Jim Ross Discusses Brock Lesnar Leaving WWE In 2004 & Vince McMahon’s Reaction

Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg, Steve Austin As Referee

Brock Lesnar dramatically left WWE after his WrestleMania match with Goldberg in 2004.

On the latest Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross has opened up about how he felt ‘The Beast Incarnate’ was burned out and that was why he had to step away.

He was burned out and getting bad advice from some of his peers I believe. He had this dream of playing in the NFL, and apparently had that dream for many, many years. He had been so focused and grounded in the amateur wrestling world that he never got to really do that.

I just think he didn’t travel well at that time. He went from a dairy farm in South Dakota, and now he’s traveling the world regularly. I think it wore on him, and that could’ve been something we probably could’ve made better for him.

It would seem that after the match with Goldberg, Lesnar wasn’t happy with the payout he got from the company.

This was a moment Good Ol’ JR ended up having to step in, and it’s no surprise he was glad the conversation happened over the phone rather than in person.

I think the payoff, if I’m not mistaken, is that he made $250,000. So did Goldberg. I remember sitting in my office in Stamford and Vince’s assistant said Brock Lesnar is on the line and he wanted to talk to Vince, and Vince wants him to talk to you. So, that was my prep for that conversation.

I get on the phone with him and he’s in a foul mood because he got his payoff and thought he got screwed. I said what are you basing this on? Did you do a study of the finances of this event, or did one of your buddies tell you you got screwed on the payoff? Give me something here. I said we didn’t screw you, and I’m sorry you feel that way. And he hung up on me.

Ross also spoke on how Vince McMahon reacted to the departure of ‘The Beast Incarnate’.

He also used an analogy which involved his new podcasting cohort Kurt Angle to explain why Vince was disappointed.

Let’s say you bring in Kurt Angle to your podcast team and he’s doing a great job every week, and all of a sudden, he decides he’s bored with it. You spent money to promote him, gave him a spot, and cleared the booking for the show. So, I can understand Vince’s apprehension. It was Gerald Brisco and I that found Brock at Minnesota. I had a vested interest in this guy. I believed he was the answer. I never backed up from that opinion. Brock was a special, special talent.

With thanks to 411 Mania for the transcription.

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