Jim Ross has a new article up at Fox Sports, and while much of it is just armchair booking, it is packed with a lot of interesting insider anecdotes from the guy responsible for bringing Brock Lesnar into the world of professional wrestling.
The juiciest bit is about Vince McMahon’s amusingly star struck reaction the first time he laid eyes on Brock Lesnar…
“We invited Brock and Sheldon to a WWE event in Minneapolis and as WWE chairman Vince McMahon was power walking to his customary “gorilla position,” he noticed Brock standing with [Jerry] Brisco.
It was the first time that I can recall that Vince stopped dead in his tracks, made his way over to a recruit, introduced himself and asked Brock if he was ready to join the WWE.
Lesnar provided McMahon the perfect answer by saying, ‘I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer.'”
If you wondered why Brock gets away with the stuff he does, well, there you go. I’m totally imagining Vince doing the big dramatic gulp he pretends to do around John Cena, except for real the first time he saw Brock. Also, he probably had a boner.
Brock was quickly offered the most lucrative rookie contract in WWE history, but Brock had one demand before he’d sign…
“The only catch was that we needed to also recruit and offer Brock’s Minnesota team mate, Sheldon Benjamin, as well. Benjamin was an amazing athlete, and signing the South Carolina native was a blessing as he had a solid WWE career, arguably underutilized in the opinion of some. Plus, he made Brock’s transition from the amateurs to the pros much easier.
Robinson knew Brock could be a challenging athlete to manage, so having Benjamin in the same training camp was a major positive in the development of Lesnar.”
I wonder if Brock thinks Benjamin is still with WWE? I mean, are you going to tell him he’s not? Yeah, didn’t think so.
If you’ve got a couple extra minutes, JR’s full article, while clearly written for a mostly non-wrestling audience, is still a fun read.