In 2002, World Wrestling Entertainment saw the emergence of a former college wrestling star who skyrocketed to the top of the WWE, winning not only the King of the Ring tournament but also defeating Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Along the way, legends like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair both fell to the awesome power of the 6'3'' 290 pound native of Webster, South Dakota. While all this was scripted, this rookie's ascension was clearly the result of his unique look, size, power, ability, agility, and charisma. His name was Brock Lesnar. Creative powerbroker and on-air "agent" (old school wrestling manager) Paul Heyman dubbed Lesnar "The Next Big Thing."
The nickname stuck. Lesnar, who hated traveling, left WWE a mere two years later.
Now, Lesnar may be "The Next Mike Tyson." In an article posted by NBC, this Saturday's Lesnar vs Randy Couture main event for UFC 91 has been heralded "The Sporting Event of the Month."
But there's more. Much more.
NBC's Michael David Smith reports:
"On Saturday night, the heavyweight title will be on the line in the Ultimate Fighting Championship -- perhaps the biggest fight ever in the burgeoning sport of mixed martial arts.
Some sports fans have never heard of MMA, while others are under the impression that its fights are barbaric spectacles. The reality is that the UFC has intricate rules and boasts world class athletes. The sport attracts Olympic wrestlers and black belts, not street fighters and bar brawlers.
But Saturday night's fight will have be a spectacle, and deservedly so. The sport's greatest living legend, the 45-year-old Randy Couture, takes on the enormous Brock Lesnar, a former NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion who made a career in professional wrestling before returning to legitimate sport and giving MMA a try...
Two decades after the pinnacle of Tyson's career, big fights have virtually disappeared from water-cooler conversations in America. But if there's a fight that can change that, it's Couture vs. Lesnar.
If you're a Lesnar-junkie, here are some links to check out:
For information on UFC 91, go to www.ufc.com
For background information on Lesnar, go to www.mmanewsdesk.com
For information on Randy Couture, go to www.randycouture.tv