WWE history: What actually happened when Brock Lesnar and Big Show broke the ring
In 2003, an episode of SmackDown saw Brock Lesnar squared off against The Big Show in the main event. The match didn't end in a traditional manner with a clear-cut winner being decided. There wasn't a soul who complained about it though, for WWE did something unprecedented and legendary!
In the final moments of the match, Lesnar superplexed The World's Largest Athlete from the top rope. The moment these two behemoths hit the ring, it collapsed immediately to the ground, taking the referee Mike Chioda down with it. The sea of fans roared in unison, as Chioda rose up in utter confusion and awe. A bunch of EMTs and backstage staff had to come down to the ring to tend to the two fallen athletes. This was something that had never been done before in the history of professional wrestling.
The secret behind the spot
For more than a decade, WWE maintained that the spot was not pre-determined. On an edition of Talk Is Jericho in 2015, The Big Show finally admitted that the spot was in fact a work, and went on to spill the beans on how they managed to "break the ring" on that night.
The giant went on to heap praise upon WWE Stunt Coordinator, Ellis Edwards, adding that he executed the plan to perfection, which ultimately helped both Brock and himself to do their thing during the ending moments of the match.
We did a spot right before we broke the ring where we’re both down and they shoot a real close-up of both of us selling. Well in that time, Ellis had airbags under the ring. So they had lifted the ring a couple inches. So now, when I’m standing on that top corner, that ring is like standing on marbles. Because it’s moving. Of course, now I’ve got my fat a** up in the air, 500 pounds on a not very stable surface … So then the ring broke. I just remember when it happened because … you don’t know how the stunt is going to look. But man, it was so perfectly timed the way we did it and Ellis did a great job of setting up. That thing collapsed and everybody they bought it so long.
For further proof, here's a detailed video of how the WWE ring is constructed and how it's almost impossible for two wrestlers to break it during a fall.
(Head over to the 2:50 mark to watch it!)
When WWE produced the "100 Greatest SmackDown Moments" DVD several years ago, this moment bagged the 2nd spot, only behind SmackDown's post-9/11 episode! WWE went on to replicate the move several times in the future, with Superstars like Mark Henry and Braun Strowman.