Brock Lesnar has had one of the most iconic, dominating careers in WWE history, but according to recent reports, his dominance could have begun much sooner. The Beast Incarnate joined OVW in 2000 and after two years he made his WWE (then WWF) debut, under the management of Paul Heyman. However, on the latest episode of his Grilling JR podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross revealed that the company almost signed Brock Lesnar a few years earlier, but he didn’t let it happen.
During the podcast, Jim Ross was asked whether the company was at risk of losing Brock Lesnar to another promotion like NJPW or WCW. “Absolutely not, we had him. And for that, we could always thank J Robinson, the wrestling coach at Minnesota, for his support on that deal,” Jim Ross replied. Ross said that if he wanted he could have signed Brock Lesnar right after his junior year, but he decided not to do that. He said he and J Robinson wanted Lesnar to finish school and that’s why they decided to wait for a couple of years.
Jim Ross also had the future of the company in mind. Picking up Brock Lesnar before his graduation would have ruined WWE’s relationship with NCAA Wrestling, who had provided WWE with some incredible talents in the past. Jim Ross said that he kept Vince McMahon in the dark about Brock Lesnar because he would have wanted Jim Ross to go and sign Brock Lesnar ‘right away’.
“I didn’t even tell Vince this story because he would’ve wanted me to go sign Brock right away.”
After graduation, Brock Lesnar received a huge rookie contract from WWE. He was making “$200,000 to $250,000” a year to start out. According to Jim Ross, Brock Lesnar was making way more than any rookies at that time. Brock Lesnar is currently one of the most respected athletes in the pro-wrestling world and a force to reckon with. Last year, Brock Lesnar became the highest-paid WWE superstar by making $10 million (as per Forbes reports).