Brock Lesnar: The Making of a Hard-Core Legend book review

In the spirit of ‘Brocktober’, it’s fitting that a book detailing the life and times of Brock Lesnar, the current Heavyweight Champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is released.

For the mixed martial arts fans that are unfamiliar with Lesnar’s past accolades, Brock Lesnar: The Making of a Hard-Core Legend, is the book for you. This is not the autobiography that Lesnar and former World Wrestling Entertaiment creative mind, Paul Heyman, have been working on though.

Sports writer Joel Rippel, with the use of newspaper articles, bio DVDs and quotes from the Internet, retells Lesnar’s simple beginnings in Minnesota and eventual growth into becoming ‘The Next Big Thing.’

A lot of early quotes are taken from WWE’s DVD Here Comes The Pain, as Lesnar’s family and wrestling coaches were heavily involved in the production. Nearly all of Lesnar’s wrestling career is documented in the book; his struggle starting off as a freshman, jumping back and forth between football and wrestling, and becoming an NCAA champion in 2000.

The physical specimen that is Lesnar is well-enforced throughout. The author went out of his way to mention that Lesnar denies any steroid usage and he passed all of his drug tests.

A few WWE facts were used incorrectly; Rob Van Dam never won the Intercontiential Title from Lesnar, once Lesnar went to Smackdown exclusively in 2002 his WWE World Championship was no longer considered an Undisputed Title, and by the time Lesnar wrestled Bradshaw he was no longer known as Justin ‘Hawk’ Bradshaw. These and other errors were likely made due to collecting historical facts on the Internet that are not always accurate. 

Lesnar’s WWE career is quickly summed up, but his departure is a long conflict that is showed from both sides. Lesnar says he “wasn’t ready to be traveling 300 days a year.” WWE  head boss Vince McMahon Jr. calls Lesnar “an introvert” who “hurt the company” with his sudden departure from wrestling.

Lesnar’s brief stint in the National Football League is followed by his lawsuit with WWE over him competing until 2010. Thankfully for Lesnar and MMA fans, Lesnar was able to settle the dispute and land a job with UFC. All of Lesnar’s fights, and his near fatal illness, are all included. The book ends with hype for his fight with Cain Velasquez.

The lack of a conclusion is disappointing, however the Brock Lesnar appendix, and glossary of his moves and feuds is a neat addition. Overall it’s a really short read.

Brock Lesnar: The Making of a Hard-Core Legend

By Joel Rippel

Triumph Books

$19.95

208 pp.

Releases on Oct. 25, 2010

Click here to order the book

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