One of the most successful and charismatic wrestlers of all time, Brock Lesnar has lived an interesting life. With his rural background and mistrust of the spotlight, Lesnar is often at odds with what we expect from a WWE champ.
With this in mind, we’ve chosen five Brock Lesnar facts that will surprise some wrestling fans.
Arnold Schwarzenegger inspired his body transformation
Much has been written about Lesnar’s childhood. The wrestler grew up on a dairy farm, too busy between classes and chores to pursue extracurricular activities.
However, Lesnar persevered with his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. In an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2000, he admitted to taking cues from the former Governor of California for his weight transformation as a teenager:
“I was amazed by guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I’d always be doing pushups and pullups at home. On the farm, I tried to be a workhorse because I knew if I could cut it on the farm, I could cut it anywhere.”
Lesnar sure succeeded in his weight-gain adventure. The Beast Incarnate currently stands at 265 lb – just outweighing Schwarzenegger in his prime.
Lesnar’s colour-blindness cut his military career short
Brock Lesnar often sees red on the ring, but only metaphorically. The wrestler has red-green colour-blindness, which means he struggles to distinguish reds, greens, browns, and oranges. He can’t quite differentiate between different shades of blue either.
Lesnar’s colour-blindness hasn’t stopped him from making a career in wrestling, but it did hinder his military ambitions. At age 17, he joined the Army National Guard with a desire to work with explosives. Fortunately for his colleagues and the rest of humanity, Lesnar wasn’t allowed near explosives due to his sight problems.
The wrestler was then assigned an office job but was discharged after failing a typing test.
Lesnar had a two-year wrestling stint in Japan
It was 2004, and Lesnar desperately needed a career change. Despite not having played American football since high school, Lesnar pursued his dreams of playing in the NFL.
After a motorbike accident shattered his football dream, the wrestler decided to go East and compete in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Lesnar started his NJPW career in style, winning the Heavyweight Championship in his first match.
Lesnar’s biggest NJPW bout was a title defence fight with Shinsuke Nakamura, then the most promising wrestler in Japan. Unfortunately, the match didn’t live up to expectations. Lesnar’s glaring superiority was evident from the get-go, and his failure to take Nakamura seriously frustrated the Japanese fighter.
It would be Lesnar’s last fight in the NJPW.
He is close friends with Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman was instrumental in making Lesnar a big star. In early 2002, Paul E. Dangerously took a young Brock under his wing and made a public promise to help him to become the next big thing in wrestling:
“I, Paul Heyman, managed Steve Austin and groomed him to be Stone Cold. It is a historical fact that I represented The Undertaker and groomed him to The Dead Man. I, better than any single one of you, can spot the next big thing, and ladies and gentlemen, the next big thing is BROCK LESNAR!”
The success of Lesnar’s professional relationship with Heyman mirrored their personal friendship. In an interview with CBS Sports in 2015, Heyman revealed the key to his long-standing friendship with The Beast Incarnate. It turns out that, despite his terrifying looks, all that Lesnar wants is a little honesty:
“I always tell Brock Lesnar the truth. I don’t appease Brock Lesnar. When Brock Lesnar asks me for an opinion, I give to him an honest opinion that I’m willing to back up with facts, with theory. It’s never just what he wants to hear or what benefits me the most.”
He once gave Drew McIntyre some valuable career advice
Drew McIntyre and The Beast Incarnate have a healthy rivalry inside the ring.
Before becoming WWE Champion, McIntyre was part of a comedy jobber team named 3MB (3 Man Band). McIntyre probably wished he could erase that part of his career now. 3MB did not win a single televised match on Smackdown or Raw during their two-year run.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, McIntyre revealed that Lesnar advised him to quit 3MB. He should be a proper wrestling star, not a running joke.
“Brock was not long back at that point from UFC. He pulled me aside, and he straight-up asked me, ‘Why are you involved in this?’ He was so confused, but he saw something in me and believed in me. To have earned his respect means a lot.”
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