed Lesnar to bring "legitimacy" back to the WWE and become the "new face of the WWE". Laurinaitis also announced that Lesnar would face Cena at Extreme Rules with the Extreme Rules stipulation later added to the match.[75] Lesnar was dominant throughout the match until Cena punched Lesnar in the face with a steel chain wrapped around his fist. Cena then delivered the Attitude Adjustment to Lesnar onto steel steps and Lesnar lost the match.[76]

The following night on Raw, WWE's Chief Operating Officer Triple H refused to give in to Lesnar's unreasonable contract demands, resulting in Lesnar attacking him and (kayfabe) breaking his arm with a kimura lock.[77][78] The next week, Paul Heyman made his return as Lesnar's legal representative and claimed that Lesnar was quitting WWE.[77] He later announced a lawsuit against WWE for breach of contract.[77][79] At No Way Out in June, Triple H challenged Lesnar, who was not present, to a match at SummerSlam[80] which Lesnar refused.[81] Stephanie McMahon would later goad Heyman into accepting the match on Lesnar's behalf on July 23 at Raw 1000.[82][83] On August 19, at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Triple H in a No Disqualification match via submission after once again (kayfabe) breaking his arm with the Kimura.[84][85] The following night on Raw, Lesnar crowned himself the new King of Kings and touted that he would depart with his victory over Triple H stating that he had conquered everything in the WWE.[86][87]

Lesnar returned on the January 28, 2013, episode of Raw, confronting Vince McMahon who was about to fire Heyman. Despite Heyman's pleas, Lesnar hit McMahon with an F-5,[88] effectively (kayfabe) breaking McMahon's pelvis.[89] The following week, during The Miz's MizTV talk show, Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero revealed herself as the one who signed Lesnar to a new contract to impress McMahon. Afterwards, Lesnar came out and attacked Miz.[90] On the February 25 episode of Raw, Lesnar once again attempted to attack McMahon, only to get into a brawl with the returning Triple H, which resulted in Lesnar having his head split open and requiring eighteen stitches.[91] The following week, Triple H issued a challenge to Lesnar, requesting a rematch with him at WrestleMania 29, which Lesnar accepted but only after Triple signed a contract and Lesnar named the stipulation.[92][93] The following week, after Triple H signed the contract and assaulted Heyman, the stipulation was revealed as No Holds Barred with Triple H's career on the line.[94] Lesnar ended up losing the match after Triple H hit him with a Pedigree onto the steel steps.[95] On the April 15 episode of Raw, Lesnar attacked 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal) before Heyman challenged Triple H to face Lesnar in a Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules,[96] which Triple H accepted the following week.[97] On May 19, at the pay-per-view, he defeated Triple H in a steel-cage match and ended their feud.[98]

Brock Lesnar as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2014.

Lesnar returned on the June 17 episode of Raw, attacking Heyman's fellow client CM Punk with an F-5.[99] Despite the accusations from Punk, Heyman claimed that he was not behind Lesnar's attack on him.[100] However, in July, Heyman turned on Punk,[101] and claimed that Punk could not beat Lesnar, which led to Lesnar making his return and attacking Punk on the July 15 episode of Raw.[102] The following week on Raw, Punk challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam, which Heyman accepted on Lesnar's behalf.[103] On the August 12 edition of Raw, Punk attacked Lesnar with a camera and steel chair after Heyman tried to trap Punk by having him fight both him and Lesnar instead of the scheduled match of Punk versus Heyman.[104] Six days later at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Punk in a No Disqualification match.[105] On the December 30, 2013 episode of Raw, Lesnar returned with Heyman to announce his intentions to challenge the winner of the upcoming WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton and John Cena at the Royal Rumble. Lesnar then dared any wrestler who disapproved of that notion to challenge him, which was answered by Mark Henry. A brawl would ensue, ending with Lesnar delivering an F-5 to Henry.[106] The following week on Raw, Henry challenged Lesnar again, only to have Lesnar (kayfabe) dislocate his elbow with the Kimura. Big Show then came out and confronted Lesnar. There was a short physical confrontation between the two, starting a feud which was settled at Royal Rumble when Lesnar defeated the Big Show after attacking him with a steel chair before the match began.[107]

On the February 24, 2014 episode of Raw, Heyman stated that Lesnar had requested a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, instead receiving an open contract to face anyone of his choosing at WrestleMania XXX. Heyman said that Lesnar felt insulted by this and that he would not be appearing at WrestleMania at all. The Undertaker then returned and chokeslammed Lesnar through a table,[108] setting up their match at WrestleMania. Lesnar would ultimately beat The Undertaker and end his undefeated WrestleMania streak at 21.

On the July 21, 2014 edition of Raw, Triple H announced that Lesnar would face John Cena at SummerSlam for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[109] At SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. During the match, he delivered 16 German suplexes and two F-5s to Cena, who barely got any offense in.[110] On the August 19 episode of Main Event, Triple H announced that Cena would invoke his championship rematch clause against Lesnar at Night of Champions. Lesnar wound up being disqualified due to Seth Rollins interfering, but Cena thereafter prevented Rollins from cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.

Football career

Brock Lesnar
No. 69
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1977-07-12) July 12, 1977 (age 37)
Place of birth: Webster, South Dakota
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 285 lb (129 kg)
Career information
High school: Webster High School
College: Minnesota
Undrafted in 2004
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2004
Games played --
Tackles --
Sacks --

After his final match at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar sidelined his career in WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League.[8] This move upset many in WWE, as the company felt they had invested heavily in Lesnar. They confirmed his departure on their official website (WWE.com) by the following statement:

Lesnar later told a Minnesota radio show that he had "three wonderful years" in WWE, but had grown unhappy and had always wanted to play pro football, adding that he did not want to be 40 years old and wondering if he could have "made it" in football. In an interview about the NFL, he stated:

Lesnar had a great showing at the NFL Combine and made the practice team for the Minnesota Vikings. On April 19, 2004, a minivan collided with his motorbike; he suffered a broken jaw and left hand, a bruised pelvis, and a pulled groin. He made a full recovery and attended the eight-week training camp for the Vikings in the summer, but ended up being cut at the end of the pre-season.[9] He received an invitation to play as a representative of the Vikings in NFL Europa, but declined because he wanted to be closer to home with his family.[9]

Mixed martial arts career

Brock Lesnar
Born Brock Edward Lesnar
(1977-07-12) July 12, 1977 (age 37)[17]
Webster, South Dakota[17]
Residence Alexandria, Minnesota
Nationality American[17]
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[113]
Weight 266 lb (121 kg; 19 st 0 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 81 in (206 cm)
Style Wrestling
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Alexandria, Minnesota
Team DeathClutch Gym
Trainer

Head Trainer: Marty Morgan[114]
MMA Coach: Greg Nelson

MMA Coach: Erik Paulson[115]
Boxing: Peter Welch[116]
Jiu-Jitsu: Rodrigo Medeiros[117]
Wrestling NCAA Division I Wrestling
Years active 2007–2011 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 8
Wins 5
By knockout 2
By submission 2
By decision 1
Losses 3
By knockout 2
By submission 1
Other information
University University of Minnesota
Spouse Sable
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: September 5, 2011 (2011-09-05)

Hero's (2007)

On April 29, 2006, after the final match of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2006 in Las Vegas, Lesnar announced his intent to join K-1's mixed martial arts league, Hero's. He trained with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson and Minnesota Assistant Head wrestling coach Marty Morgan.[118] Lesnar announced on August 12 in Las Vegas that he had signed a deal with the K-1 promotion.[119] His first fight was scheduled against Choi Hong-man of Korea on June 2, 2007, at the K-1 Dynamite!! USA show.[120][121] However, prior to the match, Hong-Man was replaced by Min Soo Kim. Lesnar submitted Soo Kim with strikes in 1:09 of the first round to win his first official MMA match.[10]

Ultimate Fighting Championship (2008–2011)

During UFC 77, it was announced that Lesnar had reached a deal to fight with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[3] On February 2, 2008, Lesnar made his debut with the promotion in an event titled UFC 81:Breaking Point against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir.[122] Due to his large hands,[123] Lesnar was wearing 4XL gloves for the fight, making him the second man in Nevada's combat sports history to wear such gloves after Choi Hong-man.[124] Lesnar secured an early takedown and began landing numerous punches but was deducted a point after a punch hit Mir on the back of the head. Following another takedown by Lesnar, Mir managed to secure a kneebar and force a submission at 1:30 of the first round and Lesnar lost in his UFC debut.[122] At UFC 82, former UFC Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer Mark Coleman was announced to fight Lesnar at UFC 87.[125] However, Coleman withdrew from the fight due to an injury and was replaced by Heath Herring.[126] Early in the first round, Lesnar dropped Herring with a straight right punch. For the rest of the fight, he kept it on the ground and won by unanimous decision.[127]

Lesnar's next opponent was Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91 on November 15.[128] Lesnar would beat Couture via a technical knockout in the second round and became the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.[129]

On December 27, 2008, at UFC 92, Frank Mir defeated Antônio Nogueira for the Interim Heavyweight Championship and was to face Lesnar for the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 98. Immediately after winning the Interim Heavyweight title, Mir found Lesnar in the crowd and shouted at him "You've got my belt." Due to a knee injury to Mir, the title unification match with Lesnar that was originally slated to be the UFC 98 main event was postponed.[130] Lesnar won the postponed rematch with Mir at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009, via technical knockout in the second round. The win earned Lesnar Beatdown of the Year honors, with Anderson Silva, from Sherdog for 2009.[131] During his post-match celebration, Lesnar flipped off the crowd who had been booing him. Lesnar also made a disparaging comment about the pay-per-view's primary sponsor Bud Light, claiming they "won't pay me nothin'" and promoted Coors Light instead. Lesnar later apologized for his remarks at the post-fight press conference, where he held a bottle of Bud Light and endorsed their product.[132]

In January 2009, Lesnar signed an endorsement deal with Dymatize Nutrition. A compact disc (CD) containing training footage of Lesnar was included with boxes of Dymatize Xpand and Energized Xpand.[133]

On July 1, 2009, it was reported that the winner of the Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez fight at UFC 104 would face Lesnar but the match was scrapped and Lesnar was scheduled to defend his belt against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21.[134] On October 26, 2009, it was announced that Lesnar pulled out of his Carwin bout due to an illness. UFC President Dana White said Lesnar had been ill for three weeks, claiming he had never been this sick in his life and that it would take him a while to recover; his fight with Carwin was rescheduled for UFC 108 on January 2, 2010.[135] Lesnar initially sought treatment in Canada but later told reporters that he had received "Third World treatment" at a hospital in Brandon, Manitoba, and that seeking better treatment in the USA saved his life. Lesnar, who describes himself as a conservative and supporter of the Republican Party, went on to criticize Canadian health care further and stated that he shared his experience in an effort to speak "on the behalf of the doctors in the United States that don't want health care reform to happen and neither do I."[136]

On November 4, it was confirmed that Lesnar was suffering from mononucleosis and that his bout with Carwin would have to wait a bit longer and the fight for Lesnar's heavyweight championship was cancelled.[137] On November 14, at the UFC 105 post-fight conference, Dana White stated, "[Lesnar]'s not well and he's not going to be getting well anytime soon" and that an interim title match might need to be set up.[138] In addition to mononucleosis, it was revealed that he was suffering from a serious case of diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder, which required surgery.[139] After further diagnosis, Lesnar underwent surgery on November 16 to close a perforation in his intestine that had been leaking fecal matter into his abdomen, causing pain, abscesses, and overtaxing his immune system to the point that he contracted mononucleosis. From the level of damage to Lesnar's system, the surgeon estimated that the intestinal condition had been ongoing for around a year.[140]

In January 2010, Lesnar announced on ESPN's SportsCenter that he was scheduled to make a return to the UFC in the summer.[141] A match between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin took place on March 27 at UFC 111 to determine the Interim Heavyweight Champion, and Lesnar's next opponent.[142] Carwin defeated Mir via knockout in the first round, becoming the new Interim Champion. After the fight, Brock came into the ring and stated "It was a good fight but he's wearing a belt that's a make believe belt. I've got the real championship belt."[143]

Lesnar faced Shane Carwin at UFC 116 to unify the heavyweight titles.[144] Early in the first round, Carwin knocked Lesnar down with punch, gave him a cut above his left eye, and used a ground and pound attack the rest of the round. In the next round, Lesnar was able to take Carwin down, attain a full mount, then move into side-control and finish the fight with an arm triangle choke. With the victory, Lesnar became the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, earning his first Submission Of The Night and giving Carwin his first loss.

Lesnar's next defense was against undefeated top contender Cain Velasquez on October 23, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California at UFC 121.[145] Dana White announced via SportsNation that the UFC would bring back UFC Primetime to hype the fight.[146] He was defeated by Velasquez for the title by TKO in the first round.[147]

On January 11, 2011, Lesnar was announced as a coach of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, opposite Junior dos Santos,[148] with the two expected to fight on June 11 at UFC 131,[149] however, he was struck with another bout of diverticulitis and had to withdraw from the bout on May 12.[150] He was replaced by Shane Carwin who lost against dos Santos at UFC 131.[151]

Lesnar underwent surgery on May 27 to help battle his problems with diverticulitis. Dana White said that he had a 12-inch piece of his colon removed.[11]

ESPN The Magazine, in its May 2011 issue, did a story listing the highest paid athlete based on base salary and earnings for the most recent calendar year or most recent season in 30 sports. Lesnar topped the list for MMA at $5.3 million, which included his reported bout salaries and estimated pay-per-view bonuses.[152]

In the summer of 2011. Lesnar announced that he was ready to get back into the Octagon, stating that "I feel like a new man. Healthy. Strong. I feel like I used to feel."[153] His return match was scheduled to be at UFC 141 on December 30 in Las Vegas against former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.[154] Overeem would win the fight by way of technical knockout in the first round.[155][156] The result of the fight is very controversial as Overeem later tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone prior to his next scheduled fight.[157] After the defeat, Lesnar announced his retirement from MMA, mentioning his struggles with diverticulitis and saying "tonight was the last time you'll see me in the octagon".[155][156]

Other media

In 2003, WWE Home Video released a DVD entitled Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain, chronicling Lesnar's career up until 2003. This set was re-released in 2012 as a 3 disc DVD and 2 disc Blu-ray Collectors edition to tie in with Lesnar's return to WWE and was expanded to include additional matches not featured on the original. Lesnar was on the cover of Flex and Muscle & Fitness magazine in 2004,[158][159] and Minneapolis' City Pages in 2008.[160]

Lesnar appears in WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, WWE WrestleMania XIX, WWE Crush Hour, WWE Raw 2, Madden NFL 06, UFC 2009 Undisputed, UFC Undisputed 2010, Wrestle Kingdom, WWE '12, WWE '13, WWE 2K14, and WWE 2K15.[161][162][163][164] After being the cover athlete for SmackDown: Here Comes the Pain and UFC Undisputed 2010, he became the first man to appear on the cover of both a WWE and UFC video game. In addition, Lesnar is the only person to appear in all three professional wrestling, mixed martial arts, and American football games.

Lesnar owns an MMA clothing line called DeathClutch, although no new products have been made since his retirement from MMA in 2011, and the line appears to have been discontinued as of 2014.[165]

Personal life

In January 2001, Lesnar was arrested for allegedly receiving large amounts of anabolic steroids. The charges were dropped when it was discovered that the substances were a legal growth hormone. His lawyer described it as a "vitamin type of thing".[166]

On December 15, 2011, Lesnar was charged with hunting infractions on a trip to Alberta on November 19, 2010. Two charges were dropped but Lesnar pleaded guilty to the charge of improper tagging of an animal. He was fined $1,725 and given a six-month hunting suspension.[167][168]

Lesnar has one daughter, Mya Lynn (born April 10, 2002), with his ex-fiancée Nicole.[169] Lesnar was engaged to Rena "Sable" Mero in 2004. The two would separate in 2005, but reconciled later that year and were married on May 6, 2006.[170] Lesnar is the stepfather of Mariah, Mero's daughter with her late ex-husband Wayne Richardson.[171] Lesnar and Mero have two children together, son Turk (born June 2009)[172] and son Duke (born July 2010).[173]

Lesnar on his private life: "It's very basic for me. When I go home, I don't buy into any of the bullshit. Like I said, it's pretty basic: train, sleep, family, fight. It's my life. I like it. I was a star at the University of Minnesota. I went on to WWE. Wannabe NFL player. And here I am, the UFC Heavyweight Champion. I just don't put myself out there to the fans and prostitute my private life to everybody. In today's day and age, with the Internet and cameras and cell phones, I just like being old school and living in the woods and living my life. I came from nothing, and at any moment, you can go back to having nothing."[174]

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role
2011 The Ultimate Fighter 13 Himself
2011 The Ultimate Fighter 14 Himself

Video games

Year Title Role
2002 WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth Himself
2003 WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain Himself
2003 WWE WrestleMania XIX Himself
2003 WWE Crush Hour Himself
2003 WWE Raw 2 Himself
2006 Madden NFL 06 Himself
2009 UFC 2009 Undisputed Himself
2010 UFC Undisputed 2010 Himself
2011 WWE '12 Himself
2012 UFC Undisputed 3 Himself
2012 WWE '13 Himself
2013 WWE 2K14 Himself
2014 WWE 2K15 Himself

In wrestling

Lesnar trapping John Cena's arm in the Kimura lock.
Lesnar executing the F-5 on John Cena.
Lesnar preparing for the third and final F-5 to end Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania XXX
  • Nicknames
    • "The Anomaly"[183]
    • "The Beast/Paul Heyman Beast"
    • "The Beast Incarnate"
    • "The Conqueror"
    • "The Global Standard"[1]
    • "The Next Big Thing"[1]

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 5–3 Alistair Overeem TKO (body kick & punches) UFC 141 December 30, 2011 1 2:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 5–2 Cain Velasquez TKO (punches) UFC 121 October 23, 2010 1 4:12 Anaheim, California, United States Lost UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–1 Shane Carwin Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 116 July 3, 2010 2 2:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship; Submission of the Night.
Win 4–1 Frank Mir TKO (punches) UFC 100 July 11, 2009 2 1:48 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 3–1 Randy Couture TKO (punches) UFC 91 November 15, 2008 2 3:07 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 2–1 Heath Herring Decision (unanimous) UFC 87 August 9, 2008 3 5:00 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Loss 1–1 Frank Mir Submission (kneebar) UFC 81 February 2, 2008 1 1:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 1–0 Min-Soo Kim Submission (punches) Dynamite!! USA June 2, 2007 1 1:09 Los Angeles, California, United States

Championships and accomplishments

Collegiate wrestling

Mixed martial arts

Professional wrestling

Lesnar as the WWE Champion.

1 Lesnar's IWGP championship reign at IGF was considered a continuation of his reign from NJPW.

2 Lesnar's first reign was as Undisputed WWE Champion.

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External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Randy Couture
14th UFC Heavyweight Champion
November 15, 2008 – October 23, 2010
Succeeded by
Cain Velasquez