Return of the Nordic Wonder

The big, blonde behemoth, otherwise known as Brock Lesnar, has traveled a weird and twisting road. Back in the day, he was the 2000 NCAA heavyweight wrestling champ. But rolling around in public with sweaty college boys doesn’t typically lead to immediate career opportunities. So, after graduation, Lesnar did what a beautiful slab of premium beef must do to buy bread in a tough economy … He sold his ass to the WWE.

Within a couple of years, though, his stomach was full and he quit pro wrestling for good. And that’s just when Dana White and the UFC got their rough hands on Big Brock and tossed him into the ring with MMA vet Frank Mir. The beating was brutal and everyone thought the Nordic Wonder was a bust. But surprisingly, he rebounded with wins against Heath Herring and then-champ Randy Couture, eventually earning his revenge with a second-round KO against Mir.

Then, another weird twist … In the run-up to his mega-match against Shane Carwin, Lesnar got really, really, really sick. There was emergency surgery. There were weirdly candid comments from UFC president White, like: “He had a hole in his intestine” and “We don't know if he'll ever fight again.” Technically, Lesnar was diagnosed with diverticulitis, a condition that’s been linked to prolonged steroid use. And that, you know, is the kind of thing pro wrestlers do at lunch.

In any case, Brock “The Nordic Wonder” Lesnar returns to the cage this Saturday after a year of convalescence. And he’ll finally be fighting Shane Carwin. How did the illness affect Big Brock? Did a year diminish his powers? Has he softened and shrunken considerably? Will it be another brutal beatdown?

Go watch the pay-per-view at BT’s Gentleman’s Club. They got big-screens. They got beer. They got naked girls.
Sat., July 3, 9 p.m., 2010
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S. Pajot