Brock Lesnar was allegedly told to legitimately "punish" former WWE rookie on television

Brock Lesnar performed on SmackDown in 2003
Brock Lesnar performed on SmackDown in 2003

Rene Dupree believes WWE’s higher-ups booked the famous match between Brock Lesnar and Zach Gowen on SmackDown as a form of punishment.

Gowen, a one-legged wrestler, defeated Lesnar via disqualification on the August 21, 2003 episode of SmackDown. During the match, The Beast Incarnate busted Gowen open with a steel chair in front of his mother in his home state of Michigan.

Dupree, a WWE Superstar at the time, said on his Cafe de Rene podcast that Gowen got in trouble when he smoked backstage. He believes the scripted attack from Lesnar was designed to teach the rookie a lesson.

“What I had heard is that he was caught smoking cigarettes backstage," said Dupree. "If you’ve ever been backstage at a WWF [WWE] show, Vince [McMahon] has 'no smoking' signs all over the building… Remember that segment where Brock bashes his f***ing brains in with that steel chair in front of his own mother? That was punishment right there.” [22:00-22:38]

Dupree noted that Vince McMahon only allowed two of his closest confidants, Jack Lanza and Pat Patterson, to smoke backstage. Superstars were forbidden from smoking inside arenas.

Did WWE also punish Kane in 2003?

Kane defeated Shane McMahon in a Last Man Standing match at Unforgiven 2003 and in an Ambulance match at Survivor Series 2003. Between those two matches, McMahon picked up a series of victories over The Big Red Machine in Street Fights at live events.

Reflecting on that rivalry, Rene Dupree speculated whether WWE’s decision-makers also treated Kane in a similar way to Zach Gowen.

“I remember Kane voicing his opinion backstage being frustrated talking to Johnny Ace [Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis]," Dupree continued. "Right after that he started that program with Shane... Kane would come back [with] kendo stick marks, bruised, every single night, and they had to work the program for what was it? Like two months.” [23:29-24:09]

Dupree also said that Vince McMahon likes to prank superstars outside the ring. He once tried to embarrass Kane and The Undertaker by playing footage of them holding hands and skipping in a mocked-up video game entrance.

Please credit Cafe de Rene and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

Vince Russo answers who killed WCW HERE

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