Brock Lesnar says he would not be able to put on great matches if he was not passionate about wrestling.
Ahead of WrestleMania 38, the reigning WWE Champion Brock Lesnar will be defending his title on March 5th at WWE’s Madison Square Garden house show. Beyond that, Lesnar is currently scheduled to take on Universal Champion Roman Reigns at WrestleMania in a winner take all, title unification match.
New York outlet ‘Newsday’ caught up with Lesnar for an interview ahead of the MSG show. He was asked to address the idea that he’s only in pro wrestling for the money and does not have a passion for it. Lesnar stated that he’s had great matches over his career and that does not happen unless one is passionate about being in the ring.
I’ve put on some great [expletive] matches in my day. And you don’t do that without having a passion for the squared circle. I’m a man that for the last 25 years of my life just wanted to be left the [expletive] alone. I didn’t prostitute myself and put myself out there to be vulnerable to the media and be vulnerable to the next person that wanted to stick their claws into me. I just found out that it was easier for me to go and recharge my batteries and go be who I really wanted to be and hide that from the world. It’s just who I am. I’m a private person. I approach my life and fighting and wrestling like this is a job. It’s a career. I’m a prizefighter. I get into the octagon or the ring, I do my business, and I do it well, and I get paid for it. And so I’m very passionate about the business. But that was my character. For a long time, I had Paul Heyman speaking on my behalf. I didn’t have to participate on the microphone. I was just a demolition man. I think people, if they could see through all of it, would understand that I’ve had some really great matches in my career with a lot of different people. You don’t go to work, and put out a product like that if you don’t have passion for it.
Lesnar feels that people think it’s difficult to have a conversation with him. When it comes to him helping other talents, Lesnar says he does not throw himself out there but if someone or something catches his eye, he’ll approach the talent.
He thinks some of the wrestlers need to step up and be different if they want to be successful. He does not see the grassroots, hard work and ethic anymore from his vantage point.
I have. Over the years, if there’s somebody that catches my eye and if I happen to perceive something that I like, or don’t like, I will approach some talent. It’s not that I don’t put myself out there to be approachable in the arena. It’s just kind of who I am. People probably find it hard to have a convo with me . . . Some of these young kids nowadays, they’re so used to having everything they want at their fingertips with technology. I don’t know where the grassroots, hard work, and the ethic is anymore. Some of these kids, they need to step up to the plate if they want to. They need to have a backbone. They need to do something different if they want to become successful. This business isn’t just about getting in the ring and being able to do moves, you know. This is a business of storytelling and characters and being able to portray a passion about something. So either you have it, or you don’t. Otherwise you’re just a mid-card wrestler, or an indie wrestler, or an internet wrestler. And you’re just playing to the fans on the internet.
During the discussion, Lesnar addressed the WrestleMania 20 match with Goldberg. Lesnar had signed a new deal with WWE, but he was ready to venture off into the world outside of wrestling.
He and Vince McMahon laugh about the situation now, but Lesnar says McMahon did not understand why he needed to branch out. He feels that Vince felt he needed to keep him in the company because of the investment that was made into Lesnar.
I really didn’t care at the time. I just wanted to get in that ring and get the hell out of there as fast as I could, because it was my last commitment to the company at the time. I was in a good spot, but in a bad spot at the same time, because I wanted out of the company. I was still a young athlete and I had aspirations of doing other things. At the time, WWE wasn’t enough for me. And I had explained that to Vince [McMahon] and we butted heads pretty hard, because I had just signed a new contract back then worth quite a bit of money at the time. And so the company backed Brock Lesnar at the time, but I just wanted out. And looking back now — and Vince and I have talked about this — it’s water under the bridge. And I don’t think I would be as big an attraction as I am for them now [had I not left]. I think the company has made their investment back a million times over because I did leave the company, and I was successful when I left. I had a short stint in the NFL, did a little wrestling in Japan. Ultimately, I found my home, and it was in the [UFC] octagon. And it fulfilled that need and that void inside of me that I was yearning for. I had to go do that. And Vince, at the time, didn’t understand that. He wanted to lock his claws into me and keep me because he made an investment. We laugh about it now. And we’re both having a great time. We’re at a good spot in our life. And I’m enjoying the hell out of this comeback.
Lesnar versus Reigns at WrestleMania is the only match slated for night two as of this writing. Here’s a look at the card:
Night One (April 2nd)
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
- Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul
- Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin (w/ Madcap Moss)
Night Two (April 3rd)
- WWE Universal Championship and WWE Championship — Winner Takes All Unification Match: Brock Lesnar (WWE Champion) vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Champion) (w/ Paul Heyman)
Match Date[s] TBA
- Edge vs. AJ Styles
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Carmella & Queen Zelina (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi