Not the next big thing: Vikings cut Lesnar
By The Source
Aug 30, 2004

Eden Prairie, MN (Sports Network) - The Minnesota Vikings released former professional and amateur wrestling star Brock Lesnar Monday.

The 27-year-old Lesnar joined the Vikings in training camp hoping to make the team as a defensive lineman. He even left a lucrative contract behind as a superstar in Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment earlier this year.

Dubbed "The Next Big Thing" in the wrestling world, Lesnar became the youngest heavyweight champion in WWE history in August of 2002. Ironically, the man he beat in that match, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, also played football, but in the college ranks for the Miami Hurricanes. Like Lesnar, Johnson left wrestling in his prime -- to pursue an acting career. Johnson still appears on WWE television periodically.

Lesnar played football in high school in South Dakota, but his athletic career turned toward wrestling at the University of Minnesota, where he captured the NCAA heavyweight wrestling crown.

Vikings head coach Mike Tice was surprised at how quickly Lesnar came along, but expressed that it would take more work to make an NFL team.

"Brock Lesnar has made us proud, and I like Brock," Tice said. "I'd like to see Brock end up back with us at some point, whether that's NFL Europe next year or what."

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