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Brock Lesnar


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Brock Lesnar defends championship at UFC 100 in Las Vegas - 11th July 2009

Brock Edward Lesnar (born July 12, 1977) is an American mixed martial artist with the UFC, former professional and amateur wrestler. He is well known for his professional wrestling career in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Career

Early career

Lesnar wrestled at Webster High School in Webster, South Dakota where he managed to have a 33-0 record in his senior year. Lesnar later attended the University of Minnesota on a full wrestling scholarship for his junior and senior years of college; his roommate was fellow professional wrestler Shelton Benjamin who also served as Lesnar's assistant coach. Lesnar won the 2000 NCAA wrestling championship as a heavyweight after placing second in 1999. Prior to joining the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Lesnar also wrestled at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, North Dakota. Lesnar finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Champion, and the 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion with a record of 106-5 overall in four years of college.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment

In 2000, after the successful end to his college, Lesnar signed up with the World Wrestling Federation, a professional wrestling promotion later known as World Wrestling Entertainment in mid-2002. Lesnar was sent to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. There, Lesnar formed a tag team known as the Minnesota Stretching Crew with his former college roommate, Shelton Benjamin, in its Ohio Valley Wrestling territory. Lesnar and Benjamin won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions. Lesnar wrestled several dark matches in 2001 and 2002 before being called up to the main roster.

Lesnar debuted on WWF television on the March 18, 2002 episode of WWF RAW, attacking Al Snow, Maven, and Spike Dudley in the course of a match. He was accompanied by Paul Heyman, who was seen giving instructions to Lesnar. When the brand extension was introduced in the WWF, Lesnar was drafted to the RAW brand. Later, Heyman was confirmed to be Lesnar's agent, and gave Lesnar the nickname "The Next Big Thing".

Lesnar's first feud was with the Hardy Boyz. Lesnar and Jeff Hardy squared off at Backlash in Lesnar's first official televised match. Lesnar dominated Hardy and won the match by knockout. The next night on RAW he faced Matt Hardy, defeating him in the same fashion. At Judgment Day, Lesnar once again gained the upper hand on the Hardy Boyz tag team before tagging his partner, Heyman, in to take the win.

In June 2002, Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament, defeating Rob Van Dam in the final round. This victory earned him a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship at SummerSlam. On July 22, 2002, Lesnar joined the SmackDown! brand. After an angle with Hulk Hogan in August 2002 in which Lesnar defeated Hogan, Lesnar began feuding with the Undisputed Champion The Rock.

At the main event of SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated The Rock to become the new and final WWE Undisputed Champion. Lesnar, at age 25, was then the youngest WWE Champion ever (as of 2007, he is still technically the youngest WWE Champion ever, but Randy Orton is the youngest world champion in WWE history, having won the World Heavyweight Championship at 24). Due to the requirements of the WWE Undisputed Championship being defended on both shows, RAW general manager Eric Bischoff expected Lesnar to be able to return on RAW the next night. However, SmackDown! general manager Stephanie McMahon announced that Lesnar's contract only required him to defend the title on SmackDown!, forcing Bischoff to separate the World Heavyweight Championship from the WWE Championship and in turn making the title lose its "Undisputed" name.

Lesnar's rapid rise to the top of WWE in 2002 led to a match between him and The Undertaker at Unforgiven. It ended in a double disqualification leading to Lesnar retaining the title. The next month, at No Mercy, he faced The Undertaker again, this time in a Hell in a Cell match. Leading up to the match, Lesnar with Heyman broke the Undertaker's hand with a propane tank.[23] Despite Heyman begging Stephanie McMahon not to let The Undertaker use his cast as a weapon, the request was denied and the match went on as planned.[24] In a match that saw both wrestlers and even Heyman covered in thick blood, it ended when Lesnar reversed an attempted Tombstone into his finishing F-5 maneuver for the win. [25] 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 2002 pay-per-view against Edge.

Lesnar's next opponent was The Big Show. Heyman was convinced more than anyone that Lesnar couldn't win, trying to talk him out of defending the title. Lesnar refused, and went on to lose the championship in Madison Square Garden at the Survivor Series pay-per-view to Big Show when after giving an F-5 to the 500-pounder, he was betrayed by Heyman. This was Lesnar's first pinfall loss in WWE, and turned Lesnar face.

Following Survivor Series, Heyman made it clear that Lesnar would not get a rematch, even going so far as to sneak a special clause in his contract. At the 2003 Royal Rumble event, Lesnar defeated The Big Show in a qualification match where the winner could enter the Royal Rumble match. Lesnar later entered the Rumble as the #29 entrant where he eventually won by eliminating The Undertaker.
Lesnar suffered a concussion after botching a shooting star press at WrestleMania XIX.

After winning the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar spent the next two months feuding with Kurt Angle. Angle had Paul Heyman and Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) behind him, but Lesnar overcame these opponents. The match between Lesnar and Angle going into WrestleMania XIX proved a historical moment as it marked the first time in WWE history that two accomplished amateur wrestlers met in a ring. Lesnar regained the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania XIX. Toward the end of the match, he botched a shooting star press; despite having landed the move successfully several times in OVW, in this match he overestimated the distance he was capable of jumping for the move and under-rotated, slamming his head into Angle's side and ribcage. This stunned Lesnar and forced Angle to improvise the finish of the match. Lesnar suffered a severe concussion from the botched move.

Following WrestleMania, John Cena began targeting Lesnar for almost ending his career (by using the F-5 to propel his leg into a ring post) after a previous match between the two. This led to Cena receiving a title match at Backlash. Lesnar successfully retained his title against Cena. Earlier at the Backlash pay-per-view, Big Show had injured Rey Mysterio badly, resulting in Mysterio being carried out on a stretcher. This led to Lesnar renewing his feud with Big Show, which led to a Stretcher match at Judgment Day for the title. Lesnar successfully retained his title with help from Rey Mysterio and a forklift. A famous SmackDown! moment was made in a later rematch between the two, when Lesnar lifted Big Show over in a Superplex which caused the ring to collapse on impact. At Vengeance, Lesnar lost his title to Kurt Angle in a No Disqualification Triple Threat match that also involved Big Show.

Prior to SummerSlam, Lesnar turned heel on Kurt Angle, leading to a rematch at the event. Lesnar lost to Kurt Angle in their rematch when Angle made Lesnar tap out to the Ankle lock. A second rematch between Lesnar and Angle, an Iron Man match, was later held on an episode of SmackDown!. Lesnar defeated Angle in a match that was said as one of the best in Smackdown history . Angle slapped on the ankle lock with a few seconds remaining but Lesnar did not tap. Lesnar won with five falls to Angle's four, making him a three-time WWE Champion.

Lesnar's first challenger for his newly won title was 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.At No Mercy, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Biker Chain match, making it the second year Lesnar defeated Undertaker to retain the WWE Championship in the main event of No Mercy.

Lesnar realigned himself with Paul Heyman after Heyman became general manager of SmackDown!, and formed Team Lesnar with The Big Show, Matt Morgan, A-Train, and Nathan Jones for a 10-man Survivor Series match at Survivor Series. In the climax of the match, Chris Benoit became the second person to make Lesnar tap out. 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.

The Survivor Series event also marked the first time Lesnar met Goldberg from the RAW brand, a man who Lesnar had been compared to, due to their similar physique and their 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.

Lesnar followed this with a brief feud involvoing Hardcore Holly.In this storyline, Holly wanted revenge on Lesnar for (legitimately) breaking his neck during a previous match between the two in 2002. During that match, Lesnar went for a powerbomb, but Holly, believed by some to be uncooperative with rookies, supposedly sandbagged mid-lift so that Lesnar couldn't get him all the way up. Holly compounded the difficulty of the move by not lifting up at the waist. During the struggle, Lesnar (intentionally or unintentionally) planted Holly on his head, leaving him in need of neck surgery and out of action for a year.[48] Lesnar never apologized and even showed insult to injury after the incident. The feud was closed when Lesnar defeated Holly to retain the WWE Championship at the 2004 Royal Rumble. Later in the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar attacked Goldberg and delivered an F-5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him. [49]

In February, Lesnar faced Eddie Guerrero for the title at No Way Out. During the match, Goldberg interfered twice in the match, eventually allowing Guerrero to capitalize and pin Lesnar after a frog splash to win the WWE Championship. The match set up an interbrand match for WrestleMania XX between Lesnar and Goldberg. [50]

During the feud with Bill Goldberg, Lesnar also was feuding with RAW's Stone Cold Steve Austin (who was shown suggesting to Goldberg that he attack Lesnar at No Way Out).[51] When Lesnar attacked Austin on RAW and stole his four-wheeler, Austin was inserted as the special guest referee for the WrestleMania match.[52]

Behind the scenes, it was widely known that the match would be Goldberg's last in WWE. However only a week before WrestleMania, rumors surfaced Lesnar, too, was leaving in order to pursue a career in the National Football League. As a result, Lesnar's match with Goldberg became a fiasco as the fans at Madison Square Garden jeered both wrestlers with very loud and distinct chants of "na na, hey hey goodbye" and "you sold out", with the crowd support mostly given to special referee Austin. Although Goldberg won the match, both men were given a Stone Cold Stunner by Austin on their way out.[53]

National Football League

After his final match at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar sidelined his career in WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League.[54] This move upset many in WWE, as the company had invested heavily in Lesnar. World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed Lesnar's departure on their official website WWE.com by the statement
“ Brock Lesnar has made a personal decision to put his WWE career on hold to prepare to tryout for the National Football League this season. Brock has wrestled his entire professional career in the WWE and we are proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”

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 didn't want to be 40 years old and wondering if he could have made it in football. In an interview about starting with the NFL, Lesnar made the statement
“ This is no load of bull; it's no WWE stunt. I am dead serious about this... I ain't afraid of anything, and I ain't afraid of anybody. I've been an underdog in athletics since I was 5. I got zero college offers for wrestling. Now people say I can't play football, that it's a joke. I say I can. I'm as good an athlete as a lot of guys in the NFL, if not better... I've always had to fight for everything. I wasn't the best technician in amateur wrestling. But I was strong, had great conditioning, and a hard head. Nobody could break me. As long as I have that, I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks.[56] ”

Lesnar played for the Minnesota Vikings, where he created controversy in some games by starting minor fights and got heat from the Kansas City Chiefs for a sack on quarterback Damon Huard, which drew a big response from the crowd of 6,000. Huard was knocked silly, and had to go to the sidelines and sit out a few plays. Giving hard hits to quarterbacks in scrimmages violates unwritten rules of professional football, and the Chiefs were not too happy with him. His actions got him featured on SportsCenter on more than one occasion.[57] After playing in a few pre-season games, Lesnar was eventually cut from the team after not showing up for practices due to an injury sustained by a motorcycle ride during the summer of 2004. He declined an invitation to play as a representative of the Vikings in NFL Europa.[8]

Lawsuit with WWE

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.[58] 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.[59]

In July 2005, the two sides dropped their claims and entered negotiations to renew their relationship.[60] 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.[61] The lawsuit was then entered into settlement on September 21, 2005, but talks broke down.[62][63]

On January 14, 2006, Judge Christopher Droney stated that unless WWE gave him a good argument between then and January 25, 2006, he would rule in favor of Brock Lesnar, giving him a summary judgment. This would have enabled Lesnar to work anywhere he wanted immediately.[64] WWE was later granted a deadline postponement.[65]

On April 24, 2006, World Wrestling Entertainment announced on their official website, WWE.com, that both parties had mutually come to a settlement and on June 12, 2006, a federal judge dismissed Lesnar's lawsuit against WWE after both parties requested for the case to be dismissed.[66]

New Japan Pro Wrestling

On October 8, 2005, Lesnar won the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in the Tokyo Dome, which included the then-champion Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono. He 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. 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. Lesnar is one of the few American wrestlers to have held this title. The first person to hold it was Hulk Hogan (also the first American to win a Japanese world wrestling title), and Big Van Vader held it as well.[67]

On December 6, 2005 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, and thus Lesnar had two non-title victories against Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata.[68][69] Lesnar successfully defended his championship on January 4, 2006 against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura.

On January 13, 2006, WWE once again filed an injunction against Lesnar to stop him from defending the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on March 19. Evidently this was not enforced (nor granted), as he would go on to have a tag team match with Shinsuke Nakamura against Akebono and Riki Choshu at the Sumo Hall on February 19, 2006 which was won after a Verdict to Choshu.[68][70]

On March 19, 2006 at the Sumo Hall, Lesnar retained his championship against former Sumo Wrestling Grand Champion Akebono when Lesnar hit him with the championship belt and a DDT.[71] Lesnar went on to successfully defended his title 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.

On July 15, 2006, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Brock Lesnar had been stripped of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as he would no longer be returning to defend the title due to "visa issues". A tournament was held on July 16 to determine the new champion, which was won by Hiroshi Tanahashi, the man Lesnar was originally scheduled to face. Lesnar continued to possess the physical IWGP World Heavyweight Championship until late June 2007[73]

On June 29, 2007, Lesnar defended his disputed IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle in a champion versus champion match. Angle defeated Lesnar with the Ankle lock to win the IWGP Third Belt Championship (which IGF and TNA recognize as the IWGP World Title, and NWA recognizes as the NWA Japan Championship [74]) and challenged him to an MMA fight.[75]

Mixed Martial Arts

On April 28, 2006, Lesnar appeared inside the ring after the final match of K-1 Hero's Las Vegas and announced his intent to join the MMA promotion. He trained with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson, and University of Minnesota Head Assistant wrestling coach Marty Morgan.[2] Brock Lesnar announced on August 12, 2006 in Las Vegas that he had signed a deal with the K-1 promotion.[76] His first fight was scheduled for June 2, 2007 on the K-1 Dynamite!! USA show against Choi Hong-man of Korea.[77][78] In his first official MMA match, Brock defeated Min Soo Kim (Choi Hong-Man was pulled from the match) by submission (via strikes) in under two minutes.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

According to one source, Brock Lesnar was looking for a deal with the UFC. UFC President Dana White confirmed the fact that the two sides had spoken. Lesnar stated that he wants to fight someone with credentials right off the bat and that he wanted a deal done soon.[79]

During UFC 77, it was announced that Brock Lesnar had reached a deal to fight with the UFC. [80]

In professional wrestling

* Finishing and signature moves
o F-5 / Verdict (Spinning fireman's carry facebuster)
o Brock Lock (Over the shoulder seated single leg Boston crab - WWE or a side bearhug - OVW)
o Shooting star press - OVW
o Overhead belly to belly suplex / Overhead belly to belly superplex
o High impact clothesline
o Multiple turnbuckle thrusts
o Double or triple powerbomb
o Double or triple rib breaker
o Standing or spinning spinebuster
o Release German suplex
o Top rope superplex
o Snap scoop powerslam, sometimes done by scooping up a standing opponent
o High lifting belly to back suplex
o Knee lift to the gut
o Snap suplex

* Managers
o Paul Heyman
o Vince McMahon

* Nicknames
o The Next Big Thing

Championships and accomplishments

Amateur wrestling

* North Dakota State University's annual Bison tournament
o 1997-1998 winner
* Collegiate
o 1998 Junior College National Champion
o Big Ten Title (1999-2000)
o 1999 NCAA Division I runner-up
o Ranked the #1 Heavyweight in the Big Ten (2000)
o 2000 NCAA Division I Champion

Professional wrestling
Brock Lesnar as WWE Champion.
Brock Lesnar as WWE Champion.

* New Japan Pro Wrestling
o IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

* Inoki Genome Federation
o IWGP Third Belt Championship (1 time)

* Ohio Valley Wrestling
o OVW Southern Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Shelton Benjamin

* World Wrestling Entertainment
o WWE Championship (3 times)
o King of the Ring (2002)
o Royal Rumble (2003)

* Pro Wrestling Illustrated
o PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year award in 2002
o PWI Wrestler of the Year award in 2002
o PWI Feud of the Year award in 2003 vs Kurt Angle
o PWI Match of the Year award in 2003 vs Kurt Angle - a 60-minute Iron Man match on SmackDown!
o PWI ranked him # 1 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2003.

* Wrestling Observer Newsletter
o Most Improved Wrestler award in 2002
o Best Brawler award in 2003
o Feud of the Year award in 2003 vs Kurt Angle
o Most Improved Wrestler award in 2003

MMA Record
1 Win (1 Submission, 0 decisions), 0 Losses
Date Result Opponent Event Method Round Time
06/02/2007 Win Min Soo Kim K-1 Dynamite!! USA Submission (Strikes) 1 1:09

Personal life

Lesnar joined the national guard at the age of 17.

In January 2001, Lesnar was arrested for receiving a "large amount of steroids". The charges were later dropped when it was discovered that the illicit substance was, in fact, growth hormone.

Lesnar has one daughter, Mya Lynn who was born on April 10, 2002, with his ex-fiancée, Nicole. He left Nicole in 2003 to begin a relationship with Rena "Sable" Mero. Lesnar and Mero were engaged in 2004, separated in 2005, then reconciled later that year and married on May 6, 2006. Lesnar has one stepchild with Mero: Mariah, a stepdaughter born to Mero and her late husband, Wayne Richardson.

Lesnar has numerous tattoos, with the most prominent being a stylized skull in the center of his back and a large sword on his chest.

The video game WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain is named after the quote commentator Tazz attributes to Lesnar, "Here comes the Pain".[85] Other video games Lesnar has also appeared in include WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE WrestleMania XIX, WWE Crush Hour, Madden NFL 06, and the PlayStation 2 version of Wrestle Kingdom.

Lesnar was on the cover of Flex Magazine.

 

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