5 backstage Brock Lesnar stories shared by current & former WWE superstars

CM Punk and Brock Lesnar
CM Punk and Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is one of the last larger-than-life figures in the professional wrestling industry. In an era where WWE intentionally hasn't created a megastar to keep the company's name a big draw, Brock Lesnar feels like a breath of fresh air.

His second stint in WWE began post-WrestleMania 28 in 2012 and lasted just short of 8 years. As of this writing, Brock Lesnar still hasn't re-signed with WWE, although it seems inevitable.

What is the perception of 8-time world champion Brock Lesnar from his former peers and colleagues? Here are five stories from current and former WWE superstars about Brock Lesnar:

#5. CM Punk - Described Brock Lesnar as a "sweetheart"

CM Punk and Brock Lesnar had a SummerSlam classic.
CM Punk and Brock Lesnar had a SummerSlam classic.

CM Punk and Brock Lesnar had a modern-day SummerSlam classic in 2013. Dubbed as "The Best vs The Beast", one could argue that this is one of the most complete matches in SummerSlam history.

It highlighted Brock Lesnar's dominance but CM Punk had his moments to shine as well. From in-ring work to masterclass storytelling, both men put everything out there in what could be considered one of the most underrated classics in SummerSlam history. Paul Heyman's inclusion in the storyline only added more spice to the match.

Although CM Punk has gone on record to say that he felt he should have won the match, he still had nothing but praise for The Beast Incarnate. He told the story of what happened backstage when he met Brock Lesnar to discuss their SummerSlam match. (via ESPN).

CM Punk first said that he didn't want to ruin Brock Lesnar's reputation and even said "I think he's a f****ng sweetheart". When CM Punk started his MMA career, Brock Lesnar reached out to him and offered any help if needed. Punk said that it's hard to trust people in the pro wrestling world, but admitted that Brock Lesnar was a pleasure to work with.

I think I'm one of the lucky guys who he wanted to work with in pro wrestling. We put together a pretty special match. I don't think Brock gets the credit for how smart of a wrestler he is.

CM Punk said that he didn't know how receptive Brock Lesnar would be to ideas when approached. Regardless, he pitched the idea of calling the match in the ring - a common practice among veteran wrestlers. CM Punk said Brock Lesnar was "stoked" about the idea, even pitching a few himself.

CM Punk went on to say that the match was everything he loved about pro wrestling. Brock Lesnar has a big heart and that's not something a lot of people talk about. He continued, saying:

They'll talk about the freak strength and the crazy athletic things he's done in his career, the accomplishments. But they don't talk about the fact that he loves his wife, his kids, lives on a farm and just kind of wants to be left alone. All the fame and the money and everything is really just a side effect of being successful at what he wants to do. And he does what he wants, when he wants. That's the beauty of Brock Lesnar.

It's not every day that CM Punk praises pro wrestlers the way he praised Brock Lesnar. This speaks volumes about the man behind the scenes.

#4. Rey Mysterio - Revealed the suffering of Brock Lesnar during his early WWE run

Rey Mysterio saw the suffering that Brock Lesnar went through in 2003-04
Rey Mysterio saw the suffering that Brock Lesnar went through in 2003-04

It's no secret that Brock Lesnar was burned out during his first WWE run between 2002 and 2004. His short but high-impact first stint in WWE saw him accumulate multiple World Championships, headline WrestleMania, smash records, and more.

This also meant that he was the focal point of WWE programming and a big part of their live event schedule. As you may know, the schedule on the road can be brutal and Brock Lesnar has been open about the fact that he had to resort to alcohol and pills to keep the pain down.

Rey Mysterio described the suffering that Brock Lesnar went through before he left in 2004 (via ESPN):

I remember at one point Brock being miserable. This is right before he left WWE in 2004 the first time. We were going to Europe, and my wife and I were sitting right behind Brock on the charter plane. I just saw Brock biting the f--- out of his nails and looking at a picture of one of his kids. It really hit him, the fact that he had to travel so much. That was the human side of him. The father instinct that he has. Shortly after that, he was like, "I've gotta get out of here, bro. I can't f---ing do this anymore."

Rey Mysterio said that for Brock Lesnar, he felt that he did what was needed and wanted to get out.

Rey Mysterio praised Brock Lesnar and said that seeing the choice he made and the suffering he went through changed his own perspective. Mysterio realized how hard it hit Brock Lesnar and it would hit him as well. The reality of life sunk into Rey Mysterio as well - that you either have to choose your family or choose the road.

#3. R-Truth - Revealed that Brock Lesnar wanted to work with him more

Even Brock Lesnar couldn't help but laugh at R-Truth's antics
Even Brock Lesnar couldn't help but laugh at R-Truth's antics

When eve Brock Lesnar finds R-Truth hilarious, it speaks volumes of the latter's ability to entertain. There are few superstars in WWE more beloved in R-Truth. He isn't a main event star and will never reach the top, but he doesn't need to.

R-Truth is perfect in his role and has had many entertaining segments and moments throughout his WWE career. One memorable segment was his interaction with Brock Lesnar before the 2020 Royal Rumble.

Speaking to Uproxx, R-Truth revealed that the segment was somewhat unscripted and that he legitimately managed to make Brock Lesnar laugh. When watching the segment, Lesnar didn't even try to hide it.

R-Truth revealed that Brock Lesnar loved the segment so much that he pitched ideas to work with him in the future.

“Brock actually has been pitching ideas. He wants to work with me doing something because of that segment. He pitched a couple ideas. He and I talked afterwards. The sky’s the limit. This business is always changing, and I’m always changing with things.”

Credit should go to R-Truth, who seems to have the love and adoration of everyone in WWE.

#2. Kurt Angle - A real-life wrestling match with Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle
Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle

Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar have a big history together from their first run in WWE. They were rivals and even headlined WrestleMania together in 2003. That was, of course, the match where Brock Lesnar suffered a near-fatal injury with a botched shooting star press.

Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle are both decorated amateur wrestlers as well. While Brock Lesnar is a former NCAA Heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle is an Olympic Gold medalist.

Back in 2003, the WWE locker room tried to egg Angle and Lesnar on to have a legitimate wrestling match, but neither man wanted it. A couple of weeks later, presumably before a show, Kurt Angle saw Big Show wrestling Brock Lesnar.

He said that Big Show wanted to see what it was like being in the ring with the NCAA Heavyweight Champion. Kurt Angle saw Brock Lesnar slam Big Show on the back of his head and felt that if he tried to wrestle The Beast Incarnate, he could legitimately have been killed.

Kurt Angle told Big Show to get out of the ring and Brock Lesnar turned his attention to him, after which he knew they were going to wrestle. With the locker room egging them on, they went at it. Kurt Angle said (via ESPN):

"I didn't want to go with him, trust me. But the boys were doing their thing. Now, Brock and I were enemies. So we did it. The rumor is that I completely dominated him. That is not true. It was very close. I took Brock down a couple of times. He didn't take me down. But we went 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes and there were only two takedowns. It was a pretty close battle. Did I win? If you want to give the aggressor the win, then I won. But it was really close."

Angle said that Brock Lesnar impressed him, but he wanted to show the difference between an NCAA Champion and an Olympic Gold Medalist. Kurt Angle said that he's glad he won, otherwise he would have never heard the end of it.

#1. Riddle - Brock Lesnar told him to stop using his name

Riddle has called out Brock Lesnar numerous times
Riddle has called out Brock Lesnar numerous times

Riddle has been open about his desire to face Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. In an attempt to call them out, he didn't use the most flattering words. His confrontation backstage with Goldberg was documented, but not what happened with Brock Lesnar.

Backstage at the 2020 Royal Rumble, Riddle was approached by Brock Lesnar and he told Ariel Helwani what happened:

"Let's just say he came up to me with a security guard, not that he needed the security guard. He came up to me, put his arm around me and told me we were never going to work. So, I shouldn't mention his name or talk about him or anything like that. And I should not call him out on social media. And I said, 'Whatever you want, Bro.'

Speaking to TalkSport a couple of weeks earlier, Riddle said that he wasn't sad but a bit "heartbroken" about it:

“So, I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t sad, I was more just heartbroken. But it’s like when a girl turns you down on a date; hey, it doesn’t mean give up completely. It’s like OK, let’s go back to the drawing board, maybe I came on a little too strong this time. Maybe I’ll try something different to convince him, ya know? So that’s how that scenario played out."

Given the heat he had with Brock Lesnar, it seems unlikely that the two will ever work together. But in the world of WWE, one can never say never.