Legendary commentator Jim Ross has opened up about how Brock Lesnar thought WWE “screwed” him financially with his WrestleMania XX payday.
Speaking on his Grilling Jr podcast, which is available via AdFreeShows, Good ‘Ol JR would discuss how much The Beast Incarnate made for his clash with Goldberg, stating that he thought both men made quarter of a million dollars for the colossal clash – but that wasn’t enough for Lesnar.
“Vince thought we were treating Brock well. He was making a lot of money, and I remember. I think the payoff, if I’m not mistaken, we did that show; I think he made $250,000, and so did Goldberg.”
JR would divulge that , while sitting in his office in Stamford, Connecticut, Lesnar would phone to talk to Vince McMahon, but that Ross would ultimately be the man picking up the line.
“I remember sitting in my office in Stamford, and Vince’s assistant said, ‘Brock Lesnar is on the line; he wanted to talk to Vince, and Vince wants him to talk to you.'”
Brock Lesnar, of course, would cite his unhappiness to Jim Ross, which prompted the former Talent Relations executive to question why Lesnar was unhappy. JR revealed that Lesnar would simply say, “I just think you guys screwed me” before hanging up.
“I said, ‘What are you basing this on? Did you do a forensic study on the finances of this event, or did one of your buddies tell you that you got screwed on your payoff? What are you basing this on? You’ve got to give me something here.’ You didn’t like it? And he said, ‘I just think you guys screwed me. I said, ‘well, we didn’t screw you, and I’m sorry you feel that way.’ And he hung up on me.”
The AEW commentator would go on to say he had no problem being hung up on – and joked that at least the meeting wasn’t in person.
“Look, I didn’t have a problem with him hanging up on me. He heard his answer – ‘You are not getting any more money. We think we paid you fairly.’ But it was not the phone call; I was thinking, thank god he was on the phone and not staring me down the gullet (laughs). He is a little intimidating. So, that’s how that worked out. We were really shocked that it had come to that.”
Elsewhere on the podcast, Jim Ross would open up about how Lesnar had previously been given “bad advice” from some of his peers.
“Well, he was burned out. He was getting bad advice from some of his peers, I believe, and he had this dream of playing in the National Football League, and apparently, he had that dream for many, many years.”
Ross suggested that Curt Hennig was someone who “knew he could get to people” by ribbing them, and that the WrestleMania payday argument may have been exactly that.
“Well, I would say the Minnesota contingent. Maybe Perfect (Curt Hennig), maybe Curt. He knew that he could get you. And to see somebody rolled up in anxiety and angst, thanks to your prodding and your subtle positioning, was a rib. And some guys fell for it. Hey, I’ve had guys come to me and say, you know when WrestleMania comes in and say, ‘I’m not happy with my payoff.’ Same story. ‘Based on what? Tell me what you’re basing your unhappiness over?’ ‘So and so made blank.’ I said, ‘No, they didn’t.’ They said they did. ‘Oh, they said that to you, right?”
The WWE Hall of Famer would liken the Lesnar scenario to a similar one he had with Dustin Rhodes and an unnamed joker who would lead Goldust to believe he had made significantly more money than the former WWE star.
“Gerry Brisco was with me in all of these meetings. Very invaluable. And I said, ‘Gerry, go get, so and so.’ That guy that got the big money that Dustin didn’t get – because it was about Goldust. So I got the guy in the room and, ‘Did you tell him that you made blank?’ He started laughing. ‘Yeah, I did! Why? Why did you lie to him? I don’t get it. ‘Well, it’s funny. you know, it’s just a rib.’ Goldust didn’t think it was a rib because he wasn’t laughing, and he’d noticed that right now. ‘Look at the sh** you stirred, for no reason, except for your own personal enjoyment. And that’s the wrestling community oftentimes.”
JR would reveal how some talents would see a weakness, but that Lesnar didn’t have any on the surface. His one weakness, though, may have been inexperience.
“If the boys see a weakness, and they see some little crack in the armor, because it was obvious that Lesnar had no cracks in the armor visibly, but emotionally and material-wise, he was in a world that he had not prepared for, ever in his life.”
Jim Ross would go on to detail how Brock Lesnar was very busy outside of the ring getting his life in order, that the drama in the locker room may have had a more significant impact than it otherwise might have done.
“More money. More travel. More fame. More fortune. And he was having; I won’t say family issues, but you know, he was trying to raise his daughter and the marital, or ex-marital issues, he was dating Sable, which was a great thing for him, and it has been a wonderful marriage. They got great-looking sons, but at that time, it was just more drama on his plate. And so people process this information differently… But the talents have a way; they knew where Brock’s sensitivities were. I think a lot of guys took advantage of his naivety, in saying man, ‘Brother, you got screwed.'”
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