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Brock Lesnar had contrasting experiences with Dean Ambrose and Finn Balor

3 wrestlers Brock Lesnar requested to work with and 3 he didn't

Brock Lesnar cemented his status as one of WWE’s most successful superstars during his two spells with the company. Between 2002 and 2004, “The Next Big Thing” faced a variety of different Superstars, from The Undertaker and The Big Show to Kurt Angle and Goldberg.

Since returning to WWE in 2012, Lesnar’s in-ring skills have been put to the test by Superstars including Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, while some of his best matches have come against smaller opponents like AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.


Given his level of stardom, it should come as no surprise that The Beast Incarnate has some say in who he does and doesn’t face in a WWE ring. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the three WWE Superstars Brock Lesnar requested to work with, as well as the three he definitely did not request to work with.

#6 Brock Lesnar did not request to work with Jinder Mahal

.@BrockLesnar & @HeymanHustle had a message for @JinderMahal on #RAW. Here's what they had to say about a potential #SurvivorSeries match!

Jinder Mahal was riding high as the WWE Champion ahead of the company's India tour in 2017. Having defeated wrestling legends like Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura, Mahal was supposed to face Brock Lesnar in a Champion vs. Champion match at that year's Survivor Series pay-per-view.


However, mere days before the event, Mahal would lose the title to AJ Styles on an episode of SmackDown. Many fans wondered why the Mahal/Lesnar match that was advertised for so long was nixed at the last moment. As per Dave Meltzer, the reason was The Beast's unwillingness to work with the Modern Day Maharaja:

"You know why they did that? Because Brock did not want to work with him [Jinder Mahal]," revealed Dave Meltzer.

#5 Brock Lesnar requested to work with R-Truth


One of the most hilarious moments of Brock Lesnar’s WWE career came in January 2020 when he was involved in a segment on RAW with R-Truth. At the time, it was announced that Brock Lesnar would enter the Royal Rumble from the No.1 position, despite the fact that he already held the WWE Championship.


The RAW segment saw R-Truth interrupt Brock Lesnar and his advocate, Paul Heyman, before announcing his intention to eliminate Heyman from the Royal Rumble. Once he realized that Brock Lesnar – not Heyman – was going to enter the Royal Rumble, Truth un-declared himself from the match, prompting “The Beast” to laugh out loud and turn away from the camera.

Speaking to Uproxx in February 2020, Truth revealed that Brock Lesnar had personally requested to work with him again in the future following the success of their segment.

"Brock actually has been pitching ideas. He wants to work with me doing something because of that segment. He pitched a couple ideas. He and I talked afterwards. The sky's the limit. This business is always changing, and I'm always changing with things."

The comedy segment was made even more impressive by the fact that Brock Lesnar worked without a script and he legitimately did not know what was going to happen.


#4 Didn't request to work with: Dean Ambrose

In January 2016, WWE planted the seeds for a WrestleMania 32 match between Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt when The Wyatt Family eliminated “The Beast” from the Royal Rumble.

In the weeks following the Rumble, it became apparent that Lesnar would work with a different opponent at WrestleMania – Dean Ambrose (aka Jon Moxley) – while Wyatt ended up featuring in a promo segment with The Rock, leading to “The Great One” defeating Erick Rowan in six seconds.

The Beast Incarnate’s match with “The Lunatic Fringe” didn't meet expectations, with the 13-minute encounter ending after Lesnar hit an F-5 on his opponent onto a stack of steel chairs. In 2019, Ambrose made it clear during an interview with PW Torch’s Wade Keller that Lesnar did not request to work with him.

“I think he truly thought he was just doing me a favor. [Brock Lesnar thought] me being in the ring with him was enough to do awesome things for me. I think that’s what he thought. He didn’t want to be there.”

Ambrose also said on The Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network in 2016 that he was “met with laziness” from Brock Lesnar when he pitched ideas for their No Holds Barred Street Fight.

#3 Requested to work with: The Big Show

The Big Show was sent to work in WWE’s Ohio Valley Wrestling developmental system in 2000, two years before Brock Lesnar was called up to the main roster. The 7-footer struggled to regain his place in the main-event scene after returning to RAW and SmackDown, despite the fact that he featured in the Fatal 4-Way main event at WrestleMania 2000 against Triple H, The Rock, and Mick Foley.

In 2002, Brock Lesnar quickly established himself as WWE’s “Next Big Thing” by winning the Undisputed Championship from The Rock at SummerSlam, and it did not take long for him to request a rivalry with The Big Show.


The two men began to face each other at live events in November 2002 – the same month that saw The Big Show defeat Lesnar at Survivor Series – and Show revealed in 2020 on Corey Graves' After The Bell podcast that he credits “The Beast” for getting his career back on track.

“I remember hearing the story that they [WWE] were asking Brock [about] his next opponent, and he goes, 'I wanna work with Show. He’s a giant, he can work.'”

The Big Show added that the former UFC champion felt WWE had not been using him to his full potential, which is one of the reasons why Paul Heyman’s long-time client wanted to work with him.

#2 Didn't request to work with: Matt Riddle

Not only did Lesnar not request to work with Matt Riddle, but he outright told “The Original Bro” that they will never face each other in WWE. For several years, Riddle has repeatedly stated that he wants to retire The Beast. However, when the two men met backstage at the 2020 Royal Rumble, Lesnar explained to the former UFC star that he had no chance of ever going one-on-one with him.

“Him [Brock Lesnar] and his security guard come up to me and basically told me I had no chance in hell – it was very Vince McMahon like [laughs] – no chance in hell that I was going to get that match with him and I’d have better luck doing something else.” [H/T talkSPORT]

Riddle lasted just 41 seconds in the Royal Rumble before being eliminated by King Corbin, while the then-WWE Champion entered at #1 and eliminated 13 superstars before Drew McIntyre brought his dominance to an end at the 26-minute mark.

Following their Royal Rumble interaction, Riddle said that he felt “heartbroken” that the multi-time WWE Champion did not want to work with him. The two men did share the ring at the 2022 edition of the Elimination Chamber PPV, which saw The Beast easily eliminate Riddle with an F5.


#1 Requested to work with: Finn Balor

As of the time of writing, Finn Balor – the first winner of the Universal Championship – has held the title for just one day of his WWE career, while Lesnar was Universal Champion for a grand total of 688 days.

Balor was forced to vacate the title in August 2016 after suffering a shoulder injury in his SummerSlam match against Seth Rollins, ruling him out of in-ring action until April 2017.

Despite returning to the RAW brand, which still had the Universal Championship at the time, the Irishman did not receive an opportunity at the title that he never officially lost until he was defeated by then-Champion Roman Reigns on an episode of RAW in August 2018.

Five months later, it was reported by the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer that The Beast Incarnate wanted to face Balor at the 2019 Royal Rumble, which might explain why Braun Strowman – Lesnar’s original opponent for the PPV – was replaced so abruptly. As it turned out, Brock Lesnar picked up the victory in a nine-minute match by making Balor submit to the Kimura lock.


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Edited by
Raunak J
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