On Tuesday, Brock Lesnar turns 39 years old. It’s been a surprising 14 years since he made his WWE in-ring debut, way back at Backlash 2002. To celebrate Lesnar’s birthday, we wanted to share with you his somewhat-forgotten WWE debut televised match, where he defeated Jeff Hardy by KNOCKOUT, of all things.
This is a truly incredible match to watch, considering everything that happened with Lesnar in the many years to come. His many wrestling championships, his venomous departure from WWE, his short-lived football career, his championship run in UFC, his becoming the one in 21-1 and everything else. What a career. What a life.
He’s still quite green in this Backlash match (and wearing his now weird-looking trunks with the triangle on back), but his absolutely freakish agility, athleticism and power is all right there. It’s easy to see why he ended up becoming an all-time draw. He just LOOKS like Brock Lesnar, and no one else ever has. I also love Heyman screaming to hurt Hardy instead of pin him. And he really did. Hardy was the perfect first opponent for Lesnar, because few people have ever been able to rag-doll like Jeff could in his youth.
So happy birthday, Brock. In honor of you, we’d like to honor your words and have all nationalities come together.
Or, you know, whatever.