– Here is a recap of Brock Lesnar on ESPN’s E:60 last night from PWInsider and Tom Kettwig:
A story about Brock Lesnar appeared around 28 minutes on E:60 on ESPN last night and here is a report.
One of the reporters talked about how they introduced Brock last October and asked how did he become famous? Because of UFC 100. That fight and the post fight episode might have launched the beginning of the “golden age” of UFC. The executive producer Andy Tennant said that considering his roots, was this some type of stunt to foster some publicity to make Brock the face of UFC? Are they just talking Vince McMahon’s model to the next level MMA style? Afterwards, Dana White suggested that what happened was not real. Brock said he was living in the WWE world for a minute. He clearly knows the value of playing the heel. He’s now the UFC’s first villain.
They showed some video and pictures and talked about how he’s 6’3″ and 275 pounds and his fight last month, defending the UFC Heavyweight Title against the only man to beat him in Frank Mir. He avenged his loss and taunted him afterwards.
Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated said it was embarrassing that Brock screamed at Mir’s bloody face after the fight and it was uncalled for. They showed comments from Brock from after the fight. They talked about how Brock got booed, so he flipped off the crowd and had anger towards a UFC sponsor.
They talked about him making fun of Bud Light and Dana White being horrified afterwards. They showed part of his WWE video.
Five years ago he was labeled the “next big thing.”, but that was in the “make believe” world of World Wrestling Entertainment. He was a guy chiseled of concrete. Bill Goldberg said he was a genetic freak. If God was to sit there and build a warrior he would come out to be Brock Lesnar. They showed the famous superplex spot with the Big Show where the ring broke. Theyed show him holding the WWE title and talk about how he got Rena Mero.
He says it’s living the life of a rock star. He had two Hummers, a Mercedes, a Corvette. The reporter says he was living large, airplanes, four or five houses. He gave it up to pursue a career in MMA where he has surprised critics by winning four of his five fights. He’s the bad mouth guy. He went from the entertainment business to fighting but somehow it’s making sense to him. It makes sense if you know where he’s from, Webster, South Dakota.
They show clips of the town near the Minnesota border. They show the dairy farm where Lesnar grew up. His family struggled to hold on to their farm. Brock said his family couldn’t pay their bills. He talked about the time of trying to get some grain and the elevator not letting him get any. That’s when he realized he wanted more, more than what Webster, SD had for him.
Lesnar literally fought his way out. A childhood friend said he and his brothers were beating on people all the time. The reporter asked him what it’s like to simply maul someone. “It’s a good feeling, handling another human being and making him feel less than you was something, I don’t know something I got a thrill out of.”
They showed photos of him from high school and junior college and talked about how in high school he channeled his anger to football and wrestling. In 1998 he won a junior college national title as a heavyweight. Showing a clip from Minnesota, they talked about how two years later he won the NCAA championship.
They showed a picture of Vince McMahon from a Wrestlemania 23 press conference while talking about how WWE invited him to join its stable of showmen.
Brock said he never watched “a lick of wrestling”. He said that’s not wrestling, it’s not real. They showed clips of him vs. Matt Hardy, talking about how WWE slapped a lot of money on the table, a quarter of a million dollars. They showed clips of him vs. Brian Kendrick and Rey Mysterio and talk about how he was crowned the youngest WWE champion at the age of 25. The money kept flowing into the millions, but it came at a steep price.
The reporter asks what type of injuries he had and Brock said that he tore both of knees up, got severe back pain, ribs, neck issues. He wrestled with his MCL blown out and three broken ribs and he wrestled that way for six months because he just became the champion.
He said that you are gone 300 days a year, you are miserable climbing the walls in the locker room waiting to come through the curtain in a different town every night that looks exactly the same from the night before.
He said there are two years from his life that he doesn’t remember. The reporter asked him why he doesn’t remember and Brock answered vodka and pain pills. He said he was in a lot of pain mentally and physically. The reporter asked him if was addicted and Brock asked the reporter what is addiction? Taking too many pills and drinking too much, yes. Did he become aware he was talking too many pills and drinking? Yes he did.
They showed a clip of Brock giving Big Show a suplex while Bret Hart talked about how there is a lot of pain in wrestling, that he knows countless wrestlers who are dead today from having addictions to pain killers.
Brock said he didn’t want to be in the locker room looking like these guys, doing the same thing. Being an entertainer wasn’t fulfilling his need.
In 2004 Lesnar walked away from the WWE and a reported seven year, forty five million dollar contract, to tryout with the Minnesota Vikings. They showed clips of Brock playing on special teams, walking and talking about playing for the minimum salary of 230 grand.
Showing clips of him at training camp they talked about his skills as a defensive lineman being too raw and he kept getting into fights. He said it was a way for him to get out of something where he didn’t know what he was doing. He was one of the last players cut.
He fell into a deep funk and they talked about his sword tatoo on his chest and feeling like someone was cutting his throat.
They showed clips of Lesnar entering the octagon while talking about him setting his sights on MMA and lobbied the president of UFC Dana White to give him a chance.
At first White doubted that any WWE superstar could do well in a sport where the outcome isn’t scripted. Dana White said those guys are athletic and are in great shape. He doesn’t call it competition. Coming over to Mixed Martial Arts is a big jump.
They showed a clip of Lesar working out while talking about his physique questioning if there is steroid use. The reporter talked about how that he is so big and then Lesnar laughed and walked away.
The reporter asked Dana White if Dana asked him about steroids and he said no. He said in this day in age with every thing going on, if you are taking steroids you are a moron. White talked about how the fighters are tested before and after each fight.
Lesnar then walked back in and addressed the speculation about steroid use. He said he never failed a drug test. They show clips of his first UFC fight against Frank Mir. They showed him making a mistake and losing (they didn’t show the ref standing them up). Dana White liked what he saw after talking to Brock after the fight.
They showed clips of the Lesnar fight against Heath Herring and they talked about how Brock broke Herring’s orbital bone just seconds into the fight.
They talked about how Dana White gave Lesnar a shot at the heavyweight belt against Randy Couture. They showed clips of both fighters training and talk about how Lesnar is fifty pounds heavier and that Randy doesn’t intend to take any of Lesnar’s punches. The reporter said he was the fastest ever to become the UFC heavyweight champion.
Lesnar’s career transformation is now complete, from “fake” fighter to feared fighter. His explosive performance during and after his first title defense proves that Lesnar is the face of UFC and that he’s the first villain.
Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated said, “You can’t discount just how dominant he is in the short amount of time in the ring, but a lot of people don’t like him, his antics, his WWE stuff.” There is a real reaction to Lesnar in the way he goes about his business and it’s not a popular one.” They ended by showing Lesnar dropping his UFC gloves.
The story is around ten minutes long. It wish ESPN could’ve interviewed say JR or maybe Gerald Brisco, talking about how they “discovered” and signed him.
They also didn’t talk about Lesnar going to Japan to work for Antonio Inoki and winning the IWGP title and also about how Lesnar had a long no complete clause and how WWE sued him. Maybe also talking to say Kurt Angle and other former amateur wrestlers about him would’ve been nice.
Overall it wasn’t a bad story. I think the target audience was non major pro wrestling fans that read the site and I think ESPN accomplished what they set out to do.
Here are some links to watch the story which will hopefully be up very soon: