Steven Muehlhausen of Sporting News recently spoke with WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross ahead of tonight’s UFC 200 event, and below are some interview highlights:
On Vince McMahon first meeting Brock Lesnar:
“We were in Minnepolis and I had Gerry (Brisco) call Brock and Shelton Benjamin, who was a graduate associate and workout partner during Brock’s senior year,” Ross said. “Shelton had also wrestled at Minnesota, a great athlete. So we had invited them to come to our TV taping. And I told Vince before the show and said, ‘Hey, we got those two kids we recruited from Minnesota coming to the event tonight.’ And he’s pre-occupied. I didn’t ask [McMahon] to meet [Lesnar]. They were not immersed on who Vince was and that he was the boss. But when Vince came out of his office and was walking to his place to get ready for the show, he locked eyes and saw Lesnar standing there and made a beeline to him.<
“And that’s the first time he had ever done that. Vince saw the same thing I saw. And Vince had never spoken to the guy, never seen him wrestle. He’s in street clothes. And he walked over and I introduced him. I remember him asking Brock, what do you want to do when you get out of college? Brock’s answer was very quick and very succinct, ‘I want to be an entertainer.’ Basically, Vince’s eyes lit up and figuratively saying, Boy, do we got a deal for you. Vince loved his look. How could you not for what WWE does? His look was extraordinary. Again, he draws your eyes to him.”
On Brock Lesnar being one of the best combat athletes of all-time:
“Absolutely, no doubt,” WWE Hall of Famer announcer and former company executive Jim Ross told Sporting News. “People don’t understand how unique the skillset is to be a sports entertainer. It’s a real niche world and you got to be really skilled, have a good feel for the charisma side and the showbiz side. There deal there is he’s got to look like he’s killing somebody and not even though he’s more physical than anybody on the WWE roster even in the showbiz presentation of the genre.