This post was intended for MMA and WWE non-fans, so bear with the details, writing style and choice of words.
It’s no secret that I’m a big Brock Lesnar fan. In fact, Brock made me more of an MMA fan today than I was before he entered the octagon. If Tito Ortiz and GSP introduced me to UFC and MMA in general, Brock Lesnar hooked me to it. However, my Lesnar fandom has a much deeper history, going back to his days in the WWE; far from the world of competitive combat sports and legitimate sanctioned bouts. This post is a mini career retrospective for one of the most polarizing athletes in WWE and UFC history.
Brock: The Next Big Thing
I was introduced to Lesnar after he won King of the Ring and garnered a WWE Undisputed Title shot against then champion, The Rock. I despised Brock Lesnar. Dubbed as "The Next Big Thing", he was a freak of nature: towering at 6’3, billed weighing in at 295 lbs. of brute force and with an NCAA wrestling championship credential to match. He also was being managed by Paul Heyman, one of the most influential men in pro-wrestling. I also hated the fact that he’s going after The Rock, probably my all-time favorite wrestler. Brock would do all sorts of dastardly deeds leading up to their match at Summerslam. Billed as "Rock vs. Brock" they tore the house down with their match. Then, the inevitable came. Brock delivered the F5, pinned Rocky and became the youngest Undisputed WWE champion. He became a very dominant champion, manhandling bucks such as Rikishi and Mark Henry while inflicting his wrath on icons such as Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker. And who could ever forget his infamous botched Shooting Star Press on Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XIX? That was as scary as it was awesome and while he botched that move, it made for a Wrestlemania moment that would be replayed in highlight reels for a long time. It seemed that Brock Lesnar was destined to a long and storied career in the WWE. He was on top of the wrestling world, and only at a young age of 25.
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