Brock Lesnar's WrestleMania 20 match against Goldberg is regarded as one of the worst marquee matches in the pay-per-view's illustrious history. Jim Ross recently revealed that the match's troubles extended backstage, as Lesnar made it clear that he was upset about his compensation.
Both Goldberg and Brock Lesnar left WWE after their ill-fated contest in 2004. While burnout was one of the primary reasons cited for Lesnar's WWE departure, the Beast Incarnate was also unhappy over the amount of money he received for the WrestleMania 20 match.
Ross and Conrad Thompson focussed on the WrestleMania 20 event during the latest edition of the Grilling JR podcast on AdFreeShows.com. Ross revealed that Brock Lesnar made $250,000 for the match. JR added that Goldberg also pocketed a similar amount, but Lesnar felt that he was getting screwed over by WWE.
"Vince thought we were treating Brock well. He was making a lot of money, and I remember. I think the payoff, if I'm not mistaken, we did that show; I think he made $250,000, and so did Goldberg."
"I remember sitting in my office in Stamford, and Vince's assistant said, 'Brock Lesnar is on the line; he wanted to talk to Vince, and Vince wants him to talk to you.'
"I said, 'What are you basing this on? Did you do a forensic study on the finances of this event, or did one of your buddies tell you that you got screwed on your payoff? What are you basing this on? You've got to give me something here.' You didn't like it? And he said, 'I just think you guys screwed me. I said, 'well, we didn't screw you, and I'm sorry you feel that way.' And he hung up on me."
After WrestleMania 20, Brock Lesnar's unhappiness with WWE became quite apparent. He left the company to explore other interests, and he didn't return until 2012.
Jim Ross on WWE's reaction to Lesnar hanging up on him
At the time, Ross was WWE's head of talent relations, so he had the unforgiving job of dealing with a furious Brock Lesnar, who was dissatisfied with his WrestleMania payoff.
All that Jim Ross wanted was a valid argument that justified Brock Lesnar's claims about the WWE supposedly screwing him over. Ross made it clear to Lesnar that WWE was not messing around with him regarding the payment, but the Beast Incarnate responded by hanging up on him. Ross stated that WWE officials were stunned that the situation had gotten so bad.
"Look, I didn't have a problem with him hanging up on me. He heard his answer - 'You are not getting any more money. We think we paid you fairly.' But it was not the phone call; I was thinking, thank god he was on the phone and not staring me down the gullet (laughs). He is a little intimidating. So, that's how that worked out. We were really shocked that it had come to that."
Lesnar's first run with the company ended on rough terms, but The Beast Incarnate has enjoyed new levels of success since his return. It's fair to argue that Lesnar has solidified himself as one of the biggest draws in pro wrestling history.
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