Jim Ross has revealed that WWE thought a current star would be the “greatest in-ring talent they ever had.”
During his tenure as Head of Talent Relations in WWE, Jim Ross played a key role in signing some of the biggest Superstars to ever compete for the company.
That list of names includes the likes of The Rock, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, John Cena and one Brock Lesnar.
The Beast Incarnate signed with WWE in 2000 where he began working in Ohio Valley Wrestling. At the time the developmental territory was home to John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista and Shelton Benjamin, with the ‘Class of 2002’ becoming known as one of the greatest developmental classes in history.
Another man who was instrumental in recruiting Lesnar was Gerry Brisco, himself a former amateur wrestling star. Speaking on his podcast,Grilling Jr, Ross recalled the first time that Vince McMahon laid on Lesnar while he was talking to Brisco.
“Vince and I were talking outside the locker room and Brock was standing down the hall talking to [Gerry] Brisco, and Vince looked up like he had seen a ghost,”
‘My god, who’s that?’ Of course, I’m being a wise-ass: ‘That’s Gerry Brisco, he’s worked for you forever.’ [Vince said], ‘Oh, God dammit, JR. I mean, who’s that monster?’ The monster was Brock Lesnar, and at that point, the love affair began. It was love at first sight.”
Ross went on to explain that those within the company believed that Lesnar would become the greatest in-ring talent in company history, comparing him to basketball legend Michael Jordan.
“We’re protecting what we believed to be Michael Jordan,” Ross said. “We believed that Brock Lesnar was going to become the greatest in-ring talent that we ever had. You can’t replicate what he brought to the table. The look alone brought the eyes there, and if talent can’t figure out what gets the eyes on him or her, then they need to re-evaluate the position. Brock Lesnar can just walk into a room and consume it. He was our Jordan, man.”
“I just believe and I still believe it — I don’t know if I’m wrong now. Who does the biggest company in the world bring in every time they want to draw stadium events? Brock Lesnar, and he’s not even on TV every week. They’re doing a great job with him. Brock is an attraction guy, and not seeing him too much is how you should culture and develop attraction-type talents.”
Brock Lesnar will be back in action at SummerSlam when he takes on Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing Match. The clash is being advertised as the last time that the two men will meet.
H/t to Wrestling Inc