During a recent interview with ‘Inside The Ropes’, WWF Attitude Era Legend Kurt Angle spoke about the time when Brock Lesnar told Vince McMahon that he was leaving professional wrestling (and his employer at that time, the WWE) to try and pursue a career in the NFL.
According to Kurt, the timing of his announcement to the WWE promoter was absolutely horrible, because it led to the result of the upcoming WrestleMania XX match being changed in Goldberg’s favor.
In his 2011 book ‘Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival’, Brock confirmed that he was already booked to defeat the WCW Legend clean, but after Vince learned that not only Goldberg was leaving, but so was Lesnar, Vince changed the outcome right away, in order to punish ‘The Next Big Thing’ for his decision to turn his back on the promotion that made him a household name.
Here’s what Kurt Angle had to say about the situation:
“We go back. We go to RAW, or SmackDown. We’re on SmackDown. He goes up to Vince. Says ‘Vince, I want to try out for the NFL’.
I was like ‘Oh! F**k, man! He just f**ked himself’. So, next week is WrestleMania and what happened, Brock Lesnar does the job against Goldberg.
It would’ve been the other way if Brock would have smartened up, but he didn’t because he’s an idiot.”
The eventual WrestleMania XX pay-per-view match on March 14th 2004 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City has such a bad reputation with some online fans going as far as claiming it’s among the worst matches in WrestleMania history, when in fact that’s not even remotely the case, because the match wasn’t that bad at all, but it was a match that was totally ruined by the NYC crowd, who knew (from the Dirt Sheets) that both men were going to leave and this was their last match for WWE before they left.
The crowd booed both men out of the building, which ruined the match for the viewers at home, and not even special-guest-referee Stone Cold Steve Austin could change much about that.
As far as the actual match quality goes, yes it was a total disappointment because this dream-match encounter was basically built up as the biggest match of the year, but then turned out to be a mediocre match between 2 powerhouse wrestlers.
It was not a bad match at all (if you mute the crowd, that is), but most definitely not enough for such a big dream match.
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