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Brock Lesnar

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Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar in March 2015.jpg
Lesnar in March 2015
Born (1977-07-12) July 12, 1977 (age 38)
Webster, South Dakota, United States
Residence Moosomin, Saskatchewan, Canada
Occupation Professional wrestler, mixed martial artist, American football player
Years active 2000–2007; 2012–present (professional wrestling)
2004 (American football)
2006–2011 (mixed martial arts)
Spouse(s) Rena "Sable" Lesnar (m. 2006)
Children 4
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Brock Lesnar
Billed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[1]
Billed weight 286 lb (130 kg)[1]
Billed from Minneapolis, Minnesota[1]
Trained by Brad Rheingans[2]
Curt Hennig[2]
Dean Malenko[2]
Doug Basham[2]
Nightmare Danny Davis[2]
Debut October 2000

Brock Edward Lesnar[3] (/ˈlɛznər/; born July 12, 1977)[3] is an American professional wrestler and former amateur wrestler, professional American football player, and mixed martial artist,[4] who is currently signed to WWE. Lesnar is a four-time WWE (World Heavyweight) Champion, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, and an NCAA Division I Heavyweight Wrestling Champion,[5][6] making him the only person to have won a WWE championship, UFC championship, and NCAA championship in a career. He is also a one-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, making him a five-time world champion in professional wrestling.

After his successful amateur wrestling career at Bismarck State College and the University of Minnesota (106 victories and 5 losses), Lesnar signed with WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) in 2000. He was assigned to its developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), 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 (Undisputed) WWE Championship five months after his main roster debut at the age of 25, becoming the youngest WWE Champion in history. He was also the 2002 King of the Ring and the 2003 Royal Rumble winner, making him the youngest King of the Ring and Royal Rumble winner as well.[7][8] Following his match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar left the WWE and pursued a career in the National Football League (NFL).[9] He played during the preseason as a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, but was cut prior to the start of the 2004–05 season.[10] 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 Heavyweight Champion in the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).[11]

In 2006, Lesnar pursued a career in mixed martial arts (MMA). He signed with Hero's and won his first fight, against Min-Soo Kim, in June 2007.[12] He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) the following October. Lesnar lost in his UFC debut against Frank Mir and then won his second fight against Heath Herring. In November 2008, Lesnar defeated Randy Couture to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after a successful title defense in a rematch with Mir, Lesnar was sidelined due to diverticulitis. He 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.[13] Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December, losing to Alistair Overeem and promptly retiring from MMA.[14] Lesnar was a box office sensation in UFC. He took part in a few of the best selling pay-per-views in UFC history, including a co-main event at UFC 100, the highest selling UFC pay-per-view ever.[15] After his 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.[16]

In April 2012, Lesnar once again returned to professional wrestling, rejoining WWE after an eight-year hiatus. He has had an onscreen partnership with Paul Heyman throughout the majority of his professional wrestling career. Lesnar has headlined numerous pay-per-view events for both the WWE and UFC, including WrestleMania XIX, WrestleMania 31, and UFC 116. In 2015, published an article that referred to him as "the most accomplished athlete in pro wrestling history".[17]

Early life

Lesnar was born and raised on a dairy farm in Webster, South Dakota,[18] the son of Stephanie and Richard Lesnar.[19] He is of German and Polish descent.[20][21] He has two older brothers, Troy and Chad, and a younger sister, Brandi.[18] He joined the United States National Guard at age 17.[18][22] Although he initially hoped to work with explosives, he was assigned to an office job after his red-green colorblindness was deemed hazardous.[18] He lost this job after failing a computer typing test, and went on to work for a construction company.[18]

Lesnar attended Webster High School, where he played football[18] and competed in amateur wrestling. He was a two-time state champion in amateur wrestling with a record of 33–0–0 in his senior year.[22] Lesnar then attended Bismarck State College, where he won the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) heavyweight championship in his sophomore year.[23] He transferred to the University of Minnesota on a full wrestling scholarship for his junior and senior college years. There, he was roommates with future WWE colleague Shelton Benjamin, who was also his assistant coach.[18][24]

Lesnar won the 2000 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I heavyweight wrestling championship his senior year after being the runner-up the year prior. Lesnar finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, the 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.[25]

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

Training and debut (2000–2002)

In 2000, Lesnar signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was sent to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. There, Lesnar first met future friend and manager Paul Heyman.[26] 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.[27] Lesnar wrestled several dark matches in 2001 and 2002 before being called up to the main roster.[11]

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.[28] When the brand extension was introduced in the WWF, Lesnar was drafted to the Raw brand.[29] Later, Heyman was confirmed to be Lesnar's agent and gave Lesnar the nickname "The Next Big Thing".[30] Lesnar's first feud was with the Hardy Boyz. Lesnar and Jeff Hardy squared off at Backlash in Lesnar's first official televised match.[11] He won the match by knockout after Hardy was unable to respond to referee Theodore Long.[31][32] The next night on Raw, Lesnar faced off against Jeff Hardy's brother, Matt Hardy, and defeated him in the same fashion.[33]

WWE Championship reigns (2002–2003)

Lesnar during his first run as WWE (World Heavyweight) Champion.

In June 2002, Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament, defeating Rob Van Dam in the final round,[7] earning him a shot at the Undisputed WWE Championship at SummerSlam. On July 22, Lesnar joined the SmackDown! brand.[34] After a quick feud with Hollywood Hulk Hogan in August 2002, Lesnar began feuding with the Undisputed WWE Champion, The Rock.[35] 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. He also became the second fastest wrestler to win the WWE title since his debut (126 days) behind only Ric Flair (113 days).[36] At the time, the Undisputed WWE Championship was being defended on both brands, so Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff expected Lesnar to return to Raw the following night. However, SmackDown! General Manager Stephanie McMahon announced that Lesnar was only required 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.[37]

Lesnar's rapid rise to the top of WWE in 2002 led to a feud with The Undertaker, which involved a match at Unforgiven.[38] 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, in the storyline, Lesnar broke the Undertaker's hand with a propane tank.[39] 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.[40] 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 F5 maneuver for the win.[38] 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.[41]

Lesnar's next opponent was Big Show. Heyman was convinced more than anyone that Lesnar could not win, trying to talk him out of defending the title.[42] Lesnar refused and faced Big Show in Madison Square Garden at the Survivor Series pay-per-view. Towards the end of the match, Lesnar delivered an F5 to Big Show, but when he went for the pin, Heyman pulled the referee out of the ring. This allowed 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 Lesnar to turn for the first time in his career into a fan favorite.[43] 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.[44] 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 F5 on the champion, which enabled Angle to pin him and win the title. On the following episode 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 F5 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, breaking the champion's leg in storyline.

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 with the winner being placed into the Royal Rumble later in the evening. Lesnar would defeat Big Show and entered the Royal Rumble as the #29 entry, 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 Angle. Lesnar would then eliminate The Undertaker last and win the Royal Rumble, which guaranteed him a title match at WrestleMania XIX.[43]

Lesnar attempting a shooting star press at WrestleMania XIX.

After the Royal Rumble, Lesnar and Chris Benoit faced off against Angle, Haas, and Benjamin at No Way Out the following month and Lesnar's team won the match.[43] During the match at WrestleMania, Lesnar botched a shooting star press, a move he'd done numerous times in developmental matches, and jammed his head and neck. This stunned Lesnar and forced Angle and Lesnar to improvise the finish of the match. Lesnar would defeat Angle, after delivering an F5, to win his second WWE Championship. Lesnar was diagnosed with a legitimate concussion from the botched shooting star press.[43]

After WrestleMania, Lesnar turned his attention to John Cena, who had returned from injury in February 2003 and who had been F5'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.[45] The feud ended in a match at Backlash when Lesnar defeated Cena. On the following episode of 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.[43] 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.[46] 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.[47]

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 the Angle Slam on both Big Show and Lesnar, pinning the champion to become WWE Champion for a fourth time.[43]

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

Lesnar continued to aggressively pursue the WWE title despite his friendship with Angle. Mr. 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 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 F5'd Angle. He then brutally beat Angle while McMahon watched, and celebrated with him afterwards, turning heel in the process.[48] At SummerSlam,[49] Lesnar lost to Angle when Angle made Lesnar tap out to the ankle lock.[50] 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 F5 to propel his opponents' legs into the ringpost, as he did to Spanky and Gowen, and interfered in Angle's matches on two separate occasions. On the September 18, 2003 episode of SmackDown!, 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.[51] Lesnar won the match and his third WWE Championship by a final count of five to four.[52]

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.[53] At No Mercy, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Biker Chain match.[54] The rivalry then came to an end after The Undertaker chose to focus on Mr. McMahon.

After Paul Heyman returned to WWE as general manager of SmackDown!, Lesnar aligned himself with his former manager. 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 Angle's team was forced to find a replacement for him. Lesnar's team picked A-Train to fill the fifth and final 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.[55] In the climax of the match, Chris Benoit became the only second wrestler to make Lesnar tap out.[54] 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.[56]

Last feuds and departure (2003–2004)

Lesnar demonstrating his strength on Eddie Guerrero during a SmackDown! taping in February 2004.

The Survivor Series event marked the first time Lesnar met Goldberg from the Raw brand. After Lesnar claimed in a backstage interview that he could beat anybody in the world, Goldberg interrupted the interview and introduced himself to Lesnar, shaking hands with him before leaving with a staredown.[54] Lesnar followed this rivalry with a feud involving Hardcore Holly.[57] 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.[58] Later in the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar attacked Goldberg and delivered an F5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him.[54]

In February, Lesnar faced Eddie Guerrero for the WWE title at No Way Out. Late in the match, Goldberg delivered a spear to Lesnar while the ref was unconscious. Afterwards, Guerrero went to pin Lesnar but Lesnar kicked out at two. Lesnar then attempted to F5 Guerrero but Guerrero reversed it into a DDT. Guerrero then hit a frog splash; pinning 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.[59] During the feud with Goldberg, Lesnar was also at odds with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was shown suggesting to Goldberg that he attack Lesnar at No Way Out.[60] After Lesnar attacked Austin on Raw and stole his four-wheeler, Austin was inserted as the special guest referee for the WrestleMania match.[61] 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 (NFL).[62] As a result, Lesnar's match with Goldberg became a fiasco as the fans at Madison Square Garden jeered and heckled both wrestlers vociferously.[63] Goldberg gained victory after delivering a Jackhammer to Lesnar and both men subsequently received Stone Cold Stunners from Austin.[63]

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 (NJPW) show in the Tokyo Dome.[64] Lesnar is one of the few American wrestlers to have held this title.[64] He won the match by pinning Masahiro Chono after an F5, which he had renamed the Verdict since WWE owns the trademark on the F5 name.[11] After the match, Lesnar stated that this name was referring to his lawsuit against WWE.

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, he had two non-title victories against Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata.[65][66] Lesnar successfully defended his championship on January 4, 2006, against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura.[65] 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 on March 19, at the Sumo Hall.[67] Lesnar had another successful title defense against Giant Bernard on May 3, 2006. This was the first American vs. American title match in NJPW since Vader vs. Stan Hansen in 1990.[68]

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.[69]

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 Heavyweight Champion as he was not defeated for the title. Angle would defeat Lesnar to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as recognized by IGF and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).[69][70] This was Lesnar's last match as a professional wrestler until 2012, when he re-signed with WWE.


Lesnar had previously signed a non-compete clause in order to be released from his contract with WWE, which prohibited him from working for any other professional wrestling companies before June 2010. However, he decided to challenge this ruling in court.[71] WWE responded with a counterclaim after Lesnar breached the agreement by appearing at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in 2004.[72] In July 2005, the two sides dropped their claims and entered negotiations to renew their relationship.[73] 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.[74] The lawsuit began to enter settlement talks on September 21, but did not get solved.[75][76]

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.[77] WWE was later granted a deadline postponement.[78] On April 24, WWE announced on that both parties had reached a settlement. On June 12, a federal judge dismissed the case at the request of both legal parties.[79]

Return to WWE (2012–present)

Lesnar faces off with John Cena upon his return in April 2012.
After delivering an F5, Lesnar stands over John Cena the night after WrestleMania XXVIII.

Lesnar returned to the WWE on April 2, 2012, on Raw, as a heel by confronting and delivering an F5 to John Cena.[80][81] 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.[82] 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.[83]

The following night on Raw, WWE's Chief Operating Officer Triple H refused to give in to Lesnar's unreasonable contract demands (which included being given his own personal jet and having Raw renamed to Monday Night Raw Starring Brock Lesnar), resulting in Lesnar attacking him and breaking his arm with a kimura lock in storyline.[84][85] The next week, Paul Heyman made his return as Lesnar's legal representative and claimed that Lesnar was quitting WWE.[84] He later announced a lawsuit against WWE for breach of contract.[84][86] At No Way Out in June, Triple H challenged Lesnar, who was not present, to a match at SummerSlam[87] which Lesnar refused.[88] Stephanie McMahon would later goad Heyman into accepting the match on Lesnar's behalf on July 23 at Raw 1000.[89][90] On August 19, at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Triple H in a No Disqualification match via submission after once again breaking his arm in storyline.[91][92] The following night on Raw, Lesnar declared himself the new "King of Kings" and said that he would depart from WWE after his victory over Triple H, stating that he had conquered everything in the company.[93][94]

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 F5,[95] breaking McMahon's pelvis in storyline.[96] 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.[97] 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 legitimately having his head split open and requiring eighteen stitches.[98] 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.[99][100] 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.[101] Lesnar ended up losing the match after Triple H hit him with a Pedigree onto the steel steps.[102] 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,[103] which Triple H accepted the following week.[104] On May 19 at the pay-per-view, after interference from Heyman, he defeated Triple H and ended their feud.[105]

Lesnar returned on the June 17 episode of Raw, attacking Heyman's fellow client CM Punk with an F5.[106] Despite the accusations from Punk, Heyman claimed that he was not behind Lesnar's attack on him.[107] However, in July, Heyman turned on Punk,[108] 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.[109] The following week on Raw, Punk challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam, which Heyman accepted on Lesnar's behalf.[110] On the August 12 episode 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.[111] Six days later at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Punk in a No Disqualification match.[112]

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 F5 to Henry.[113] The following week on Raw, Henry challenged Lesnar again, only to have Lesnar, in storyline, 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.[114]

On the February 24, 2014 episode of Raw, Heyman stated that Lesnar had requested a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX, instead receiving an open contract to face anyone else of his choosing. 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,[115] setting up their match at WrestleMania. Lesnar defeated Undertaker after executing three F5s, ending his undefeated WrestleMania streak at 21, a feat that was described by Sports Illustrated as being "the most shocking result since the Montreal Screwjob".[116]

On the July 21, 2014, episode of Raw, Triple H announced that Lesnar would face John Cena at SummerSlam for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[117] At SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. During the match, he delivered sixteen suplexes (most of which were German suplexes) and two F5s to Cena, who barely managed any offense.[118] On the August 19 episode of Main Event, Triple H announced that Cena was invoking his championship rematch clause against Lesnar at Night of Champions. Lesnar was disqualified due to Seth Rollins interfering, but retained his championship, which could not be lost via disqualification. Cena thereafter prevented Rollins from cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Lesnar. Later in the year, after Rollins re-united the Authority, he was added to the Lesnar and Cena's championship match at Royal Rumble, making it a triple threat match. Lesnar retained the title against Rollins and Cena despite suffering a storyline broken rib during the match. Lesnar's next challenger was Roman Reigns, who won the Royal Rumble match to earn the right to face Lesnar for the title at WrestleMania 31.[119]

Lesnar selling a Superman Punch from Roman Reigns during the main event of WrestleMania 31

During his main-event match against Reigns, Lesnar delivered multiple suplexes and was heard exclaiming "Suplex City, bitch!" Thereafter, "Suplex City" became one of his signature catchphrases and merchandise motifs. After Lesnar and Reigns traded a few false finishes, Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract while the match was in progress, making it a triple threat; Rollins then pinned Reigns to win the title.[120] The following night on Raw, Lesnar tried to invoke his automatic rematch clause and subsequently attacked commentators Booker T, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Michael Cole, and a cameraman after Rollins refused the rematch. This led to Stephanie McMahon suspending Lesnar indefinitely in storyline.

Lesnar returned on the June 15 episode of Raw, as a face for the first time since 2003, being chosen by The Authority to face Rollins in a rematch for the championship at Battleground.[121] On July 4, Lesnar made his first non-televised wrestling appearance for WWE since his 2012 return, defeating Kofi Kingston at The Beast in the East live event in Tokyo in a quick winning effort; he also delivered F5s to Kingston's New Day stablemates Big E and Xavier Woods after the match.[122] On July 19 at Battleground, Lesnar dominated Rollins, delivering thirteen suplexes, but mid-pinfall after performing an F5 he was attacked by The Undertaker, who incapacitated Lesnar with two Tombstone Piledrivers. This ended the match, with Lesnar winning by disqualification and Rollins retaining the championship.[123]

The following night on Raw, Undertaker explained that he had attacked Lesnar not for ending his WrestleMania streak, but rather for Lesnar's constant taunting about it; this led to the two brawling throughout the arena and a WrestleMania rematch being scheduled for SummerSlam on August 23[124] where Undertaker would controversially defeat Lesnar. During the match, Undertaker tapped out to a Kimura by Lesnar and the timekeeper rang the bell, but the referee did not see the tapout and demanded the match continue. Undertaker then hit Lesnar with a low blow and Lesnar passed out to Undertaker's submission hold, Hell's Gate.[125] The following night on Raw, Lesnar and Heyman challenged Undertaker to an immediate rematch, only to be responded to by Bo Dallas, who mocked Lesnar about his defeat. Lesnar retaliated by delivering multiple German suplexes to Dallas before ending the beatdown with an F5. At Night of Champions, it was announced that Lesnar and Undertaker's next match would take place in a Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell PPV.[126] On October 3, Lesnar made his first U.S. house show appearance in over a decade when he squashed Big Show at WWE's Live from Madison Square Garden event. At the Hell in a Cell PPV, Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in a back-and-forth match after delivering a legal low-blow and a third F5 in the match to end their feud.[127]

Football career

Brock Lesnar
No. 69
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1977-07-12) July 12, 1977 (age 38)
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: 2004
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played: --
Tackles: --
Sacks: --

After his match at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar sidelined his career in WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League (NFL) despite not playing American football since high school.[9] The WWE issued this statement on their official website,, following his departure:

Lesnar later told a Minnesota radio show that he had "three wonderful years" in WWE, but had grown unhappy and 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.[10] Lesnar received an invitation to play as a representative for the Vikings in NFL Europa, but decided that football was not for him.[10]

Mixed martial arts career

Brock Lesnar
Born Brock Edward Lesnar
(1977-07-12) July 12, 1977 (age 38)[23]
Webster, South Dakota[23]
Nationality American[23]
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[130]
Weight 266 lb (121 kg; 19 st 0 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 81 in (206 cm)
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Alexandria, Minnesota
Team DeathClutch Gym
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
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.[131] Lesnar announced on August 12 in Las Vegas that he had signed a deal with the K-1 promotion.[132] His first fight was scheduled against Choi Hong-man of Korea on June 2, 2007, at the K-1 Dynamite!! USA show.[133][134] 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.[12]

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).[4] 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.[135] Due to his large hands,[136] 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.[137] Lesnar secured an early takedown and began landing numerous punches but was docked 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.[135] At UFC 82, former UFC Heavyweight Champion and Hall of Famer Mark Coleman was announced to fight Lesnar at UFC 87.[138] However, Coleman withdrew from the fight due to an injury and was replaced by Heath Herring.[139] 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.[140]

Lesnar's next opponent was UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91 on November 15.[141] Lesnar would beat Couture via a technical knockout (TKO) in the second round to become the new UFC Heavyweight Champion.[142]

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, "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.[143] 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.[144] 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.[145]

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.[146] 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.[147] 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 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".[148]

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.[149] 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.[150] In addition to mononucleosis, it was revealed that he was suffering from a serious case of diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder, which required surgery.[151] 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.[152]

In January 2010, Lesnar announced on ESPN's SportsCenter that he was scheduled to make a return to the UFC in the summer.[153] 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.[154] Carwin defeated Mir via knockout in the first round, becoming the new Interim Champion. After the fight, Lesnar 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".[155] Lesnar faced Shane Carwin at UFC 116 to unify the heavyweight titles.[156] 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. The win also tied a UFC record for most consecutive successful Heavyweight Championship defenses.

Lesnar's next defense was against undefeated top contender Cain Velasquez on October 23, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California at UFC 121.[157] Dana White announced via SportsNation that the UFC would bring back UFC Primetime to hype the fight.[158] He was defeated by Velasquez for the title by TKO in the first round.[159]

On January 11, 2011, Lesnar was announced as a coach of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, opposite Junior dos Santos,[160] with the two expected to fight on June 11 at UFC 131,[161] however, he was struck with another bout of diverticulitis and had to withdraw from the fight on May 12.[162] He was replaced by Shane Carwin who ended up losing against dos Santos.[163] 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.[13]

In its May 2011 issue, ESPN‍‍ '​‍s magazine published 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.[164]

In the summer of 2011, Lesnar announced that he was ready to get back into the Octagon, stating, "I feel like a new man. Healthy. Strong. I feel like I used to feel."[165] His return match was scheduled to be at UFC 141 on December 30 in Las Vegas against former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.[166] Overeem would win the fight by way of technical knockout in the first round.[167][168] The result of the fight remains controversial, as Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone prior to his next fight.[169] 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".[167][168]

Speculation about a return to MMA lasted until March 24, 2015, when Lesnar announced in an interview on SportsCenter that he had re-signed with WWE and officially closed the door on a return to MMA, even though he was offered a deal "ten times more" than what he had made previously in his MMA career. He further elaborated that, while he was training for months for a return to the UFC, he felt "physically great but something was lacking mentally".[170][171] Lesnar added, "I'm an older caveman now, so I make smarter caveman decisions", choosing to sign with WWE instead of returning to MMA because he can "work part-time with full-time pay".[172]

UFC pay-per-views

Date Main Event Billing Buys
February 2, 2008 Sylvia vs Nogueria, Lesnar vs Mir UFC 81 600,000+
August 9, 2008 St. Pierre vs Fitch UFC 87 625,000+
November 15, 2008 Lesnar vs Couture UFC 91 1,010,000+
July 11, 2009 Lesnar vs Mir UFC 100 1,600,000+
July 3, 2010 Lesnar vs Carwin UFC 116 1,060,000+
October 23, 2010 Lesnar vs Velasquez UFC 121 900,000+
December 30, 2011 Lesnar vs Overeem UFC 141 535,000+

Personal 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."

Lesnar, in 2010, on his private life.[173]

Lesnar married Rena "Sable" Greek on May 6, 2006.[174] They reside on a farm near Moosomin, Saskatchewan,[175] and have two sons together: Turk (born June 2009)[176] and Duke (born July 2010).[177] Lesnar also has a son named Luke (born June 2000) and a daughter named Mya (born April 2002) with his former fiancée, Nicole McClain,[178] and is the stepfather of Mariah, Greek's daughter with her late husband, Wayne Richardson. Lesnar named Shelton Benjamin the godfather to his two oldest children and Paul Heyman the godfather to his two youngest children.

Lesnar describes himself as a conservative and is a supporter of the Republican Party.[148][179] He is also a member of the National Rifle Association, and made an appearance at their annual meeting in May 2011 to discuss his passion for hunting and his role as a spokesman for Fusion Ammunition.[180][181]

During his first run in WWE, Lesnar developed an addiction to alcohol and painkillers, claiming that he drank a bottle of vodka per day and took hundreds of Vicodin pills per month to manage the pain caused by wear and tear on his body, specifically naming his accident at WrestleMania 19 as the primary source of pain.[18] Lesnar claims that, as a result of his addiction and mental exhaustion, he does not remember "an entire two years" of his WWE career.[182]

In January 2001, Lesnar was arrested by Louisville police 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".[183]

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.[184]

Other media

Lesnar co-wrote an autobiography with Paul Heyman titled Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival (ISBN 978-0062023117); it was published in 2011.

Some of the video games that Lesnar appears in are WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, Madden NFL 06, UFC 2009 Undisputed, UFC Undisputed 2010, WWE '12, WWE '13, the WWE 2K series, and many others.[185][186][187][188] After being the cover athlete for WWE 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 a professional wrestling, mixed martial arts, and American football game.

In a post on his personal blog, Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama revealed that he had drawn inspiration from Lesnar as the model for the character of the Armored Titan.[189]

In 2003, WWE Home Video released a DVD chronicling Lesnar's career entitled Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain. The set was re-released in 2012 as a 3-disc DVD and 2-disc blu-ray collector's edition to tie in with Lesnar's return to WWE. It was also expanded to include additional matches and interviews that was not featured on the original.

In 2009, Lesnar signed an endorsement deal with Dymatize Nutrition. A compact disc (CD) containing training footage of Lesnar was included with Dymatize's "Xpand".[190]

Lesnar was featured on the covers of Flex and Muscle & Fitness magazine in 2004,[191][192] and Minneapolis' City Pages in 2008.[193]



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
2005 Wrestle Kingdom 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
2014 EA Sports UFC Himself
2015 WWE 2K16 Himself

In wrestling

Lesnar preparing for the second F5 in his WrestleMania XXX match against The Undertaker
Lesnar executing the F5 on John Cena
Lesnar executing a Kimura on Cena

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 5–3 Alistair Overeem TKO (body kick and 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 the 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 Defeated the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion to become the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Submission of the Night.

Tied record for most consecutive UFC Heavyweight Championship defenses.

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 the 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, awards, and honors

Collegiate wrestling

Mixed martial arts

Professional wrestling

Lesnar is a four-time WWE (World Heavyweight) Champion.


  • a Lesnar's IWGP championship reign at IGF is considered a continuation of his reign from NJPW.
  • b Lesnar's first reign was as Undisputed WWE Champion. His next two were as simply WWE Champion. His final reign was as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.


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External links

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