After spending a long time honing his craft in Ohio Valley Wrestling, Brock Lesnar made his way to WWE's main roster immediately after WrestleMania 18. It didn't take long for Lesnar to become one of the hottest acts on WWE TV. Managed by Paul Heyman and dubbed "The Next Big Thing", Brock Lesnar went on to win the 2002 King of the Ring tournament by defeating Rob Van Dam in the finals. He also destroyed WWE legend Hulk Hogan on an episode of SmackDown, and his next target was WWE Champion The Rock.
At SummerSlam, the two Superstars met in the main event of the night, which was marred with interference by Paul Heyman. He paid dearly for it though, as The Rock hit him with a Rock Bottom through an announce table. In an interesting turn of events, the live crowd turned on The Rock midway, and began booing him loudly. The match ended when Brock Lesnar hit a devastating F5 on The Rock and became the youngest WWE Champion ever.
Brock Lesnar's win over The Rock was a true "passing of the torch" moment
The Rock left WWE to resume his Hollywood career, and would come back in early 2003 as Hollywood Rock, one of the greatest heels this business has ever seen. As for Brock Lesnar, he ran roughshod over the SmackDown roster over the next few months, taking down megastars such as The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, and Big Show. Lesnar's dominant performance against The Rock had made one thing clear: WWE had found the guy to become the lynchpin in WWE and become the company's face in the near future.
Lesnar didn't stay with the company for long though, as WWE's travel schedule was something he couldn't cope with. Lesnar went on to make it big in UFC, and made his big return to WWE in 2012.
Watch WWE ‘Birth of a Champion’ every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8.00 pm only on SONY TEN 1 (English).Published 14 Sep 2020, 09:16 IST