Brock Lesnar was forced to perform a dangerous move by former WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis back in 2003.
Brock Lesnar was quite agile in size and stature during his first run with WWE in 2000-04. Lesnar used to perform the Shooting Star Press effectively during his early run with the company.
Lesnar was set to wrestle Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania XIX in 2003. At that point, The Beast Incarnate hadn't performed the dangerous move in over a year.
While planning the match, John Laurinaitis suggested that Lesnar hit the Shooting Star Press on Angle to win the match. Lesnar wasn't sure about it, though. Here's what happened, according to Lesnar in his 2011 book Death Clutch:
"To crank up the pressure on me a little more, Jim Ross sat down with us, and John [Laurinaitis] started saying, 'Don’t you think Brock should finish the match with the Shooting Star Press? It’s so impressive, no one has seen him do it for such a long time, it’s such a great move, blah blah blah.'"
The book continues:
"JR thinks about that for a moment and drawls, 'Hell, kid, that would be one helluva WrestleMania moment!' [...] Finally, stupidly, I agreed to do it, but I at least wanted to practice the move a few times first. I should have listened to my gut and just said 'NO!'" Lesnar noted.
Brock Lesnar's career almost ended that night
Brock Lesnar nailed the move multiple times while practicing it in the ring. The situation during the actual match was entirely different, though.
Angle and Lesnar had been wrestling for about 18 minutes at that point, and Lesnar was in no condition to perfectly execute the move.
The Beast ended up botching the Shooting Star Press. Moments later, he hit an F5 on Angle to pick up the win and capture his second WWE Title. Lesnar has mentioned in his book that he doesn't remember the end of the match due to being completely out of it at the moment.
Lesnar suffered a concussion that night at WrestleMania XIX. It could have been worse, and he could have broken his neck while botching the Shooting Star Press. He returned to WWE programming mere days later and started a feud with John Cena on SmackDown.
Do you remember Brock Lesnar's botched Shooting Star Press? How did you react when you first saw it? Sound off in the comments below.