5 times Brock Lesnar went too far
The Beast Incarnate has been a surefire pay-per-view monster for two decades, reaching the absolute pinnacle of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts, earning Lesanar the No. 1 spot among WWE’s biggest stars.
During The Steve Austin Show, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon told viewers that he believed Lesnar had earned certain privileges that no other star had been able to, given his conquest of multiple industries. Despite McMahon’s tolerance of Lesnar’s demands, there were times when even Brock took things too far.
Throw the title to Vince McMahon
Not only did Brock Lesnar toss WWE’s most coveted championship like it was yesterday’s trash, he also threw it right in Vince McMahon’s face. After Lesnar’s Main Event Wrestlemania 34 match against Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship, Lesnar can be seen tossing the title to McMahon in footage from the WWE 24 documentary. of the president calling him an asshole at full volume.
Vince has been known to respect “alpha male” behavior, even participating in several physical coasts and occasionally fighting with various roster members, but surely that’s a bridge too far. Titus O’Neil was suspended for a few mild ribs, while Lesnar escaped seemingly unscathed for that insane belt attack. Well, to our knowledge…
Break open Randy Orton
At Summerslam 2016, Lesnar was the subject of much controversy, knocking out fellow main Randy Orton with vicious elbows on the ground and the pound, more in keeping with his tenure in the UFC.
The match was quickly called off, with referee Mike Choida not even sure if it was a work or not. In an interview with James Romero of Wrestling Shoot Interviews, Choida said the following:
“Brock opened it up and I could tell there was something going on. But I didn’t know if it was really Brock towards Randy or if it was just Brock listening to what the office wanted him to do,” Chioda said. “Randy was in a bit of heat at the time. He really nicked him on the forehead. You could tell he was going because he was just elbow against the forehead. I was a bit shocked that they would do this because concussion protocol was still solid at the time.
This incident caused an uproar among viewers and locker rooms alike, with Chris Jericho aggressively confronting the beast incarnate for taking liberties with Orton. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a fight between Jericho and Lesnar was broken up by Triple H and Vince McMahon, with the chairman assuring Jericho that it was all part of the plan.
Orton also reportedly confirmed that the angle was planned, but even so, it looks like it could have gone much further than originally intended.
The UFC beer debacle
Whether we’re talking about the Octagon battles of the UFC or the sports-entertainment brand of WWE, corporate sponsors are a huge source of potential revenue, earning millions for their respective organizations.
While some fighters have been respectfully candid about the lack of sponsor compensation for fighters, Brock Lesnar has decided to go nuclear. In his UFC 100 post-fight promo with Joe Rogan after retaining the title against Frank Mir, he lashed out at the show’s sponsor.
Lesnar announced that because he was not personally compensated as much as he felt he should have been by Bud Light, which was the official sponsor of the UFC, that he would in fact not only drink the beer from rival company Coors Light, but he also said ‘Hell, I might even get on my wife tonight’
Break Bob Holly’s neck
On September 12, 2002, what apparently started out as a normal SmackDown singles outing between Brock Lesnar and Bob Holly, quickly went wrong at around 5 minutes. Lesnar takes Holly, slowly and methodically into the powerbomb position before stepping forward as he pulls him down and points Holly directly at his neck.
Not only that, after Holly was lying there with a legitimately broken neck, Lesnar continued to antagonize Holly by disrespectfully nudging her with the toe of his boot. While there has been some debate over Brock’s intentions, it’s undeniable that toying with an injured opponent in this manner is going way too far.
The angle of the powerbomb and the behavior that followed suggests that Lesnar deliberately decided to put Holly on the disabled list. That was until Holly himself confirmed in numerous interviews that it was a series of unfortunate events that led to the accident and nothing more sinister than that. In an interview with Diamon, Joe Holly said:
“Brock, you know, he was sick, and we both exploded. And he went to get me to bombard me and I tried to go up. I tried to grab his head and couldn’t reach it. And he ended up, you know, we ended up going back down and he tried to hold me and that was it,” Hardcore Holly said. (h/t Mainly Sports)
Holly would eventually return to WWE to face Lesnar in what was arguably one of the finest outings of her career for the WWE Title at the 2004 Royal Rumble.
So on this occasion, we’re forced to take Holly at her word and give Lesnar a pass.
Leaving WWE mid-contract to pursue NFL
It’s October 2003 and Vince McMahon had behemoths Brock Lesnar and Goldberg as his two champions. While this situation sounds like a dream for Vince, it would turn into a nightmare less than a year later, culminating at Wrestlemania 20.
What was supposed to be an attraction for the ages, has simply become a mess of a meeting at the “Grandest Stage Of Them All”. Lesnar and Goldberg faced off in one of the weirdest fights in Wrestlemania history. As the internet grew in prominence among wrestling fans, it was no secret that Goldberg was leaving the company and Lesnar was about to leave the company all together!
Brock reportedly just signed a $45 million contract extension in the summer of 2003, before asking to terminate his contract due to his hatred of the grueling schedule, travel and politics. At the time, the locker room was frustrated that they had given so much collectively to build Brock, and now the favor would not be returned to the exit. To the outside world, fans were left baffled by Lesnar’s decision to step up and try out for the Minnesota Vikings.
WWE allowed Lesnar to terminate his contract to sue the NFL, but only if he signed a non-compete clause. While the world is now fully aware of Lesnar’s ability to dominate multiple industries side by side, at the time it seemed like a foolish move. To his credit, he was only dropped from the final roster and was offered to represent the Vikings in Europe before trying his hand at MMA.
Luckily for him, he was able to waive his non-compete clause and well, the rest is history.