Lesnar was born under his namesake on July 12, 1977, making him 40 years old today. He was born in South Dakota, but presently makes his residence in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada and is married to former WWE Diva, Sable (Rena Greek).
During his high school years, Lesnar excelled at football and competed in amateur wrestling, winning the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Heavyweight Championship.
He went to the University of Minnesota on a wrestling scholarship where he roomed with future WWE Superstar Shelton Benjamin. During his 4 years of college, Lesnar would chock up a variety of championship recognitions.
In 2000, Lesnar was signed to the WWE developmental territory of Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) where he formed a lucrative tag team combination with roommate Benjamin known as “The Minnesota Stretching Crew” in homage to Ole and Arn Anderson’s moniker of “Minnesota Wrecking Crew”. The two would capture the OVW Southern Tag Team titles on 4 separate occasions.
Lesnar was later signed to the main roster of Raw as a heel affiliated with manager Paul Heyman (Paul E. Dangerously). Heyman dubbed Lesnar “The Next Big Thing” and supported him both in the ring and out during Lesnar’s early battles with the Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt).
In June, 2002, Lesnar won the annual “King of the Ring” tournament and earned a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship held by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Lesnar and Johnson would square off at the highly touted “Summer Slam” main event, which the Rock lost, making Lesnar the youngest ever WWE Heavyweight Champion (age 25).
The WWE Undisputed Championship was renamed the WWE Championship and became the exclusive property of Smack Down!, hence Lesnar could only defend on that brand.
Lesnar would become involved in a feud with The Undertaker (Mark Calloway) for the title in which Lesnar would emerge victorious in numerous matches, including a “Hell-In-A-Cell” bout.
Things changed for Lesnar however when he entered a feud with The Big Show (Paul Wight). Show would defeat Lesnar at the “Survivor Series” Pay-Per-View event, marking the first title and clean pinfall loss for Lesnar.
After his title loss, Heyman betrayed Lesnar, turning Lesnar face. He did not wish to walk away from his battles with Show and this led to a match between the two at the “Royal Rumble” Pay-Per-View event with Lesnar defeating Show (who was not champion at that point) and earning a viable spot in the Royal Rumble match later that same evening. Lesnar would go on to win the Royal Rumble, thus earning him a title shot against WWE Champion Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX.
Come WrestleMania XIX, Lesnar botched a shooting star press, earning him a concussion. Nonetheless, Angle (being the professional that he is) carried the match and jobbed to Lesnar, earning Lesnar a second title reign as WWE Heavyweight Champion. Lesnar later attributed injuries sustained in this match as a reason for his alcohol and painkiller addictions.
After WrestleMania XIX, Lesnar feuded with John Cena over the WWE Heavyweight tile with The Doctor of Thuganomics on the losing end of things. Lesnar would resume his feud with Show and would include a side feud with Rey Mysterio Jr. Despite decimating Mysterio, Lesnar had his hands full with Show and he squared off in a three way dance against Show and a returning-from-surgery-Kurt Angle at the “Vengeance” Pay-Per-View event. During the bout, Lesnar dropped the title to Angle.
Things would heat up between Lesnar and WWE head Honcho Vince McMahon. This led to a steel cage match on SmackDown! whereby McMahon would face Lesnar with the stipulation being that Angle was the referee. Lesnar would attack Angle during the bout with McMahon egging him on, marking a heel turn for Lesnar.
Lesnar and Angle faced off at Summer Slam in 2003 with Lesnar tapping out to Angle’s “ankle lock” submission hold.
Lesnar would then face Angle for the belt in a 30-minute Iron Man Match on SmackDown! which Lesnar won to become two-time WWE Heavyweight Champion. Lesnar would resume his feud with ‘Taker and would successfully defend the title in a biker chain match at the “No Mercy” Pay-Per-View event in October 2003.
Lesnar would also successfully defend against the late Chris Benoit at the Survivor Series event in 2003.
At the “No Way Out” Pay-Per-View event, Lesnar put the title on the line against the late Eddie Guerrero. Bill Goldberg interfered in the bout, spearing Lesnar outside of the referee’s vision, allowing Guerrero the victory and the WWE Heavyweight Championship.
At WrestleMania XX, Goldberg and Lesnar would face each other in the main event with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as referee, which many consider to be the worst main event in ‘Mania history. The fans knew Goldberg was going to retire and that Lesnar was leaving the WWE to pursue other interests, so neither man put in a great effort. Lesnar dropped the title to Goldberg amongst boos from the crowd.
In 2005, Lesnar left the WWE to compete in New Japan Pro Wrestling. On his debut match, Lesnar captured the IWGP Heavyweight title which set the wheels in motion for WWE to sue Lesnar as he was under contract with the WWE at the time. Lesnar beat the charge and went on to compete in New Japan. On July 15, Lesnar, still undefeated, had to stop competing as New Japan did not want a lawsuit with the WWE as well.
In 2007, Lesnar would drop the title to old rival Kurt Angle who was then Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Heavyweight Champion in a crossover event with New Japan. Lesnar would then depart for a career in the National Football League.
He played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2004 after which his football career came to halt owing to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident prior to his commencement. After the NFL, Lesnar would transfer to Ultimate Fighting and have a very lucrative career spanning from 2008 – 2011.
Suplex City returned to the WWE in 2012 as a heel once again represented by Heyman, and the two got into an altercation with Triple H of the WWE Authority.
Lesnar (kayfabe) broke Hunter’s arm using his “kimura lock” submission move which led to a match between the two at Summer Slam, resulting in the Game giving a rare submission to the kimura lock and once again (kayfabe) breaking his arm.
In January, Lesnar attacked WWE head honcho Vince McMahon and (kayfabe) fractured McMahon’s pelvis by delivering his F5 finishing move. This led to another run with McMahon’s son-in-law Triple H and the two squared off again at WrestleMania XXVIII.
The match stipulation was that Hunter’s career was on the line and Lesnar ended up losing the match as expected. Lesnar would end his feud with Triple H
by defeating him in a steel cage match at the “Extreme Rules” Pay-Per-View event.
Lesnar would then attack Heyman protégé, CM Punk. Heyman assured Punk he would stand by him, but Heyman broke his promise and betrayed Punk. This led to a classic encounter between Punk and Lesnar at Summer Slam with Lesnar emerging the victor in a No Disqualification match.
Ending off the year and spilling over into 2013, Lesnar feuded briefly with Mark Henry (delivering an F5 on the big man) and with the Big Show.
Then, a turning point in WWE history occurred: Lesnar faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX and broke the Dead Man’s winning streak of 21-0. Fans were outraged at what many consider to be one of the WWE’s most shocking moments.
At Summer Slam 2014, Lesnar decimated WWE Heavyweight Champion John Cena, suplexing him around the ring like Cena was a rag doll to ultimately win the WWE Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar would successfully defend the belt in a triple threat rematch pitting him against Cena and Seth Rollins.
At WrestleMania XXI, Lesnar was facing Roman Reigns who was amidst a huge push in his career. During the match with Reigns, Money-In-The-Bank winner Rollins cashed in his contract and joined in the foray, making it a triple threat match. Lesnar would go on to lose the tile, but without actually getting pinned; Rollins pinned Reigns to capture the title.
Lesnar would then face Rollins for the title, marking a face turn for the big man. Lesnar would end up winning the match by disqualification owing to interference from the returning Undertaker, however Rollins retained the title.
This would rejuvenate a feud with ‘Taker who would defeat Lesnar at Summer Slam, but would ultimately lose in a follow-up classic “Hell-In-A-Cell” match at the Staples Center in LA.
Come 2016, Lesnar feuded with mostly teams like the New Day, The Wyatt family and The Shield. This led to a match at WrestleMania XXXII whereby Lesnar defeated Shield member Dean Ambrose in a no-holds-barred street fight.
Lesnar would also make a short return to UFC in 2016 but eventually got suspended after failing 2 drug tests.
In July of 2016, Lesnar was drafted to Raw while Randy Orton was on the SmackDown! roster. Lesnar and Orton would trade attacks on one another on their respective shows, leading to a match at Summer Slam where Orton lost by a “TKO” and suffered a severe head injury requiring ten stitches which was apparently not part of the planned storyline of events.
Once the Orton storyline died down, Heyman announced that Lesnar was going to face a returning Bill Goldberg who had defeated him for the title in the awful WrestleMania match 12 years prior. The two behemoths met at the Survivor Series with Goldberg defeating Lesnar clean in a humiliating 1 minute and 26 seconds, marking a rare pinfall loss for Lesnar.
Goldberg would also meet Lesnar again as part of the Royal Rumble and would easily eliminate Lesnar with a spear.
Goldberg would win the WWE Universal Championship from Kevin Owens and he would put the title on the line against Lesnar at WrestleMania XXXIII whereby Goldie would cleanly lose, marking a 5th WWE title run for Lesnar.
After successful title defenses against Samoa Joe, Raw General Manager Kurt Angle announced that the main event at the Summer Slam would be Lesnar putting his title and career on the line in a fatal four way match including Braun Strowman, Reigns and Samoa Joe.
Summer Slam 2017 occurred the night before this profile was created. Lesnar emerged victorious and is still currently the WWE Heavyweight Champion. Lesnar is an exceptionally well-diversified athlete that can plow through the toughest of competitors. Goldberg may have exposed some weaknesses, but do not take Lesnar lightly- he can suplex the best of them and come out a winner.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.
Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.