July 12, 1977 in Webster, SD
6'4, 294 lb
The Next Big Thing
Brock Lesnar grew up as a farm boy in the small town of Webster, South
Dakota, but farming wasn't the path that Lesnar would follow. Instead, he
turned his attention to wrestling, but initially not the professional ranks
where he would later gain fame.
Lesnar, instead, excelled in the amateur ranks. After winning a National
Junior championship at Bismarck (North Dakota) Junior College in 1998,
Lesnar transferred to the University of Minnesota. After two Big 10
championships, he became an NCAA National Wrestling Champion in 2000.
Upon graduating from the University of Minnesota, Lesnar received, but
turned down, offers from TB Buccaneers and Washington Redskins to play
football. Instead, his interest piqued in pro wrestling after watching the
WWE, Lesnar decided to sign with WWE in June 2000.
Assigned to the WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, Lesnar
teamed with another former amateur standout, Shelton Benjamin. Together, the
pair was dubbed the "Minnesota Stretching Crew". In February, 2001, the Crew
defeated the Disciples of Synn to begin the first of three reigns as OVW
However, with Lesnar's size and agility, the WWE soon decided he was ready
to be called up to the WWE. On October 3rd, Lesnar worked his first WWE
house show, which took place in Winnipeg against Chris Kanyon.
Lesnar would arrive on WWE television screens on March 18th 2002, the day
after Wrestlemania XVIII. During a Raw broadcast, Lesnar stormed to the ring
during a Hardcore match and beat up Maven, Spike Dudley and Al Snow.
Lesnar would make his presence felt by interfering in several other matches.
He was quickly dubbed "the Next Big Thing" by manager and mouthpiece, Paul
Heyman. He was so impressive that he was draft to the Raw brand as Ric
Flair's 8th pick.
After a program against the Hardys, Lesnar defeated Bubba Ray Dudley to
qualify for the King of the Ring. He defeated Booker T to advance in the
tournament and then, at the pay-per-view itself, defeated Test and RVD to
win the 2002 King of the Ring.
A brief feud with King of the Ring finalist Rob Van Dam became a feud with
the Undertaker, after Brock turned on 'Taker during a tagteam match against
Van Dam and Ric Flair.
After the July 22nd edition of Raw, Lesnar defected to Stephanie McMahon's
Smackdown brand. A month later, at SummerSlam 2002, Brock Lesnar defeated
the Rock to become the WWE Champion, but while the previous title-holders
had moved between Raw and Smackdown, Lesnar decided to remain exclusively on
Smackdown, forcing Eric Bischoff's Raw brand to create its own World
In the fall, Lesnar resumed his feud with the Undertaker, battling and
defeating 'Taker in a Hell in A Cell match at October's No Mercy
Lesnar's first reign as WWE Champion would come to an end at the 2002
Survivor Series. His manager, Paul Heyman, would betray him and help the Big
Show unseat Lesnar for the title. Lesnar was so outraged that he disobeyed
Stephanie McMahon's orders and was suspended. However, he would receive help
from an unlikely source: another former NCAA champion, Kurt Angle. Angle
promised that he could get Lesnar's suspension lifted if Lesnar would help
Angle regain the WWE title.
At Armageddon, Lesnar was the difference maker and Kurt Angle defeated the
Big Show to regain the WWE Championship. However, Angle soon unveiled a
surprise of his own: his new manager, Paul Heyman.
At the 2003 Royal Rumble, Lesnar had to defeat the Big Show to gain entry
(#29) into the events, and then eliminated the Undertaker to win the match
and the right to face the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania.
Of course, in the weeks that followed, Lesnar had to put up with shenanigans
from Kurt and Eric Angle, not to mention Team Angle (his former partner
Benjamin and Charlie Haas) before getting to Wrestlemania XIX in Seattle.
It would be at Wrestlemania XIX that Lesnar would show the world his ability
to perform a shooting star press...and almost break his neck in the process.
Despite the injury, Lesnar managed to finish the match...and defeat Kurt Angle
for the WWE Championship.
After becoming WWE Champion, Lesnar feuded with the Big Show. During on
broadcast in June 2003, Lesnar delivered a superplex on the Show that broke
the ring. But perhaps the biggest surprise was that, upon his return, Kurt
Angle teamed with former foe Lesnar. At least until July's Vengeance
pay-per-view when Angle won a Triple Threat match to end Lesnar's second
The next week on Smackdown, Lesnar turned on Angle after a tag match against
the Big Show and A-Train. He even menaced both Zach Gowan and Stephanie
McMahon. However, after an Iron Man match on Smackdown on September 18th,
Lesnar was once again WWE Champion when he defeated Kurt Angle 5 falls to 4.
Lesnar would soon surround himself with the likes of Matt Morgan, the Big
Show, Nathan Jones and the A-Train as events lead up to Team Lesnar vs. Team
Angle at the Survivor Series. Lesnar would also prove himself a monster as
he demolished Shannon Moore and Rey Mysterio, Jr.
After retaining the WWE Championship against Hardcore Holly at the 2004
Royal Rumble, Lesnar interfered in the Rumble itself, attacking Bill
Goldberg. The attack on Goldberg would come back to haunt Lesnar, however,
as Goldberg's interference cost Lesnar the WWE title against Eddie Guerrero
at No Way Out.
A match was soon signed between Lesnar and Goldberg for Wrestlemania XX with
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin as the special referee. Lesnar did himself no
favours when he attacked Austin and, at one point, stole his four wheeler.
However, as the days to Wrestlemania began to dwindle, rumours persisted
that Lesnar was on the verge of leaving the WWE and pro wrestling itself, to
pursue a career in the NFL. In fact, he had quit the WWE, with his last
match being at Wrestlemania.
On April 18th, Lesnar is involved in an accident when his motorcycle
collided with a minivan that pulled out in front of him. After having glass
removed from his forehead, Lesnar is soon released from the hospital.
He received two tryouts and then is signed as a defensive lineman for the
Minnesota Vikings. He received a lot of press for his attempts to make the
transition from pro wrestling to pro football but he was cut from the team in
Although Lesnar (and fiancée Rena "Sable" Mero) made a non-wrestling appearance on a New Japan Pro Wrestling card in January 2005, the only headlines he made for a while were over his lawsuit against the WWE in an attempt to get out of his no-compete clause, which doesn't expire until January 2010.
In July 2005, in yet another bizarre turn, Lesnar met with WWE head Vince McMahon in what ultimately was a fruitless attempt to resign with WWE. When negotiations with McMahon and the WWE went nowhere, Lesnar returned to Japan and, on October 8th, 2005, defeated Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono to win the IWGP Championship.
Lawsuits continue as the WWE remains committed in its attempt to bar Lesnar from wrestling anywhere in the world. Where Lesnar's career, goes from here is anyone's guess but Lesnar certainly has
come a long way from that farm boy from South Dakota.
-- compiled by John Milner
BROCK LESNAR STORIES
Oct. 30, 2012: Lesnar DVD seems too familiar
April 5, 2012: Loud-mouth Lesnar belongs in WWE
July 1, 2011: Lesnar's Death Clutch doesn't quite grab hold
July 11, 2009: Lesnar floors a door
Nov. 15, 2008: Lesnar out to prove his critics wrong
Sep. 27, 2008: Fight of life for Brock
Aug. 2, 2005: WWE: Brock says no to contract
July 6, 2005: WWE cuts more while negotiating with Lesnar
Feb. 12, 2005: Brock taking WWE to court
Jan. 27, 2005: SLAM! Speaks: The Brock watch
Oct. 28, 2004: Lesnar rookie card released
Aug. 30, 2004: Vikings cut Brock Lesnar
Aug. 29, 2004: Bravo to Brock for good effort
Aug. 2, 2004: Lesnar tackles the NFL
Aug. 1, 2004: Lesnar has the body and mind to make it
March 16, 2004: Brock talks
March 14, 2004: Lesnar itchin' to grab grass and growl
March. 13, 2004: Lesnar story doubted
March. 13, 2004: Brock rocks then walks
March. 10, 2004: Brock Lesnar quitting wrestling
Sep. 19, 2003: Smackdown!: Brock, Angle put on a classic
Sep. 15, 2003: Lesnar limps away at house show
Oct 19, 2002: Think outside the box
Oct 13, 2002: Lewis vs. Lesnar for Montreal?
Sep 1, 2002: Brock's future in the WWE will be Rock solid
March 15, 2002: Lesnar, Orton impress at Axxess
Oct. 3, 2001: WWF debut for young turk Lesnar