The Meaning Behind All Of Brock Lesnar's Tattoos

Tattoos are not uncommon among today's wrestlers, but in the crowded world of inked muscled flesh, Brock Lesnar's distinctive bodywork stands out.  

When facing Lesnar head-on, the most obvious tattoo is the sword that covers the space from just above his navel to just below his throat. In his 2011 autobiography "Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival," Lesnar recalled that the 2005 tattoo was inspired by the non-compete clause in his WWE contract, which prevented him from appearing in New Japan Pro-Wrestling after leaving Vince McMahon's company.


"I felt like life was holding a sword right up against my throat, so I went under the ink gun because I never wanted to forget exactly how I felt at that time," Lesnar wrote. "The tattoo on my chest has so much meaning to me. In some ways, it's funny, because the period of my life that I'm talking about is a time I so want to forget, but I know I can use this memory as motivation."

The intricacy of the design was so complex that it inspired Jimmy DiResta, a New York City-based artist and YouTuber who specialized in creating stylish weaponry, and who created a short video detailing how he fashioned a sword identical to Lesnar's chest tattoo

"When I saw Brock's tattoo, it jumped out at me," DiResta said in a interview. "I had to make it."


Cryptic Ink

Lesnar's back, meanwhile, plays canvas to an arresting image of a demonic skull, flanked by two disembodied hands that seem to be digging hooks into the wrestler's shoulders. Beneath this design is the phrase "Kill 'Em All" which is often obscured by Lesnar's trunks. The skull was inked in 2001, while the hands were added two years later. Lesnar has thus far been silent on the meaning of his back tattoo, but the British site Fight Fans opined that the back tattoo represented "his hard life in Japan following his initial WWE release," while metal fans will recognize "Kill 'Em All" as the 1983 debut album of Metallica, whose song "Enter Sandman" was later used as Lesnar's entrance music during his UFC days.


Elsewhere on Lesnar's body are two smaller tattoos — his left shoulder is home to a drawing of a Yautja, the alien-hunting species from the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Predator." This was his first tattoo, dating from 1998 and pre-dating his wrestling career. The blog theorized Lesnar might feel a kinship to the character — the Yautja tracks its prey through body heat because it is unable to see like humans, while Lesnar's color-blindness resulted in his premature dismissal from Army National Guard service. Lesnar's right shoulder was decorated with another demonic-looking skull in 2002, this one cracked open in a possible tribute to Lesnar's skills in the ring.