Jim Ross wasn’t a fan of the decision to end Brock Lesnar’s WWE title reign twenty years ago.
Although most fans today recognize Brock Lesnar’s special aura and protected status, that wasn’t always the case.
Lesnar’s main roster booking throughout 2002 was hit or miss at first. He won some early matches via referee stoppage, which was unique at the time, but then that gimmick was quashed suddenly.
Then in some of his first PPV matches, commentators argued that Lesnar sold too much for a man being billed as a monster.
But those things pale in comparison with what Jim Ross called an “illogical” decision: Lesnar losing to The Big Show at Survivor Series 2002.
Lesnar’s first WWE title run ended only three months in when his manager Paul Heyman turned on him and aligned with the Big Show. Speaking on his Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross expressed why he thought this wasn’t a wise decision:
“It is crazy, it’s illogical. Why do we need to change the championship? And I wouldn’t have booked that match. The match should never have happened if I had the proverbial pencil, which has the most powerful weapon in all of wrestling on one end, the eraser. I would never have booked it. Again, protect your attraction, the seven foot 500 pound, 400 pound, whatever guys come up, they don’t come along that often. He’s an attraction that can’t be replaced as far as look and perception and size.
So [it was] crazy, don’t book that match, book another match that Brock and go out and have an athletic contest with. You notice that they kept this mess short because they didn’t want to overexpose either guy.
And to have a title match that goes 4 minutes and one of your biggest stars who is going to be one of the biggest stars in the company gets beat in four minutes. I don’t know what we accomplished. I really don’t.”
Big Show’s reign only lasted one month as he lost the WWE title to Kurt Angle at Armageddon 2002. Angle held onto it until WrestleMania XIX when he lost it to Lesnar in what many call one of the best matches of that decade in WWE.
h/t Inside The Ropes for the transcription