Destruction (noun): the action or process of causing so much damage to something that it no longer exists or cannot be repaired. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary might want to adapt their definition to include mention of Brock Lesnar. He’s spent his career breaking not only others, but also himself. The former WWE and UFC champion has a collection of fantastic moments over his amazingly diverse career, but he’s had his fair share of mistakes as well.
There’s a reason why Paul Heyman calls him “The Beast”: sometimes he just doesn’t fully realize his own strength and speed. Take, for example, the time he ever so gently tossed a car door from the ramp area – you wouldn’t believe where it landed. Brock, himself, seemed surprised at his ridiculous power, staring just a second longer to see how far it went.
“The One in 21-1” has had crazy moments, not only with WWE, but UFC and even in the NFL. When he decided to try out for the Minnesota Vikings, a mass brawl was set off by, you guessed it, Brock Lesnar.
Brock only knows destruction, and with no fear – or no known cognizance of his own mortality – he lays it all out on the line every time he steps into a ring, cage, or on a field. Hope you’re ready for blood, broken bones, and beer… yes, even beer.
11. Almost Breaks A-Train’s Neck
Although it may seem like Brock is a dangerous worker, that couldn’t be further from the truth. His gimmick demands a higher level of brutality, and through his athleticism, he does a pretty good job at keeping things in the ring relatively safe. Not to say mistakes don’t happen, like during an episode of SmackDown, when Brock took on A-Train, also known as current NXT’s Head Trainer, Jason Albert.
The match itself went pretty smoothly and when it was time for Brock’s big finisher, well, A-Train literally was dropped on his head. All the weight of his body came crashing down on his neck/back of head, and it’s amazing that serious injury wasn’t done to him.
In the video, watch Cole and Tazz’s reactions in the background. You know it’s bad when the announcers are flinching and throwing their hands in the air.
10. Bloodies John Cena During Brawl
In April of 2012, Lesnar returned to the WWE to “bring legitimacy back to the company” according to then Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis. Brock was immediately put in a feud against John Cena as they would eventually face off at Extreme Rules.
At a Raw Supershow, the two superstars came face to face in the ring. Nothing was said; instead, Cena slaps Lesnar right in the face, and in return, Lesnar shoots at Cena’s legs, taking him down immediately. It’s tough to say exactly when Lesnar busts open Cena’s face, but looking at the video, it’s most likely the very first punch he lands. Squarely popping him in the mouth, Cena flinches slightly as the two continue to brawl on the mat.
When they are finally separated by basically the entire roster, Cena’s green shirt has red all over it, along with a nasty busted lip that quickly swelled up. Never one to quit, Cena appeared later that night for backstage promos, swollen, bloodied lip and all.
9. Destroys Undertaker At WrestleMania XXX
At this point, The Undertaker was 21-0 at WrestleMania, and even though he was going against Brock Lesnar, nobody thought he would lose. Even the odds-makers had pegged him as a huge favorite. After a nasty kimura lock, three F-5s, and a whole lot of punishment, one of the greatest achievements in wrestling history was gone… 1-2-3.
While the match was not terribly worked, it felt a bit “off” as the two men wrestled for just over 25 minutes. At 49, Undertaker was looking every bit of those years and some wondered if he was even fit to wrestle anymore. Unfortunately, he suffered a severe concussion early in the match – possibly from a single leg take down maneuver – which forced Brock to carry the match even more than before.
After the match, Undertaker made his way backstage, immediately collapsed to the ground, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital for overnight observation. No heat was brought on Brock for any of this, it was just a case of his immense strength getting the best of him yet again.
8. Breaks Jamie Noble’s Ribs
In June of 2015, Brock Lesnar had his eyes on Seth Rollins; lucky for Rollins, he had security in the form of Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. Week after week, Rollins would hide behind them so he could make a quick getaway through the crowd or up the ramp. Obviously, Joey and Jamie were no match for Brock, but they provided a long enough distraction to let their champion escape.
During one of Brock’s vicious attacks, Jamie was thrown a bit too hard into the barricade and broke three of his ribs in the process. Once the segment was over, he was taken backstage, put in an ambulance, and rushed off to the hospital. Noble tweeted that he initially couldn’t breathe, but WWE’s medical team acted swiftly in taking care of him.
Not one to stay off the job, Jamie was back in action shortly after, only for Brock to “break” his arm and write Noble off TV for good.
7. Hits Fan With Car Door
Seth Rollins is the current WWE champion, and a few months back, he felt it was about time he gave some gifts to his goons, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury, also known as “J & J Security”. The biggest was a brand new Cadillac that Jamie and Joey couldn’t help but show off to the wrestling crowd. That same night, Rollins and his security cut a promo on Brock Lesnar which, of course, brought “The Beast” out… with two axes.
What proceeded was one of the worst car beat-downs every produced on TV. Windows were smashed, axes were literally lodged in the car, and Brock even blew the driver’s side door off its hinges like it was made out of cheap plastic.
He then proceeded to throw the car door across the stage with a force that separated the metal frame from the plastic interior. While the metal frame veered off to the left, the plastic frame went straight at the crowd, hitting a kid in the front row.
WWE immediately tended to the fan but he declined medical attention. Let that be a lesson — no one is safe from Brock Lesnar, even if you’re over thirty feet away!
6. Goldberg Match At WrestleMania XX
At WrestleMania XX, two of wrestling’s biggest stars hooked up for a match that should still be talked about today. Well, it is, but not for the right reasons, since the most popular person in it was special guest referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. It was widely known that this would be Goldberg’s last WWE match and within a week of the show, Lesnar was rumored to be heading off to the NFL.
They wrestled in front of a very critical New York crowd, who did not appreciate the lazy match they witnessed from two guys who were bouncing from the company. With plenty of rest holds and staring, neither Lesnar nor Goldberg received big pops during the match.
Landing his patented Spear and Jackhammer, Goldberg eventually picked up the win to a fairly quiet crowd. After the match, Lesnar let live fans know what he thought of them by giving everyone the middle finger. Much to the crowd’s delight, Austin ended up stunning both wrestlers which received the biggest cheer of the match.
5. Tries Out For NFL Team… And Starts A Fight
When WWE wasn’t enough, Brock wanted to give the NFL a try before time caught up with him. Prior to tryouts, here’s what Lesnar felt about all the doubters:
“This is no load of bull, it’s no WWE stunt. I am dead serious about this. I ain’t afraid of anything and I ain’t afraid of anybody. I’ve been an underdog in athletics since I was five. I got zero college offers for wrestling. 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 received a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings and made it to their practice squad. During one of their scrimmages, he decided to lay on a running back for a bit too long causing a mass brawl among both teams. Did you see Lesnar get back-body dropped?! Ultimately, the team passed on Lesnar, which opened up the doors towards his career in Mixed Martial Arts.
4. UFC Debut: Frank Mir Fight
After leaving the WWE and a failed attempt at the NFL, Brock moved to MMA. Debuting with the UFC in 2008, Brock’s first opponent was no pushover, it was former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir.
Frank was one of the best in the world at ju-jitsu, so what does Brock do in light of that? He immediately goes for a take down and put himself in relative danger against the heavyweight submission machine. After getting a point deducted for hitting Mir repeatedly in the back of the head, both fighters are stood up. Brock rocks Mir with a right hand and pounces with full on ground-and-pound that excited the crowd.
Brock leaves his arm out twice and Mir nearly locks in an armbar both times to no avail. Lesnar’s biggest mistake came when he lazily stood up at Mir’s feet, getting tripped back down, and put in a kneebar which ended the fight. While it was his fist big match, many called that move a terrible rookie mistake against someone like Frank Mir.
Although Lesnar did get his win back against Mir at UFC 100, the rubber match seems less and less likely.
3. Botches Shooting Star Press At WrestleMania XIX
At the 2003 Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar entered at a very lucky 29th position and was able to outlast the remaining wrestlers – including The Undertaker – to capture an opportunity to take on the WWE Champion at WrestleMania XIX. That man was Kurt Angle, and fans knew that this match would no doubt be memorable.
Unfortunately for Brock, fans remember it more for the bad than the good. Even though Brock was able to defeat Angle to win the title, it’s all about the botch. Angle was down and Brock decided to go for a huge Shooting Star Press to end it all. The only problem — “The Olympic Hero” was more than halfway across the ring from where Brock jumped!
As you can see, Brock misjudged the jump and landed in a very awkward position, crushing his head and neck against Angle’s ribs. Lesnar ended up with a concussion and had to adjust the finish with a quick F-5 for the win.
2. UFC Post-Fight Speech
Brock Lesnar rode into UFC 100 with one thing on his mind: defeat Frank Mir. After losing his first fight against the heavyweight contender, Lesnar did, indeed, get retribution with a second round TKO, beating Mir decisively. When Joe Rogan jumped in the cage to interview Brock, he spat:
“Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his a**. I told him that a year ago. I pulled it out of him and beat him over the head with it. [Now] I’m going to drink a Coors Light. That’s right a Coors. Bud Light don’t pay me nothin’…I may even get on top of my wife tonight.”
When “horseshoe up his a**” and “get on top of my wife tonight” are not the problem, you know something stupid was said, and it wasn’t by Heyman. One of UFC’s biggest sponsors at the time was Bud Light, so to rip on them was probably not the best thing to do. UFC co-owner, Dana White, most likely called him out since Brock immediately apologized at the post-fight press conference while drinking a bottle of Bud Light.
1. Breaks Hardcore Holly’s Neck
Most of the moments on this list result in minor injuries, a slip of the tongue, or just being over-aggressive, but this one is easily the most devastating of all. During a 2002 SmackDown match, Brock went for a powerbomb and wasn’t able to get the proper lift to slam Holly on his back. Instead, he just carelessly dropped Holly on his neck, breaking it.
As you can see in the video, Holly was immediately out of it, causing the ref to possibly signal that something wasn’t right. Brock, either unaware of, or not caring about the severity of the situation actually kicks Holly’s head while he’s down.
Hardcore Holly was out for 13 months due to the injury but was able to return to the WWE to continue wrestling. Even more amazing — when he returned, he feuded with Lesnar and included the broken neck as part of their storyline.
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