On this day, the Beast Incarnate debuts in WWE. The Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania is traditionally a night of debuts. On March 18, 2002, arguably one of the most impressive debuts in modern pro wrestling history occurred. On this day in pro wrestling history, Brock Lesnar arrived in the WWE. Even before WrestleMania 18, rumors of the NCAA All American began to rumble through the lockerroom. At Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY, Brock Lesnar left a path of broken bodies. In the singles competition, he owned the ring. In a tag team along with fellow WWE Superstar, Shelton Benjamin dominated the tag team ranks.
The Montreal crowd was red hot the night after WrestleMania. They wanted something new, something refreshing, and they wanted The Next Big Thing. Lesnar made his debut during a Triple threat match for the Hardcore Title. Al Snow, Maven, and Spike Dudley were all competing to take home the championship. As it looked like Al Snow would win the match, The Beast hoped over the security railing, ran into the ring, and gave a spinebuster to the snowman.
He then proceeded to execute the very first F5 on Tough Enough I winner Maven. As Maven came crashing down to the mat like a building picked up by a tornado, Spike Dudley attempted to dropkick Lesnar. Unfortunately for Spike, Brock caught him mid-air and proceeded to repeatedly powerbomb the runt of the Dudley’s liter into concussion city. As the fans stared on in amazement, you couldn’t help but notice a familiar man in Brock Lesnar’s corner. That man was Paul Heyman. Brock Lesnar was officially a Paul Heyman Guy. Lesnar was the Beast Incarnate. Brock Lesnar was The Next Big Thing.
The Beast Incarnate Debuts in WWE
In Brock’s book Deathclutch. The WWE Superstar gives us some insight as to how Paul Heyman became his Consultant. Paul Heyman had not been on WWE television for a few months. He was “fired” after the 2001 Survivor Series winner take all match when the WWE defeated the Alliance. In reality, Heyman was backstage acting as a producer. Brock Lesnar had just been sent up from OVW and was competing in dark matches. According to Brock, he was given awful advice from some “oldtimer” WWE agents. He said that Tazz listened in and respected The Beast too much to let him be taken down that path. It was Tazz that introduced Lesnar to Heyman. From that moment on, Brock Lesnar was Paul Heymans Client.
Obviously, the deal with The Beast paid off because, in August of 2002, Brock Lesnar defeated The Rock for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Arguably this was one of the fastest rises to the top in history. When asked how he felt about his debut and leading up to the WWE title, Lesnar said,
“Everything happened so fast. It was all a blur. I kind of felt like I F5’d myself.”
As we all know, Brock Lesnar’s debut was just the tip of the iceberg. The Beast went onto win The WWE Championship five times, the Universal Championship three times, the 2002 King of The Ring, the 2003 Royal Rumble, and the 2019 Money In The Bank. Brock Lesnar is the Next Big Thing and beyond.
‘On This Day’ is a commemorative article series. It is dedicated to specific events, matches, and occurrences in wrestling history. We revisit those key moments and look back at how they went down and what they meant to the wrestling industry. The Beast Incarnate Debuts in the WWE is that time, and March 18th, 2002 is that date.