, "swordsman", from gladius
, "sword") was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic
and Roman Empire
in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their lives and their legal and social standing by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death.
Irrespective of their origin, gladiators offered spectators an example of Rome's martial ethics and, in fighting or dying well, they could inspire admiration and popular acclaim. They were celebrated in high and low art, and their value as entertainers was commemorated in precious and commonplace objects throughout the Roman world.
The origin of gladiatorial combat is open to debate. There is evidence of it in funeral rites during the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, and thereafter it rapidly became an essential feature of politics and social life in the Roman world. Its popularity led to its use in ever more lavish and costly games.
The gladiator games lasted for nearly a thousand years, reaching their peak between the 1st century BC and the 2nd century AD. Christians disapproved of the games because they involved idolatrous pagan rituals, and the popularity of gladatorial contests declined in the fifth century, leading to their disappearance. (Full article...)
Brock Edward Lesnar
(; born July 12, 1977) is an American-Canadian professional wrestler
, retired mixed martial artist
, former amateur wrestler
and professional football
player currently signed with WWE
After his successful amateur wrestling career at Bismarck State College and the University of Minnesota, Lesnar signed with WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) in 2000. He was assigned to its developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he was a three-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion with Shelton Benjamin. After debuting on WWE's main roster in 2002, Lesnar won the WWE Championship five months after his debut at the age of 25, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history. Following his title loss to Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out in 2004 and his match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar left WWE and pursued a career in the National Football League (NFL). He was named a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, but was cut before the start of the 2004 season. In 2005, Lesnar returned to professional wrestling and signed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match. After a contractual dispute with NJPW, he also wrestled as IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).
In 2006, Lesnar pursued a career in mixed martial arts (MMA), as he signed with Hero's and won his first fight, against Min-Soo Kim, in June 2007. He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) the following October. Lesnar lost in his UFC debut against Frank Mir and then won his second fight against Heath Herring. In November 2008, Lesnar defeated Randy Couture to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after a successful title defense in a rematch with Mir, Lesnar was sidelined due to diverticulitis. He would return at UFC 116 to defeat Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin and unify the heavyweight championships, becoming the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion in the process. Lesnar then lost the championship to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. In 2011, he was once again sidelined due to diverticulitis and underwent surgery on May 27. Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December, losing to Alistair Overeem and promptly retiring from MMA. Lesnar was a box office sensation in UFC, as he took part in some of the bestselling pay-per-view events in UFC history, including UFC 100 and UFC 116. (Full article...)
The Great American Bash was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the second Great American Bash under WWE, and 16th overall. It took place on July 24, 2005, at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. The event featured wrestlers and other talent that performed on the SmackDown! brand division.
The main event was Batista defending the World Heavyweight Championship against John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL). JBL won the match after Batista was disqualified, but did not win the title because a championship can only be won via pinfall or submission. One of the featured matches on the undercard was Rey Mysterio versus Eddie Guerrero, which Mysterio won by pinfall. The other was Orlando Jordan versus Chris Benoit for the WWE United States Championship, which Jordan won, also by pinfall.
The event grossed over US$375,000 in ticket sales from an attendance of 8,000, and received about 233,000 pay-per-view buys, the same amount as the following year's event. This enabled WWE's pay-per-view revenue to increase by $4.7 million from the previous year. When the 2005 event was released on DVD, it reached a peak position of second on Billboards DVD Sales Chart. The event was also available free of charge for Armed Forces members and their families. ('Full article...)