WWE News

The Undertaker On Encouraging Brock Lesnar To Leave WWE

The Undertaker & Brock Lesnar stare down

The Undertaker has revealed that he encouraged an unhappy Brock Lesnar to quit WWE in 2004.

While the rivalry between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker will forever be remembered for Lesnar breaking ‘The Streak’ at WrestleMania XXX, there was a whole lot more to it than that.

After Lesnar arrived in WWE the night after WrestleMania X8, he quickly rose to the main event scene, winning the Undisputed Title at SummerSlam defeating The Rock. At the time, the World Champion alternated between Raw and SmackDown, despite the brand split being in effect. However, shortly after winning the title, Lesnar became an exclusive part of the blue brand.

While on SmackDown, the new champion engaged in a feud with The Undertaker. The pair went to war in a series of brutal matches, including inside Hell In A Cell at No Mercy. The two stars later clashed again in the 2003 Royal Rumble match, where Lesnar eliminated ‘Taker last to earn to the win.

Speaking in a recent interview with the True Geordie podcast, The Phenom reflected on this period working a young Lesnar. He also explained the toll that this run took on the man behind the television character.

“It was fun watching his ascent, it was fun being in the ring. Brock, especially his first time through, you look at him and think, ‘there is no way any human being, built like that, that looks like that, can move like that.’ It was always fun to work with him. I had a long talk with Brock. He came to me and wasn’t happy. Brock is not a people person. Happy Cowboy Brock is a little different. He keeps to himself, hunts and fishes, does all that.

It’s a tough life, traveling the way we do. We don’t always have charter planes and we have to go through public airports. We’re always constantly around people. It’s difficult because some days you just hurt. He felt like he was all beat up by the time he got to the UFC. It’s hard to put on that fa├žade when you feel like crap, you haven’t slept, you haven’t eaten properly and you have someone coming up, ‘Can I take a picture?’ Some people can handle it and grit their teeth and do it, some people can’t,”

By WrestleMania XX, Brock Lesnar was unhappy with his lot in WWE and was looking elsewhere for a challenge. Namely, attempting to launch an NFL career.

Undertaker revealed that he spoke with Lesnar during this difficult time, and encouraged him to leave, and do the right thing for him. The veteran said that he didn’t have a problem with The Beast leaving, but he was firmly in the minority.

“Brock was at a point where he wanted to do something different. I told him, he was thinking about going to play pro football, I said, ‘Brock, you have to do what’s right for Brock.’ Everyone is going to be pissed that you’re going to leave and they put all this money and push behind you, but if you don’t go do this, you’re going to look back with a what if.’ I don’t know how much influence it had. He did end up leaving. He tried football, didn’t work, he ends up in the UFC.

I didn’t hold any grudge. In the back of my mind, I felt like he would be back some day. It’s usually the way it works out. I do know that you can’t life with ‘what if.’ I didn’t have a big problem like most people did with it,”

After a stint in UFC, Lesnar returned to WWE in 2012, where he eventually locked horns with The Undertaker once more.

H/t to Fightful for the transcription.