Brock Lesnar is one scary son of a bitch. Originally plowing his way through the NFL, he was fired for squashing the balls. Of the referees.
Brock Lesnar was born on 12 July 1977 in South Dakota; a strapping 6 foot 200 pound bouncing baby boy. What a lot of people don't know is that Lesnar is one of only three people ever to bear the regal moniker of "Brock", and the only one that isn't an animated cartoon.
This sunday, at Wrestlemania...!
Always a physical being, Lesnar has pursued careers in all manners of sporting life. His early dreams of being an NFL great were quashed when his consistent rough-sacking drew complaints from other, more mortal athletes. And his on-pitch antics were no softer, eventually leading to an early departure for Brock.
He found his true calling in the World Wrestling Federation. He defeated The People's Champion, your friend and mine, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at Summerslam 2002 to become the then-youngest Undisputed Champion ever. From there he enjoyed memorable Television feuds with acts as varied as The Big Show, and one legged cripple Zach Gowen. Always one for a bit of friendly banter, Brock beat up Gowen's mother at ringside, in what many consider the pinnacle of his career.
Brock's departure from the Federation is controversial, as it was a breach of his WWE contract. He asked to be released by the company, but they slapped him with a "No-Compete Clause" to prevent him wrestling for any other orginisation for at least 10 years. Brock interpreted this as "Immediately go to Japan and win the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) title" .After a long lawsuit, the company thought "just fuck it" and let the beast go, to fulfill his dream of making it in the NFL.
One year and a handful of preseason games later, Brock was again looking for work of the combat variety. This time he set his sights on the MMA, the one job that can fully satisfy his insatiable urge for homerotic violence. At the time of writing, Brock sits atop the world of the UFC, succesfully defending his title as the craziest bastard in the world.
Seriously, have you ever seen a Brock Lesnar Shooting Star Press? It seemed to follow a distinct five step technique.
The only person less qualified to take to the skies than Lesnar was Icarus. But this wasn't Brock's only technical problem...
Brock was notoriously uncommunicative during his WWE bouts, preferring to ride the wind and play by his own rules. This, of course, led Brock to his fair share of red tape troubles.
Do a quick internet search for "Wrestling controversy," or "Wrestler nearly killed by..." and odds are everything's gonna be coming up Brock. But it would appear that throughout his WWE tenure, Brock's biggest enemy was...himself. He was always searching for a bigger, better thrill. "Hulk Hogan body slammed Andre the Giant? Well fuck that, Brock Lesnar's gonna hold The Big Show on his shoulders for hours!"
And that was just the beginning...
Brock's pigheaded refusal to acknowledge the basic laws of physics around which this mortal earth revolves has caused him problems more than once. In 2002, Brock snapped Bob "Hardcore" Holly's neck while performing a rudimentary powerbomb. The Powerbomb, as the Cracked readership no doubt doesn't need to be informed, is the one move that every viewer watches and invariably thinks "...I could probably do that." Argument rages over whether Bob was purposely "not playing ball", but the fact remains that wherever Brock goes, he leaves a trail of snapped bones and tears in his wake.
His finishing move, the F5, (named for the amount of times his victim could manage "oh FUCK" in the time it took them to hit the ground) involved Brock lifting his opponent unceremoniously above his head before dropping them head first to the mat. In news that will shock no-one, this caused more than a few neck injuries in it's day. If snapping lesser mortal's necks with ease was an Olympic sport...what a terrifying world this would be.
In 2003, Brock Lesnar hauled long time rival the Big Show to the second rope during a taping of Smackdown. Fans held their breath and crossed their fingers, not daring to believe their eyes...and then this happened:
Of course the internet can only function on a bitter cocktail of "inflated superiority masquerading as hard fact", so all the talk surrounding this carnival for the eyes centred around whether it was a set-up or not. As far as we're concerned, however, the big one threw the bigger one and some shit blew up. Good show gentlemen, good show.
Lesnar made his debut in the UFC in February 2008. Unused to fighting in a match without a predetermined outcome (In Brock's own personal ideology, "Opponent's swift death" is always the predetermined outcome of any action), he submitted to former champion Frank Mir in the first round.
Despite this, he managed to finagle a bout with former champion Mark Coleman, scheduled for "UFC 87: Seek and Destroy". A "training injury" (the most gentlemanly description of "shitting out liquid terror" ever commited to print) ruled Coleman out for the fight, leaving Heath Herring, the equivalent of the unarmed prisoners who would be brought out to entertain Gladiator bloodlust, to take his place. Within seconds, Lesnar had laid Herring out with one punch, and the rest is, as they say, too gory to describe.
He ate him.
Brock climbed quickly through the ranks, and on November 15 he defeated Randy Couture at UFC 91 to become the Heavyweight Champion. His rivalry with Frank Mir continued to bubble over throught his championship, and the scheduled rematch at UFC 98 was a hotly anticipated bout. However, this was forced to be postponed after Mir was laid low by a conspicious knee injury. (They had evidently been quaking a little too forcefully.)
But Mir couldn't run forever, and the two met at UFC 100 in July 2009. To say that Brock "won" the match would be like saying Kel "liked" orange soda. Lesnar's destruction of Mir earned him Sherdog's "Beatdown of the Year" honours for 2009. (Previous awardees include Wolverine, that leopard that kicked a crocodile's ass, and my dad).
In October 2009, Brock was finally forced to pull out of a UFC fight, citing illness as the cause. Facing the worst sickness of his life, he submitted himself to treatment in a Canadian hospital. Not long after, he transferred to an American hospital instead, claiming that malfunctioning equipment had caused him to receive "Third World treatment". (Reports that Brock made every piece of equipment in the building "tap out" are unsubstantiated at this time)
Just before Brock could sanction a bout between himself and the Canadian healthcare system, he was diagnosed with mononucleosis, not to mention diverticulitis. Brock's iron constitution had kept these ailments secret for around a year, according to doctors.
The condition forced the UFC to hold "interim" title bouts. In essence, this sullied the efforts of every man who took part, serving as a constant reminder of the transience of their acheivements while serving as the UFC "Interim Heavyweight Champion". When Shane Carwin defeated our old friend Frank Mir to earn a fight against Brock this summer at UFC 116, Brock himself entered the ring to disparage the "Make Believe belt" that Carwin held. Carwin replied with a dignified "...quit it."
Not pictured: Mercy
April 1, 2012. The date of the historic Wrestlemania 28 event. THE shining night in the WWE's calendar. But a dark stormcloud hung over the show. Despite superstars such as The Rock, CM Punk and Kane putting on a memorable and enjoyable programme, there was something in the air that made everyone feel uneasy, a chill in the bones that noone could quite place. These fears would be realised on the following night's edition of Monday Night Raw.
Meat's BACK on the menu, boys!
Brock made his triumphant return to the deafening roar of the sold out Miami crowd. He promptly attacked and laid out the company's top star and face, John Cena, because in case you hadn't noticed, the man is Brock Lesnar. General Manager John Laurinaitis formally announced Brock's return on the next week's show, claiming that he had roped Brock back in to return "legitimacy" to the program, and to be the next "real" face of the company. Which was strange, because the WWE targets the majority of it's television programming at children, and if THAT face was the face of your company, they're going to run in their droves, screaming and crying tears of blood.
John Cena was not at all best pleased about being attacked by Brock. In fact, the assault seemed to have left him with a death wish, evident in the fact that he accepted the challenge to face Brock at the Extreme Rules pay per view. Deciding that he was positively fed up with his life spent in this mortal shell, he rushed at Brock prematurely, attempting to repay the favour. The ensuing melee required approximately the entire backstage staff to pull apart, and ended with Cena bleeding profusely and Brock laughing, because how did you think that sentence was going to end?
April 29 was the date for the Extreme Rules PPV. A few weeks earlier, the stipulation was added that the match would have the "extreme rules" stipulation, and was to be sponsored by the Tautology Club of America. This meant that the competitors would be allowed to use any weapons that they like to demolish their opponents. Cena opted for the large and damaging steel steps, Lesnar of course decided upon the sledgehammer and the deathbringer. (These, as you will have guessed, being the names of his fists.)
Experts estimate that Brock Lesnar hit Cena with roughly 95% of all punches that have ever been thrown in recorded human history, and dominated the entire match with his MMA style of attack. He didn't count, however, on Cena's Kryptonian heritage. Despite the vicious, vicious beating that he received, Cena was able to deliver a single solitary Attitude Adjustment to Brock onto the steel steps, his finishing manoeuver, for the pin and the win.
The chaos of a Brock loss sent a ripple through the space-time continuum and momentarily drained all colour from the world. This was, thankfully, a passing thing.
Following his defeat to John Cena, you can only imagine that it would take someone with extraordinarily low levels of self-preservation to voluntarily cross Brock's path. That man would be Triple H, acting COO of the company. Brock had a number of demands for HHH, including changing the name of the show to "Monday Night Raw, starring Brock Lesnar". HHH refused to give in to this simple, logical command, and Brock made the similarly logical choice to snap HHH's arm into tiny pieces.
Absolutely astounded when this tactic failed to get his demands met, Brock brought in his old manager Paul "The Human Walrus" Heyman to be his legal representative, and claimed a lawsuit against the company for "breach of contract". Apparently, breaking the arm of the COO was allowed under the original contract, for which we can only admire HHH's attention to detail. Brock later announced to be quitting the company (for neither the first nor last time).
In June, at the No Way Out pay per view, HHH proved that it wasn't only his arm that had snapped by challenging Brock to a bout at Summerslam. Brock was not present on that night, which HHH no doubt intended to cover as an "I'll take your silence as a no" get out gambit, while saving face. Luckily for him, Paul Heyman would officially reject the provocation the next night on Raw. HHH sighed a sigh of monumental relief, and went back to his day job of pushing numbers and faxes, and generally not being fed through a straw.
So imagine his face when Stephanie McMahon, his wife, hit the ring at Raw 1000 on July 23, calling out Paul Heyman and berating him into accepting the challenge for Brock to face HHH. With no choice but to stand by his wife's crazy, insane, absolutely thoughtless actions, HHH hit the ring and was closely followed by Brock himself. They brawled for a while, before HHH got the upper hand and laid Brock out in the middle of the ring. No, of course not; Brock left triumphant, leaving a rattled HHH in his wake. In the following weeks, Brock would continue to send a message to HHH, in the only way he knows how:
He hunted down HHH's longtime friend Shawn Michaels and snapped his arm while HHH was forced to look on. This set the stage for their Summerslam match, dubbed "The Perfect Storm", a reference to Brock's "F5" finisher, which feels like a tornado slamming you into the ground from the stratosphere.
The match at Summerslam followed the same template as the Extreme Rules bout. Brock physically dominated for the entire match, beating HHH down time and time again with his MMA style of offense, while HHH got the occasional lucky clothesline or punch into the mix, utterly fruitlessly. The match ended when HHH went for a 360 moonsault, only to get caught by Brock, who hit a back suplex for the pin and win. No, you guessed it, the match ended when Brock locked HHH into the Kimura lock, broke his arm, and made him tap out.
According to doctors, Triple H's left arm is officially just bone splinters rattling around a fleshy sack.
On the following edition of Raw, Brock deemed himself the new "King of Kings", a title that previously belonged to Triple H (who had himself defeated Jesus for the title at a hotly received match at BibleBash 1998). He later released a Tout on air, announcing that he was leaving the company once AGAIN, having "conquered all there is to conquer in the WWE". A confused John Cena said "...say what now?"
In the days and months following August 19, an uneasy calm returned to the WWE. The Beast had returned to his eternal slumber, and who knew when he would once again rise to wreak his unholy vengeance upon the mortals? People began to dream of a brighter future, a future in which they could go about their jobs without having their armbones snapped into the world's most difficult jigsaw puzzle, or their bodies pulverised into a puddle of used-to-be-flesh.
That dream died screaming in an inferno on January 28, 2013.
Vince McMahon was in the middle of a segment wherein he planned to fire Paul "ECW" Heyman, presumably for the crimes of being a bit greasy and being a fan of CM Punk. But just as Vince was about to lay the deathblow upon George, Lennie came lumbering out.
This proceeds to not go well for one of these individuals
Brock returned from the netherrealm to avenge his manager/friend/pet(?), and the lingering sounds of screaming in the lockerroom will never truly disappear. Vince, the 67 year old business tycoon, stood his ground against the prime-of-his-life monster who dismembers men for a living. Anyone who has been following Vince McMahon's life for any length of time knows full well that Vince absolutely thought he could handle Brock in a fight. Jacked as Vince may be for his advanced age, Brock's bones are made of double adamantium, and his muscles grow exponentially bigger if he can smell your fear.
In an awe-inspiring feat of strength, Brock hoisted the aging businessman to his shoulders, took a few seconds to grunt out the prayer of appeasement to the banished Gods, then slammed Vince straight to Hell. Vince's injuries included a broken hip, a crushed spirit, and "being eternally cold to the touch, as if his soul had forever left his body."
"I almost got him, damn it!
The next week, during the highest rated talk show in US history, Miz TV, managing supervisor and resident harpy Vickie Guerrero dropped the bomb that it was *she* who had spoken the sacred words, united the ancient scrolls and returned Brock to the WWE. She had done so in an effort to impress Vince McMahon; while she may not have left a huge impression upon him, Vince himself certainly left a huge impression upon the ring mat when Brock pancaked his body into it! zzzzzzzzzzzzing!
To no-one's surprise, Lesnar himself appeared to get this party started. He laid waste to the Miz TV set, hurling around sofas and chairs like they were doll's house furniture. The Miz, popular reality star turned wrestler-cum-talk show host, attempted to defend the honour of his ring furnishings, and woke up days later with no memory of how he got there.
Brock's plans would hit a pothole when a small, anonymous group of wrestlers gathered the seven Ultimo Dragonballs and wished Vince McMahon back to life. He would reappear on the February 25 episode of Raw, to laugh in the face of the Gods and declare his immortality. His victory was shortlived however, interrupted once more by a rampaging Brock.
Brock aimed to come out and finish McMahon off once and for all, but there was a tiny snag in his plans: Triple H chose that day to decide he had not tasted enough of the sweet nectar of death, and craved more. He rushed out to save his father in law, brawling with Brock at ringside and prompting many viewers to call their cable companies to complain that their wrestling had switched to "Godzilla vs. King Kong" unannounced. The highlight of the brawl was HHH slamming Brock into the ringpost and finally revealing that even a Lesnar can bleed.
"You fool! This only fuels me!"
Brock responded to this bloodletting in the only way he knows how: he sought out HHH's oldest (literally), most damageable friends and crushed their bodies into powder. During a match between the New Age Outlaws (HHH's friends) and team Rhodes Scholars, Lesnar emerged from the shadows, pulverising the Outlaws and vanishing just as suddenly as he appeared; a vengeful shadow with only one, Triple-H baiting purpose.
HHH took the bait.
The next week, Triple H challenged Brock to an official fight at Wrestlemania 29, on April 7 at Metlife Stadium. During his speech, he uttered many notable lies, such as "I've been waiting eagerly for this rematch since you beat me at Summerslam" and "I am going to beat you". He delivered his challenge with the arrogance and pomp with which only someone who has recently suffered severe head trauma can.
Lesnar, through Paul Heyman, obviously accepted this offer of ritual sacrifice, but with the addendum that the match only became official if Lesnar could name the stipulations after HHH had already signed the contract. This level of tricksy-hobbit manipulation was not expected by a visibly shaken Triple H - if Brock could learn simple mental functions, there may truly be no way of defeating him.
Not Pictured: Sanity
Triple H had evidently spent the months he took to rebuild his body in a Turkish dungeon also remoulding his image from "professional wrestler" to "Viking God". Gone were the business suits and in were the badass leather jackets and ever-present Hammer. Obviously, his reasoning was "takes a God to kill a God".
Triple H accepted Brock's reasoning, showing up on Raw to sign the contract for the fight. But, learning nothing from his father-in-law's mistakes, he also used the opportunity to kick around Paul Heyman, knowing that Brock would not breach this dimension until the Wrestlemania fight was set in stone. Sure enough, HHH beat up on Heyman, signed the contract, and out came Brock, hungry for manflesh. Triple H, however, had hidden his trusty Hammer in a nearby table, and was able to vend off Lesnar with the various ward spells that had been cast upon the hammer over the eons.
A retreating Lesnar/Heyman revealed to HHH the stipulation they had picked - it was to be a No Holds Barred match. HHH, who wasn't aware that any holds were ever barred, was not fussed in the slightest. Heyman had one more ace up his sleeve - if HHH lost, he would be forced to retire. HHH, as someone who wrestles a maximum of once a year and thus is for all intents and purposes already retired, was again not fussed.
His face has been contorted into this twisted mask of agony since Summerslam. Thankfully this hasn't quelled his fighting spirit
The remaining weeks before Wrestlemania were a trash-talk back-and-forth extravaganza. Lesnar, knowing that HHH's protective charms expired at the stroke of midnight on April 7, was happy to wait for his prey, and HHH, in full knowledge of this, took every opportunity to try and bait the Beast into a pre-emptive assault. He even enlisted his only remaining living friend Shawn Michaels (he of the previously-broken arm) to be in his corner at Wrestlemania, in the hopes that Brock would instinctively attack him with some sort of "blood-memory" or something, presumably.
And thus the day of reckoning arrived. 80,000 fans packed into the Metlife Arena on April 7, 2013, to watch Brock Lesnar kill a man. Shawn danced his usual dance to the ring, the dance of a man who has stared into the abyss and seen what is waiting for him. Next, Lesnar once again breached the veil to our dimension, for possibly the last time, and loped angrily to the ring, scattering Michaels to the outside like a frightened rabbit. HHH entered last, looking like a Viking God who was furious that he'd just been tricked into his first gay rave.
Finally, the two titans locked up for the first time since Summerslam 2012. Triple H had obviously come back to the realm of reality since that time, and had bulked up considerably in preparation for his second battle with Brock. The least that can be said for him is that *this time* it didn't look like Brock would immediately lift him up and rip him apart like Goro would.
The match was a brutal affair, with more chair shots than a recliner catalogue, and with both men working a more strike-and-brawl style than a wrestling match. Brock stunned the world however, by performing a couple of rudimentary wrestling moves, mostly belly-to-belly suplexes and the like (neatly fitting Brock's simple philosophy of grab and throw, fulfilling the foreshadowing he had set in place months before with the Miz TV furniture).
Near the end of the match, Brock finally learned the true horror of what he had been inflicting on his enemies for the last year when HHH trapped him in his own Kimura Lock. A cavalcade of emotions flared over Brock's usually impassive face. He tasted the pain that his own victims had all perished amidst. To the eyes of the world, it looked as if Brock may submit to the maneuver. However this was merely Brock's contingency plan. If he couldn't escape the hold in time, he planned to obliterate the planet with one blow of his mighty fist.
Thankfully, Brock was able to power out of the hold. Not so thankfully, he did not move his arm out of the theatre of conflict, for reasons best known to himself. This led to him getting caught in the lock not once, but two more times. Cursing his own lax attitude towards his own appendages, Brock worked himself into a fury. This gave HHH the opening he needed to spit in the face of physics - he blasted Lesnar in the head with his no-longer enchanted hammer and delivered his finishing maneuver The Pedigree onto the steel steps for the shock win.
After the Extreme Rules match last year, and now this, leading World Scientists are meeting in crisis summits worldwide today to discuss whether there is something about the steel steps to which Brock is vulnerable. If true, there may yet be hope for humankind. So join hands, Children of Earth, and offer a prayer to the brave souls of John Cena and Triple H, who put their bodies in the line of Brock Lesnar's fire in the pursuit of this knowledge.