Kurt Angle has discussed Brock Lesnar’s 2004 WWE exit and says WWE Chairman Vince McMahon can be “unforgiving” to those that want to leave.
In the run-up to WrestleMania 20 in 2004, rumours began swirling that Brock Lesnar was on his way out of WWE to try out for a career in the NFL. It came to pass that Lesnar was on his way out and in his final match in that run he faced Goldberg on The Grandest Stage Of Them All.
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show, the Olympic gold medallist discussed that time in Brock Lesnar’s career and says he offered some advice to The Beast Incarnate:
“Brock had a private conversation with me a month before WrestleMania. He told me that he wanted to try out for the NFL and that he didn’t like the travel that the WWE produced for him every year. He just didn’t want to be on the road that much and so he told me he wanted to try out for the Minnesota Vikings, he actually contacted the recruiter and they were interested so he asked me ‘what should I do? Should I tell Vince now or should I wait?’”
“I told him ‘If I were you, I would wait ’til after WrestleMania and then tell Vince that you’re unhappy and that you want to leave the company.’ Brock decided to go back home and he told Vince right when he got back home from the tour when he was talking to me on the tour.”
With Lesnar telling Vince McMahon of his intentions to leave, Kurt Angle thinks that’s what made the decision that Lesnar should lose to Goldberg. Angle added that although both men were leaving he thinks Brock Lesnar’s exit will have hurt McMahon more:
“That’s when he told me about him wanting to leave. So he ended up contacting Vince and that’s what enabled Vince to decide that Brock would do the job. Vince already knew Goldberg was leaving, he didn’t know if Brock was leaving at this particular time but when Brock came home from that tour and told Vince, it hurt Vince, it stung.”
“Everybody knew that if Brock was leaving and Goldberg was leaving, most likely Vince is probably going to stick it to Brock. Brock was younger, he was full-blown WWE, WWE was his whole career and Goldberg came from WCW. When you’re a part of [Vince’s] company when you start out, he wants you there forever. When you leave, Vince can be a little bit unforgiving.”