Jim Cornette has recalled his days working together with Brock Lesnar during ‘The Beast Incarnate’s’ early days as a wrestler at Ohio Valley Wrestling.
OVW was WWE’s developmental territory for several years until their working relationship came to an end in 2008. For several years many of WWE’s top names began by training in OVW. The most famous collection of stars to emerge from the company is the so-called ‘Class of 2002’ that included John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, and Lesnar.
Speaking on an episode of his Cornette’s Drive-Thru podcast, the former booker and part-owner of OVW Jim Cornette gave his thoughts on Lesnar’s time in the company.
“What’s that old f***ing song, ‘I had your number as soon as you walked through the door?’ From the start, I could tell he had no personality because he was sullen. He wasn’t outgoing, he wasn’t a wrestling fan, he wasn’t a f***ing cut-up in the locker room. He had been catered to as a star athlete in these f***ing cow towns that he grew up in in South Dakota or whatever.”
“[Lesnar] wasn’t working as hard as the other guys were working because he was a natural genetic freak and have to. But he was somewhat boring and not particularly well-suited to the personality side of this business which is why I gave Shelton to him as a tag team partner. Shelton could do everything and was exciting, and actually likable. Brock was not.”
Lesnar alongside Shelton Benjamin formed The Minnesota Stretching Crew. The name a nod to their time together at the University of Minnesota. Together the duo won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships three times.
“I wanted him as a babyface because he was an NCAA Heavyweight Champion from just a few years previous so – an All American hero. Plus he wasn’t ready to be a heel yet. He was a heel personality but he was a sh*tty pro wrestler. He hadn’t learned anything, he didn’t know anything. So he started out as a babyface because that was gonna be easier but he didn’t wanna be a babyface. He didn’t like to be nice to the people.”
“One time a couple of people started hootin’ at him at the St. Terese Church gym show and he gets on the microphone and cuts a heel promo on them. When he came back up I said ‘you enjoy turning heel?’ I said ‘now, you’re gonna be a f***ing Goddamn babyface from here on out. If Vince McMahon who’s paying you this $250,000 a year wants you to be a Goddamn ballet dancer, you’ll be wearing a tutu on Broadway. So don’t cut any more Goddamn heel promos when you’re supposed to be a babyface. Learn how to make ’em like you or find a new line of business.’ He didn’t like that shit.”
According to Cornette, Lesnar was never happy at OVW from the time he set foot in the promotion:
“He was constantly trying to get out of OVW from the time that he showed up because he didn’t want to be down here training with the guys. He wanted to be training with Brad Rheingans in Minnesota in a barn. That’s when he pulled ‘oh my girlfriend’s pregnant, I gotta go back home for six months.'”
“He was making five-times at least what the other developmental guys were making. Wasn’t working as hard, didn’t wanna be involved in the program, and was trying to find excuses to get out of it. So I didn’t push him as hard as I would’ve pushed somebody that was really into it. I knew he had the physical capability.”
“He loved Danny Davis because Danny Davis with that broken, pug nose, tough-ass b*stard, he was a coach; Brock liked coaches. But he would p*ss off the referees, the managers. Chris Kay, of the referees – he made him cry, browbeating him in some kind of way. He was not enamoured of the program in some kind of way. Him and f***ing Batista, because Batista ended up sucking up to Triple H, are the only ones that had anything bad to say about OVW. In Brock’s case, he didn’t wanna be there in the first place.”
Jim Cornette recently had some words of praise for the new Raw Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Cornette sees Ripley as a possible major star going forward in WWE.