Real Name: Brock Lesnar
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesotta
Other Names: “The Next Big Thing”, “The Pain”
Official website: WWE: Brock Lesnar
Debut Year: 2002
Trademark Moves: F5, Spinning Powerbomb
Titles Held: WWE Undisputed championship, WWE championship
Tournaments Won: 2002 King of the Ring
A former NCAA runner-up, and eventually champion, the 6 foot 4, 295 pound chiselled machine was signed to a developmental deal by WWE in 2000, and sent down to Jim Cornettes Ohio Valley Wrestling, making great strides as one half of the Minnesota Stretching Crew with Shelton Benjamin. Turning down several NFL offers, Lesnar continues to learn the craft, until 2002 marked his big break.
With WWE crying out for new stars, Vince McMahon saw his own version of Goldberg staring right at him in the form of Lesnar. So the push was laid out, and on an April edition of RAW he systematically laid out Spike Dudley in an act of total brutality. Accompanied by Paul Heyman, who was assigned as Lesnar’s mouthpiece to make up for his shortcomings in the charisma department, Lesnar went on a rampage, destroying the Hardy Boys left, right, and centre, before wiping out Test and Rob Van Dam to become 2002 King of the Ring. Beginning a feud with RVD over the Intercontinental title, Lesnar came up short, but still put a beating to his high flying opponent. Displaying great improvement in the ring, Lesnar was still not ready in many peoples eyes to make it to the next level. But the decision was made. The Rock, on his way out to film a new movie, put Brock over on the way out, and dropped the Undisputed title to him. The youngest champion in WWE history, Lesnar’s push was complete.
Unfortunately, Lesnar was still suffering in the charisma department, but on the plus side, his matches were becoming more brutal, and WWE did a fine job in hiding his weaknesses and exposing his strengths… most notably his power and awe-inspiring speed, which to his credit were fantastic to watch. Lesnar had a two month feud with The Undertaker, ending in an absolutely brutal Hell in a Cell match. Lesnar displayed his power, resilience, and improvement in the way he conducted himself in the ring. Even the little things, like the way he bumped out of the ring, and got frustrated at ringside, were praised by many. But the big moment came at Survivor Series, when Lesnar dropped the title to Big Show. In one of Big Show’s better performances, the match set the scene for Heyman turning on his client. But the story of the match was Lesnar managing to haul the 500 pound tub of flab onto his shoulders and spin him around for an absolutely jaw-dropping F5. The display of raw power got him hugely over with the fans, and earned him a reputation with the WWE faithful. After taking a break to rest nagging injuries, Lesnar came back and won the Royal Rumble, setting up a match with WWE champion, Kurt Angle, in a match many insiders had been waiting for a LONG time.
With Angle’s injury in the way, Lesnar had to be careful. He had destroyed Team Angle, and had set up a credible feud with another bright new star, John Cena. But he had to get past Angle first. And at Wrestlemania IXX, he did. But not without half killing himself with a botched Shooting Star Press first. Still, the stock of the new champion went up. After cruising through Cena and Big Show (again), Lesnar lost the title to Kurt Angle in a triple threat match and finally turned heel and joined forces with Vince McMahon against the babyface Angle, taking the WWE title back in an Iron Man match.
The champion is now meaner and stronger than ever, and no matter who is on the other side of the ring, they better be careful, because in the words of Tazz… “Here comes the Pain”.
- vs. Undertaker (No Mercy 2002)
- vs. Big Show (Survivor Series 2002, Royal Rumble 2003, Judgment Day 2003)
- vs. Kurt Angle (Wrestlemania 19)