Jim Ross has recalled Vince McMahon’s reaction the first time that he saw Brock Lesnar.
Speaking to talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy, Ross said that as soon as McMahon laid eyes on Lesnar he knew that he had found “the guy.”
Looking back at Lesnar’s signing to WWE, JR explained how it was initially Gerry Brisco who was championing the collegiate wrestling star. However, as Brisco rarely met with McMahon, it was Ross, who was Head Of Talent Relations at the time, who discussed the Lesnar signing with the Chairman.
“Gerry Brisco and I brought Brock Lesnar to a TV taping in Minneapolis because he went to college there,”
“I said to McMahon ‘that new kid I’m recruiting is here tonight. If you get a chance I’d like you to say hello him.’
“So McMahon is walking about with his Mr. McMahon walk and he happens to glance over and Gerry Brisco is standing by this monster. Vince made a U-turn and beelined right to Brock – he had never seen him. Never watched him wrestle.”
“He knew Gerry and I was high on him, but Gerry didn’t meet with Vince on a regular basis, I met with Vince every day. I said ‘we got this kid we’re going to sign and he’s going to be extraordinary. You’re going to love him.’”
Reflecting further, Ross described how as soon as McMahon saw Lesnar he knew he was something special.
“So when Vince laid eyes on him he knew that we had the guy. If he had any aptitude whatsoever – we knew athletically he was going to be great, he’d already proven himself as an athlete – but if he could get the showbiz side of it and have the aptitude to be a pro wrestler, he was going to be our guy for a while. And that worked out.”
Lesnar made his WWE main roster debut in 2002. However, he had departed the company by mid 2004. The former WWE Champion initially attempted to launch an NFL career before embarking on a spell in UFC.
The Beast returned to WWE in 2012 and has remained with the company ever since, albeit on a reduced schedule. Lesnar last appeared for WWE at WrestleMania 36, where he was defeated by Drew McIntyre.
Kurt Angle recently discussed his own memories of working with Brock Lesnar. Recalling their appearances in Japan, Angle said that Lesnar was “money first, passion second.”