Rene Dupree has claimed that the infamous steel chair shot from Brock Lesnar to Zach Gowen was a punishment.
Zach Gowen wrestled ten matches during his WWE career, but unquestionably his most memorable bout was against Brock Lesnar. This took place on the 21 August 2003 broadcast of SmackDown, with the outcome seeing Gowen go over the former WWE Champion after just two minutes in a disqualification victory.
The disqualification came when “The Beast Incarnate” smashed his face in with a steel chair, doing so directly in front of Zach Gowen’s own mother. This incident led to Gowen’s head being busted open.
Rene Dupree, a former WWE Superstar perhaps best remembered for his time in La Resistance, spoke of the match on his Cafe de Rene podcast, alleging that the match acted as a punishment for Zach Gowen, who was reportedly caught smoking backstage (h/t Sportskeeda):
“What I had heard is that he was caught smoking cigarettes backstage. If you’ve ever been backstage at a WWF [WWE] show, Vince [McMahon] has ‘no smoking’ signs all over the building… Remember that segment where Brock bashes his f***ing brains in with that steel chair in front of his own mother? That was punishment right there.”
Funnily enough, Dupree claims that Kane was also a victim in 2003, with his two-month program against Shane McMahon seeing “The Big Red Machine” constantly suffering from kendo stick bruises. This is said to have been due to Kane voicing his frustration backstage at WWE’s current Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis.
The Gowen vs. Lesnar match, taped two days before on 19 August, was Zach Gowen’s last for around two months. Lesnar, in storyline, broke Zach’s leg in his assault, with the Detroit, Michigan native removed from television until returning in a backstage interview on 2 October.
Zach Gowen would wrestle a further three matches for WWE, losing to Shannon Moore in his return bout, before defeating Matt Hardy Version 1.0 at the 2003 No Mercy pay-per-view and finally, losing to Tajiri in his final televised WWE match later that October. He is the only one-legged wrestler in WWE history, following his left leg being amputated when he was just eight-years-old.