On March 17th 2002 professional wrestling history had been made at Wrestlemania 18 when the immortal Hulk Hogan had gone one on one with “The Great One” The Rock. The wrestling world couldn’t imagine anything bigger. Little did they know less than 24 hours later they’d be introduced to “The Next Big Thing” Brock Lesnar.
I remember vividly watching the March 18th, 2002 episode of Monday Night RAW when wrestling promoter, entertainer, and agent Paul Heyman came out, and introduced to the WWE audience his new client who was going to DOMINATE the entire WWE. No one could have known that every prophecy that Paul Heyman foretold would come to fruition.
A former NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar debuted on WWE television at the age of 25 years old. He was a 6 foot 3, 295lbs monster, and an A-1 technical wrestler. From that March straight through to August Brock steamrolled over everyone in his way. There seemed no conceivable way anyone could get through this guy. He won the 2002 King Of The Ring tournament which granted him a title shot in August at WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year “Summerslam”.
It just so happened that “The People’s Champ” The Rock was the current WWE Champion at the time. So the stage was set. The unstoppable monster that was Brock Lesnar versus a seven time WWE Champion. Summerslam! On that night Brock defeated The Rock and became (at the time) the youngest WWE Champion in WWE history.
For exactly 2 years Brock Lesnar was the face of the WWE. He was in the main event of Wrestlemania 19 against Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship in his first year. To my knowledge no one else has accomplished that.
At Wrestlemania 20 Lesnar faced off against Goldberg with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as the guest referee in what was (in my opinion) possibly the worst Wrestlemania match ever. The next day, just as quickly as he exploded into the WWE… Brock Lesnar was gone.
I was pissed.
As pro wrestling has grown in popularity so have the paychecks, and more and more are getting into the profession for the money. For the majority of it’s existence pro wrestling was not a high paying gig for anyone who wasn’t considered a top level talent.
Brock came in at the right time, had an incredible look/background, made an impact, a lot of money, and ran. I had a hard time with this. I’m sure most people wouldn’t blame him. If he can get in, make a lot of money, and get out without making a lifelong career out of abusing his body… why not?
Up till this trend began most pro wrestlers weren’t in it for the money as much as their passion for the business. You HAD to love it to put yourself through the rigors on your body, and personal life. The money certainly wasn’t worth it. So I took great exception to Brock’s cash grab departure.
Needless to say… My Brock Lesnar poster came down off the wall.
I might care more than I should about this, but I feel like you shouldn’t even step one foot in that squared circle unless you are 100% dedicated and passionate about the business and willing to make the personal sacrifices that come along with it. Like any job you have in life you should be there and do it because you love it. I know I do.
Since he left the WWE he trained, and tried out for the Minnesota Vikings but didn’t make the cut. He did a short pro wrestling stint over in Japan, and then came home and decided to make his move into the world of the UFC.
After Brock had left the WWE in 03’ I had completely turned my back on him. In any interviews I ever saw him in on ESPN regarding his UFC career he came off as an arrogant prick. So I was very torn about whether or not I’d even want to read his autobiography. My detest for him however ended up fueling my intrigue into seeing what the hell his story was.
I was curious to know the details of his story as to why he got into the WWE. Why he left and the details of his life/career since then. I got all of that in this book.
So do I still think Brock is an arrogant prick? Well he certainly isn’t a humble man. He is an athlete, a dedicated competitor, and has a number of undeniably impressive accolades. He’s proud of his accomplishments as well he should be, but he’ll be the first to tell you about them.
I understand Brock’s reasons for leaving the WWE, but those same reasons are why he should never have gotten into it in the first place. He was there for a payday since day one. I don’t respect that.
I still don’t think very much of Brock Lesnar as a person from what I know of him, but as an athlete he is undeniably in a league of his own. I am glad I read this book. It has indeed given me a better understanding of this athletic freak of nature, and what makes him tick. I feel like I got some closure with Brock through this book.
T3 Rating: 4/5
· Incidentally, Paul Heyman who was Brock’s WWE agent, and co-writer of this book needs to write his own autobiography. I’d love to hear his story from him in his own words.