Just five months after crashing onto WWE’s main roster, Brock Lesnar pinned The Rock at SummerSlam 2002 to become Undisputed World Champion.
This made Lesnar the biggest star in the company, a position that only strengthened with feuds against the likes of The Undertaker and Kurt Angle. Lesnar had signed with WWE in 2000 amid much fanfare and excitement backstage due to his amateur wrestling background and freakish athleticism. He appeared ready made for WWE, and someone they could build the company around for years to come.
However, the man himself had other ideas.
Jim Ross Recalls Brock Lesnar’s 2004 WWE Exit
Come the early months of 2004, Lesnar was burned out and fed up of life on the road as a WWE Superstar. The Beast has since revealed that he was also addicted to both alcohol and pain medication during this part of his WWE run as he attempted to cope with the abuse his body had taken.
There was also the not-so-small matter of the star wanting to launch a career in the NFL. The former World Champion believed that he had what it took and wanted to give it a try before he was too old. This meant that Lesnar would be leaving WWE following WrestleMania XX to go and chase his dream.
This led to one of the most infamous WrestleMania matches off all-time as the capacity Madison Square Garden crowd turned on the action in the ring. The problem being that not only was Lesnar leaving, but so was his opponent Goldberg.
Fans jeered, booed and whistled their disapproval throughout the match, only cheering when special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin hit both men with Stunners after the final bell.
“[JR is asked when did he hear that Lesnar was leaving, was it a week before] No earlier. [A little bit earlier?] Yeah. Because you know, why? Because I listened to people. I communicated with talent, I paid f*cking attention. And so I was aware he was seeking greener pastures. And the next green pasture that he saw was the Vikings.”
During the conversation Ross also revealed that both men earned $250,000 for the work in the match.
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