Brock Lesnar: Joining the U.S. National Guard at 17, Vicodin and Vodka Addiction and Airplane Fights
One of the biggest stars of World Wrestling Entertainment, conqueror of the invincible, UFC champion and a controversial figure, who constantly caused all sorts of problems and scandals.
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Brock Lesnar, a guy you don't want to mess with. It could be the last thing you do. Almost two meter-high and one hundred and thirty-kilogram beast with a hostile look of a cold-blooded killer filled with hate, craving for blood and violence. He doesn't call himself The Beast for nothing.
"What makes me happy? Beating people makes me happy. I'm the one who kicks asses, that's all," said a 44-year-old American wrestler from South Dakota in one interview. This is precisely what he always did best, and in every battle it was beyond clear that he truly enjoyed it.
Maybe it's because he doesn't like people. He flat out admitted it in Steve Austin's Stone Cold podcast, his wrestling colleague, and friend. "It's not a phobia. I just don't feel good and comfortable when I'm in the presence of more people. That's just the way I am. I know, it's a bit of a paradox because I usually go to the arena, where there are more than twenty thousand people," he added.
Shortcuts are for the weak
Lesnar was born to collect gold trophies and win. Half the match was won just by looking at his opponents. Subsequently, he had no problem taking men bigger than him, lifting them into the air, and throwing them on the ground with full force. When he was furious, it was simply impossible to defeat him. He was unstoppable.
Today, he can pride himself on being the only one to win the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). According to Sportskeeda, he also won the Tokyo-based New Japan Pro Wrestling title, where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his debut match.
Lesnar knew discipline from an early age. He grew up on a dairy farm in Webster, and it taught him a lot, as he said himself. "I am not the one to complain. That's how I was raised. I learned important lessons on the farm. I couldn't do anything until I had my work done," he revealed. "I never chose the easy path or shortcuts. Those are for the weak. If I had to run five miles, I would run five miles. I didn't run four miles. Success is a reward for that," Lasnar added vigorously.
He worked with explosives until...
As he wrote in his autobiographical book from 2011, he joined the National Guard when he was only 17. According to Whatculture, he spent nine weeks working in an artillery supply unit with explosive charges at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. The explosives were marked red and green.
When the National Guard found out that Lesnar was suffering from red-green color blindness, it was a real problem. They rightly considered it too great a danger for him to work with such sensitive material. Subsequently, although they offered him an office, he was finally fired after an unsuccessful type test. Despite this failure, working in the National Guard allegedly changed his life.
"I was a typical teenager. I didn't listen to a lot of people. I thought I was the wisest and that I knew everything. I didn't have respect for myself or any authorities for that matter. Then I stepped into the guard, and let me tell you, those bastards put me in check, " Lesnar recalled.
They called him the Terminator or Robocop, he was indestructible
No wonder Lesnar built a strong relationship with sports at an early age. He played American football in high school, using of his robustness to his favor. He was a great talent with a promising career. However, the interest in wrestling was stronger. He dominated the local wrestling scene and continued his success in college.
At Bismarck State College, he won the second year of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) heavyweight wrestling. And, as Sportscasting writes, once he transferred to the University of Minnesota, he also won the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Heavyweight Division I Championship in 2000.
He demolished his opponents, leaving them lying helplessly on the ground, unable to keep the fight going. According to Wayback Machine, he was getting nicknames such as Terminator or Robocop. He was indestructible. Lesnar had an incredible wrestling balance over the four years in college - 106 wins and only 5 defeats.
First he destroyed Hulk Hogan, then kicked The Rock out of the ring
Lesnar then took the opportunity to reach a broader audience and decided he wanted to be in the spotlight. After trying out a job as a construction worker or demolitionist, he really longed for his name to be chanted by people in huge arenas and to get a hefty fee for beating people. So he signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, the world's largest professional wrestling organization, to show everyone what he's got.
The audience didn't have to wait too long. From the very start, it was clear to everyone that he would be the new star. Lesnar premiered on TV screens in 2002. In August, he was given the opportunity to fight the absolute legend Hulk Hogan as part of the Smackdown event. Although it didn't look good for him at first, he survived a hard kick in the chest and Hogan's "bombs" in the head. Then he defeated him with a murderous squeeze.
After this win, he earned a new nickname, The Next Big Thing. It was no wonder that he was shortly given a chance to fight against another dangerous muscle man and a big WWE star at the Summerslam event in August 2002. His opponent was The Rock, and as Sportskeeda writes, that night, at the age of 25, Brock Lesnar became the youngest belt holder in the organization's history.
In the fierce match, Lesnar dominated Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson within the first seconds. At times it seemed that he might break his ribs. He almost "turned him off" at first with an uncompromising suplex, then he literally kicked him out of the ring. However, Johnson managed to get up several times and got Lesnar in big trouble to the point that it seemed he would knock out and give up. Both have provided an unforgettable match full of twists to the spectators. However, Lesnar was the one who got the last laugh.
Vicodin addiction, daily bottle of vodka and a plane fight
Lesnar was on a roll, and he wasn't planning to stop humiliating the biggest stars of WWE. Another "monster" catch was the two-meter tall Undertaker. The Webster wrestler beat him in a steel cage twice, the same year as Hogan or The Rock. In 2003, they completed a trilogy with Undertaker losing again. Thus, Lesnar became the first wrestler to beat this giant so many times.
In 2003, he appeared in a bizarre but funny commercial promoting the popular Summerslam event. It took place on the beach during a summer's day, disrupted by the arrival of a shark. As a terrified crowd of people quickly ran away, Lesnar ran in the opposite direction to destroy the shark. He is then lifting the shark over his head and classically throwing him back into the sea, just like his rivals in the ring.
During his WWE career, the wrestler from the rough countryside experienced fame but also some heavy times. According to Wrestlingworld, he became addicted to Vicodin and alcohol after an unpleasant series of injuries. Also, due to the stress allegedly caused by WWE's demanding travel plan. Lesnar got to the point where he drank a bottle of vodka a day. At that time, he even got into a dangerous battle with another wrestler, Curt Hennig. It took place on a plane, and although nothing serious happened to anyone, it could have been truly catastrophic.
According to the Thesportster portal, Brock Lesnar immortalized this dark period on his body with a huge sword tattoo. "I felt like life was holding a sword right up against my throat, so I went under the ink gun because I never wanted to forget exactly how I felt at that time. The tattoo on my chest has so much meaning to me. In some ways, it’s funny, because the period of my life that I’m talking about is a time I so want to forget, but I know I can use this memory as motivation," said the wrestler.
Lawsuit with WWE and an attempt to get into the NFL
In 2004, Lesnar left WWE after losing to Bill Goldberg at Wrestlemania XX, and, according to The Sportster, even sued the organization in 2005. The reason was said to be WWE's efforts to prevent him from wrestling under other organizations. And since he wanted to fight in Japan at the time, that was a problem. In the end, however, Lesnar won the dispute and was therefore allowed to fight elsewhere.
According to Sportbible, Lesnar wanted to break out of the wrestling world by trying his luck in the NFL, the world's largest league focused on American football. He probably got nostalgic about his high school days. After impressing the "big fish" in the combined draft, he was selected to the Minnesota Vikings training group and joined the team's pre-season training.
"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," Lesnar said to the haters.
Sportbible further writes that an unpleasant motorcycle accident disrupted his preparation. He had a broken jaw, a crushed pelvis, and weak legs. This was probably also caused by the club not selecting him for the final list of players, so his dream of being a professional footballer was officially gone. He decided to try his luck elsewhere. And he was much more successful with that.
Great contract with the worst start possible
Lesnar decided to dip his toes in the mixed martial arts this time around. Debuting on the Dynamite!! USA on June 2nd, 2007, where he uncompromisingly eliminated the opponent in the first round within one minute. His opponent was Min Soo Kim from South Korea.
Former WWE superstar's popularity was still enormous. Dana White, president of the world's largest MMA league, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, tried to take advantage of it. In an effort to attract more attention and expand the spectrum of spectators, he signed a contract with Lesnar, a huge name of strong caliber in the UFC.
For Brock Lesnar, it was also a chance to prove he's a real wrestler, worthy of recognition. That he can eliminate even more scary-looking fighters without a pre-agreed scenario. However, his first opponent was the former temporary heavyweight champion— the dangerous Frank Mir, famous for his fantastic submissions.
Holder of the black belt in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu welcomed Lesnar in his own way and won by another submission (kneebar technique). He got him in the first round. Although Lesnar didn't start well in the UFC, he subsequently managed to defeat Heath Herring and, surprisingly, got a chance for a title immediately afterward.
November 15th, 2008, he confronted another dreaded fighter and former champion Randy Coutur in the cage. Although only a few believed in him, he shocked the world and won the most valuable title in his fighting career.
Sweet revenge and a death wish
In order to not make it too easy for Lesnar in the UFC, he was matched with an old acquaintance to defend his belt for the first time, none other than his rival Frank Mir. And as they say, revenge is sweet indeed. This time, the champion's belt was successfully defended and Lesnar defeated Mira by a technical knockout in the second round.
However, the rivalry between the wrestlers still persisted and went a bit overboard. Frank Mir undoubtedly wanted a third match with Lesnar, but according to Sportbible, he said some really disturbing things in one interview. "I hate who he is as a person. I want to break his neck in the ring. I want him to be the first person that dies to Octagon-related injuries," Mir said.
The MMA community's response did not take long, and all these words were condemned, led by White. "Frank Mir is a f**king idiot! I have never heard something so unprofessional and idiotic in my life," the UFC president responded. In any case, Lesnar was facing another defense, and this time he literally escaped by a whisker. The robust and highly explosive Shane Carwin had hit him like a train in the first round and bullied him from the top position in the mesh with the most brutal blows.
Although it seemed like the referee Josh Rosenthal would end the match several times, he gave Lesnar a chance. He expertly took the exhausted Carwin to the ground since he was already losing strength in the second round. The match ended with a submission, which shocked the entire arena. Two casualties with Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem followed. Meanwhile he had surgery for persistent problems with diverticulitis (inflammatory bowel disease).
Boundless violence and doping case
In 2010, Lesnar became the best-earning MMA wrestler according to MMA Weekly, but he decided to leave the world of mixed martial arts. Surprisingly, he came back after a few years. In 2012, he tested his luck again at World Wrestling Entertainment, followed by a rollercoaster full of brutal battles in the ring, pre-planned violent attacks in backstage, or several rivalries that last practically to this day.
The most famous one was with John Cena (they first went against each other in 2003), while in the match with him, Lesnar won the title of WWE heavyweight champion again in 2014. The dispute with Paul Triple H Levesque is definitely worth mentioning as well.
Among the most memorable moments were undoubtedly the Cadillac demolition with an ax or his bare hands or the match with Randy Orton. Lesnar completely messed him up with his elbows in 2016, to the point that he had to be carried away by ambulance. And those who have watched WWE events regularly remember Lesnar's backstage attack on Seth Rollins. In 2019, he pulled him out of an ambulance on a stretcher and fired a couple of cold-blooded hits at him. As he suffered helplessly in pain, others just stood by staring in silence.
Meanwhile, Lesnar left WWE again and returned to the octagon to compete with Mark Hunt (who won the match but was later labeled no contest - no winner, as the USDA found banned substances in his blood and fined him a year).
According to Bleacherreport, he said that wrestling isn't real and that he wants to be known mainly as a UFC wrestler. However, the doping scandal marked the final end of his MMA career. He returned to his home - to WWE, where he was welcomed with open arms. And he did well. Even in 2021, he managed to regain the heavyweight king belt in the organization. Together with John Cena, The Rock or Hulk Hogan, Brock Lesnar is undoubtedly one of the biggest wrestling superstars.
Problematic outside the cage as well
This giant from South Dakota was a real problem outside the ring as well. In conclusion, let's look at a few scandals or controversial statements by Brock Lesnar. According to Givemesport, the former professional wrestling manager Terri Runnels has accused the wrestler of sexual harassment. Apparently, he showed her his penis as she walked past his locker room. According to her, Lesnar does not respect wrestling fans either.
In any case, he obviously had a weak spot for women from the wrestling environment. Today he is married to a former professional wrestler Rena Lesnar, who is ten years older and worked in WWE. She is also a model (Playboy) and an actress. The robust countryman also has a weakness for hunting animals. However, according to Bleacherreport, this hobby has often gotten him into trouble with the law.
While hunting in Canada in 2011, he was fined $ 1,725 for shooting the wrong animal and banned from hunting for six months. The wrestler was also accused of illegally keeping wild animals or shooting a deer. He cut off his head and took it as a trophy, leaving the rest of the animal in the field.
According to Wrestlingworld, he also sparked controversy with his political comments in the same year, criticizing Barack Obama's "health care reform." "I'm a conservative Republican. … I'm speaking on behalf of Americans. I'm speaking on behalf of our doctors in the U.S. that don't want this to happen, and neither do I," said Lesnar. The former president of the United States wanted to fight fraud and unfair practices of insurance companies through a law also known as Obamacare (the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).
Over time, statistics have shown that the law has caused a significant reduction in the number of people without health insurance. The United States National Institute of Public Health said that the percentage of these people fell from 16% (in 2010) to 8.9% (June 2016).
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