Whenever Brock Lesnar calls himself "one in a million".... he's not exactly lying.
The Beast Incarnate has captured WWE's main Championship an impressive eight times, all despite spending relatively little time in the ring since his 2002 debut. And for the most of the past decade.... he's only competed sporadically.
In addition, Lesnar captured the highest accolades in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Ultimate Fighting Championship and New Japan Pro Wrestling -- three very different types of combat sports - and did so in dominating fashion.
How unique was the moment?
What impact did it ultimately have on Brock Lesnar (and other people's) career?
What legacy did it leave in the wrestling industry?
Note: We are NOT including anything in Lesnar's career that happened outside of professional wrestling. So if you're looking for his UFC exploits.... you won't find them here.
Questions? Feedback? Comments? Leave a comment below, or let us know on Twitter (@CanadianBulldog) using the hashtag #Top50.
March 18, 2002
The Next Big Thing
The legend of Brock Lesnar began during, of all things, a WWF Hardcore Title Match. The Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania, Hardcore Champion Maven was defending the belt against Al Snow, when Lesnar came to ringside and obliterated both men (as well as Spike Dudley), signalling he had arrived.
May 18, 2003
Brock Lesnar has had several go-rounds with The Big Show over the years, but their rivalry may have peaked at the 2003 Judgment Day PPV. After demanding a match against Show, the WWE Champion finally got his wish in a Stretcher Match. Lesnar retained his title at the PPV, carting the giant out on a gurney.
July 28, 2001
Beast vs. Animal
Long before either man were top box-office attractions, Brock Lesnar and Batista clashed in Ohio Valley Wrestling. Batista, at the time known as Leviathan, was a heel in the match, but the dream match took place in front of less than 100 fans. Lesnar lost after Leviathan's manager Synn sprayed hairspray in Brock's eyes.
April 21, 2002
First PPV match
Brock Lesnar's pay-per-view debut took place on the 2002 Backlash event. After taunting Matt Hardy and Lita in the weeks before the PPV, The Next Big Thing battled Jeff Hardy in his first major match for the company. In just five minutes and thirty-two seconds, Lesnar easily defeated the future WWE/TNA Champion.
September 22, 2002
First Undertaker match
The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar would have many high-profile matches over the years in WWE, but their first official meeting took place at the Unforgiven pay-per-view. Lesnar defended his WWE Championship against The Phenom. When both men got out of hand, a double-disqualification was ordered.
January 25, 2015
Royal Rumble triple threat
With Brock Lesnar as WWE World Champion, both John Cena and Seth Rollins had made claims to become number one contenders to the championship. Both men had their opportunity at the 2015 Royal Rumble in a Triple Threat Match. The Beast eventually snared Rollins in an F-5 and pinned him to retain the title.
April 2, 2012
Brock is back
Some nine years after their previous confrontation, Brock Lesnar returned to WWE the night after WrestleMania and once again had John Cena in his sights. As The Beast Incarnate made his return to professional wrestling, Cena extended his hand and was repaid with a vicious F-5 that left Big Match John laid out.
August 18, 2013
Best vs. Beast
For about half a year, Paul Heyman was the advocate to both Brock Lesnar and CM Punk but that relationship didn't last. At Money In The Bank, Heyman betrayed Punk, setting up a match between Punk and Lesnar at SummerSlam. However, if anyone knows about Heyman betraying them, it should be Brock....
August 11, 2014
"Party's over, Grandpa!"
Hulk Hogan was having a birthday party segment on Raw, flanked by contemporaries such as Ric Flair, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Jimmy Hart, Mean Gene, Paul Orndorff and Rowdy Roddy Piper. But Brock Lesnar interrupted the fun and calmly stated "Party's over, Grandpa!", ending the celebration.
January 28, 2013
Vince feels The F-5
Fed up with Paul Heyman and his client CM Punk, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon threatened to fire the advocate Heyman at the end of an episode of Monday Night Raw. Just as McMahon was about to say his two favorite words, Brock Lesnar (Heyman's other client) appeared and hit Vinnie Mac with an F-5.
August 28, 2015
While Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker have gone toe to toe several times over the years, perhaps their most controversial bout was at 2015's SummerSlam event. The Dead Man had tapped out to Lesnar's Kimura Lock and the bell rang, but the referee never ordered the match to end. Undertaker then won the bout.
September 2, 2002
Taking the gold to SmackDown
In the early days of the first WWE brand split, the WWE Undisputed Champion was forced to defend the title on both Raw and SmackDown. However, after Brock Lesnar captured the gold from The Rock at SummerSlam, Stephanie McMahon negotiated to have Lesnar take the title exclusively to SmackDown.
April 3, 2016
It can be argued that Brock Lesnar's most underwhelming WrestleMania match of many was at WrestleMania XXXII. Battling against Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Streetfight as the result of an earlier pay-per-view, Lesnar easily defeated The Lunatic Fringe in a thirteen minute affair.
August 16, 2016
RKO loses by TKO
Fresh off of a controversial UFC appearance, Brock Lesnar returned to WWE to take on Randy Orton in a rare Raw vs. SmackDown match at SummerSlam. Lesnar brutalized the master of the RKO, and made Orton bleed profusely, forcing the referee to award The Beast Incarnate the match by TKO.
March 31, 2015
Brock goes berserk
After losing the WWE World Championship to Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar demanded an immediate rematch the following night on Raw. When he was denied, Lesnar destroyed everyone in sight, including announcers Michael Cole, JBL, Booker T and even an unsuspecting cameraman.
April 29, 2012
Weeks after Brock Lesnar's 2012 return to WWE, he took on John Cena in an Extreme Rules match in the main event of a pay-per-view of the same name. After The Beast bloodied and destroyed Cena for most of the match, Cena hit Lesnar with an Attitude Adjuster on the steel steps to gain an upset victory.
January 4, 2006
Lesnar vs. Nakamura
A potential dream match today in WWE, the first meeting between Brock Lesnar and Shinsuke Nakamura took place more than a decade ago in New Japan Pro Wrestling. With Lesnar's IWGP Championship on the line, The Beast Incarnate withstood The Artist's attack and finished Nakamura off with an F-5.
October 20, 2002
The Undertaker, Hell In A Cell (part 1)
Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker's first go-round in Hell In A Cell took place at 2002's No Mercy pay-per-view. With Lesnar's WWE Championship on the line, The Next Big Thing caused The Dead Man to bleed profusely before finishing him off with an F-5 and pinning The Undertaker cleanly to win it.
August 17, 2014
Brock Lesnar and John Cena rekindled their rivalry at the 2014 edition of SummerSlam, this time with Cena's WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Cena withstood an incredible 16 German suplexes and somehow survived, but ran out of luck with Lesnar hit him with an F-5 and a pinfall.
September 18, 2003
Known as one of the best free television matches in modern wrestling history, Brock Lesnar faced WWE Champion Kurt Angle in a sixty-minute Iron Man match on SmackDown. Over the following hour, Lesnar was able to defeat Angle five times to Angle's four wins, giving Lesnar the championship belt.
January 19, 2003
Brock Lesnar won his only Royal Rumble in 2003, earning him an automatic title shot at WrestleMania XIX. In less than nine minutes of action, Lesnar managed to throw Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas and runner-up The Undertaker out of the ring that year, winning the Rumble and getting his shot.
March 29, 2015
At WrestleMania XXXI, Brock Lesnar defended his WWE World Championship against Royal Rumble winner Roman Reigns. After roughly fifteen minutes of a hard-fought main event, Seth Rollins showed up and cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase and quickly pinned Reigns to capture the championship.
March 14, 2004
Ever since breaking the arm of Triple H, Brock Lesnar was destined to take on The Game at WrestleMania XXIX. In a No Holds Barred match with Triple H's career in the balance, Lesnar suffered a loss after The Cerebral Assassin planted a Pedigree on top of the steel steps and then pinned Brock.
April 2, 2017
Going into WrestleMania XXXIII, Brock Lesnar had a surprising three-and-three record at WrestleMania. But this year, Lesnar was not only in the main event, but was determined to avenge the two losses he had at the hands of Bill Goldberg. In just 4:45, Lesnar pinned Goldberg and won the Universal Championship.
August 25, 2002
Rock vs. Brock
Brock Lesnar's first opportunity at a major championship happened some five months after his WWE debut. At SummerSlam 2002, The Next Big Thing fulfiled his nickname by battling The Rock for the Undisputed WWE Championship. In just 16 minutes, Lesnar trapped Rock in the F-5 and captured the championship.
August 21, 2003
Brock Lesnar developed a reputation as a bully, and nowhere was that more evident than on an episode of SmackDown when The Next Big Thing took on the one-legged Zach Gowen. In front of Zach's mother, Lesnar beat and bloodied the rookie (and later, pushed Gowen in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs!).
January 26, 2014
Giant win at the Rumble
More than a decade after the aforementioned Stretcher Match, Brock Lesnar entered the Royal Rumble to show WWE audiences how unstoppable he was. Battling The Big Show, Lesnar obliterated the giant in just two minutes and two seconds, strongly foreshadowing The Undertaker's fate later that year...
May 6, 2013
Tired of being ignored by WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman decided to pay The Game a visit in his Stamford, Connecticut offices. Barging their way past everyone, Lesnar and Heyman trashed Triple H's desk, walls, computer, shelves and keepsakes, sending a very clear message.
November 20, 2016
Survivor Series shocker
Brock Lesnar didn't expect serious competition from the returning Bill Goldberg, who hadn't competed in a major match in 12 years, when the two had their much-awaited rematch at the 2016 Survivor Series. Instead, Goldberg shocked the world by pinning Lesnar in just 86 seconds.
August 7, 2003
It's.... not true?
By the spring of 2003, WrestleMania opponents Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle had forged a reluctant friendship. Lesnar was forced to face Vince McMahon on SmackDown in a steel cage where Angle was made the special referee. But the match was a swerve for McMahon and Lesnar to outsmart the Olympic medalist.
April 27, 2003
Years before John Cena was a fixture in the main event picture, the then-heel earned a shot at the WWE Championship at the 2003 Backlash pay-per-view. Cena attempted to gain an advantage on Lesnar leading into the title match, but Lesnar triumped with an F-5 in about 15 minutes and retained his championship.
April 30, 2012
Time to break The Game
Shortly after his return to WWE, Brock Lesnar made a series of demands, including changing the name of Monday Night Raw to Monday Night Raw Starring Brock Lesnar. But when Triple H came to the ring to put Lesnar in his place, The Beast trapped The Game in his Kimura Lock, breaking Triple H's arm.
November 17, 2002
Hustled by Heyman
.. because amost a decade earlier, Brock Lesnar was being managed by Paul Heyman as WWE Champion when The Next Big Thing was preparing to defend his title against The Big Show at Survivor Series. Frustrated he would accept such a match while injured, Heyman turned on Lesnar and sided with The Big Show.
March 19, 2006
Akebono was a top Sumo wrestler in Japan, perhaps best known in North America for facing The Big Show at WrestleMania XXI. In 2006, the nearly 500 pound competitor challenged Brock Lesnar for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated after The Beast flattened him with the title belt.
May 3, 2006
Brock vs. Bernard
On the second day of New Japan Pro Wrestling's New Japan Cup show, Brock Lesnar defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Giant Bernard (a/k/a Matt Bloom). While a Lesnar vs. A-Train match may not seem like a big deal, it was the first time two Americans battled over the prestigious IWGP title.
May 29, 2013
The series between Brock Lesnar and Triple H was set at one win each, with previous matches taking place at SummerSlam and WrestleMania. The final encounter was a Steel Cage Match at 2013's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, which ended when Lesnar hit The Game with his own sledgehammer and pinned him.
October 4, 2019
A memorable return to SmackDown
As part of the 20th anniversary of SmackDown, Brock Lesnar returned to the show he dominated some 15 years earlier, to challenge WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. Lesnar defeated Kingston in just 8 seconds, but his evening wasn't quite finished. Lesnar was attacked by his old UFC rival Cain Velasquez.
February 15, 2004
No Way Out for Eddie?
Leading into 2004's No Way Out pay-per-view, Brock Lesnar openly taunted Eddie Guerrero, both in terms of his Mexican heritage and ability to compete with The Next Big Thing. But after Bill Goldberg interfered in the match, Lesnar was pinned by Latino Heat, giving Guerrero his first WWE Championship.
May 19, 2019
Money in the Brock
After Sami Zayn was injured by Braun Strowman at the 2019 Money In The Bank pay-per-view, he was no longer eligible to compete in the main event MITB ladder match. In his place was Brock Lesnar, who hadn't been seen on WWE programming since WrestleMania XXXV. Lesnar won the coveted briefcase.
June 29, 2007
New Japan Angle
In 2007, Brock Lesnar was biding his time between competing in the UFC and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Knowing that he had to commit to one discpline, Lesnar hand-picked TNA Champion and old rival Kurt Angle to drop the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to when the two faced off one more time in Tokyo.
August 8, 2002
Brock Lesnar only took on Hulk Hogan once, in a SmackDown match in which Lesnar's title shot at The Rock was on the line. Lesnar obliterated The Hulkster in their match, forcing him to submit to a bearhug -- one of the only times Hogan has lost by submission. After the match, Lesnar attacked and bloodied Hogan.
January 6, 2020
While WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar decided to enter the 2020 Royal Rumble at number one to see whether he could last through the entire match. The Beast Incarnate eliminated 13 men including Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Keith Lee, setting an elimination record. However, Drew McIntyre later eliminated Lesnar.
October 25, 2015
The Undertaker, Hell In A Cell (part 2)
Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker's second go-round in Hell In A Cell took place almost exactly 13 years later at the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view. In a rubber match from their WrestleMania and SummerSlam rivalries, Lesnar dropped The Dead Man on the exposed floor with an F-5 to win yet again.
October 8, 2005
Brock Lesnar challenged for his first wrestling championship outside of North America in 2005, when he took on Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono in a three-way match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in Tokyo. Lesnar won and held the belt for about two years.
June 23, 2002
King Of The Ring
Only a few months into his WWE run, Brock Lesnar forced people to take notice of him with his appearance at the 2002 King of the Ring pay-per-view. Having defeated Bubba Ray Dudley and Booker T in the first two rounds on Raw, The Next Big Thing then defeated Test and Rob Van Dam to be crowned the King.
April 7, 2019
It can be argued that Brock Lesnar's least successful outing at a WrestleMania was WrestleMania XXXV. The Beast Incarnate entered MetLife Stadium as Universal Champion. Not only was Lesnar featured in the PPV's opening match, but he ended up losing the gold to Seth Rollins in only two minutes and thirty seconds.
March 14, 2004
WrestleMania XX marked the very first match between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, as well as both men's final match in the company for several years. With Stone Cold Steve Austin as special referee, the New York crowd booed both men, and while Lesnar lost the match, it still was a WrestleMania moment.
April 8, 2018
Fun fact: Four of Brock Lesnar's five WrestleMania matches between 2015 and 2019 were against members of The Shield! At WrestleMania XXXIV, he defended his Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in the evening's main event. Somewhat surprisingly, The Beast Incarnate retained the title here.
March 30, 2003
Nearly one year to the day of his WWE debut (see # 50), Brock Lesnar was in the main event of WrestleMania, challenging WWE Champion Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XIX. Although many will remember Lesnar's botched Shooting Star Press, Lesnar then went on to deliver a third F-5 and pin Angle to win the title.
April 6, 2014
Ending The Streak
While Brock Lesnar's wrestling career was defined by many accolades, his biggest moment happened at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Undertaker had never lost a WrestleMania since his first such outing at WrestleMania XVII and amassed an unprecented winning streak of 21-0 before facing Lesnar. Lesnar shockingly pinned The Dead Man and became the man who ended The Streak.