WWE Hall of Famer, co-host of Grilling Jr and AEW Commentator Jim Ross recently discussed the signing of Brock Lesnar to WWE back in the year 2000.
This week’s episode of Grilling Jr centered on the King of The Ring 2000 PPV, with JR answering questions surrounding the then WWF at the time. One of WWE’s biggest ever acquisitions came that year, with NCAA Division 1 Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Brock Lesnar signing with the company and heading to WWE.
Jim Ross on Brock Lesnar
Conrad Thompson asked Jim Ross if there was a chance that Lesnar could’ve signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling or even WCW before joining the WWF. “Absolutely not, we had him” Ross confirmed. “And for that we could always thank J Robinson, the wrestling coach at Minnesota, for his support on that deal.”
Jim Ross elaborated further, saying “as I’ve told the story before, we could’ve signed Brock after his junior year.”
In previous podcasts JR has confirmed that Robinson wanted Lesnar to stay and finish out his senior year of college before signing with WWF. “With his [Robinson’s] old teammate Gerry Brisco and with my blessing? We made a deal that we would not sign him.”
JR then revealed a very interesting tidbit from the time. Jim Ross was the Head of Talent Relations in WWF/WWE, and he noted that he didn’t even tell Vince McMahon about why Brock wasn’t going to sign for the company until he finished his senior year of college. “I didn’t even tell Vince this story because he would’ve wanted me to go sign Brock right away.”
Jim Ross finished by mentioning how Brock Lesnar got the biggest rookie contract (at the time at least) in WWF/WWE history. “I remember he [Brock] got the biggest rookie contract, to that point. I can’t imagine anybody getting more than the 200-250k that we gave to Brock to start out with.”
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