WWE Royal Rumble 2022 winner Brock Lesnar has had a pretty unique and well-decorated career. He's an NCAA Heavyweight Champion, a UFC Heavyweight Champion, has won pretty much everything major in WWE, and even gave the NFL a try. And yet for a man who had done so many high-profile things, we all feel like we don't know him very well as a person. He's a very private guy and has rarely given interviews where he lets his guard down and shares his uncensored thoughts.
This all changed yesterday when Lesnar opened up to fellow WWE personality Pat McAfee for a wide-ranging nearly hour-long interview on The Pat McAfee Show. In addition to talking about his upbringing and his current home life on a remote farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, he also spoke freely about certain aspects of his WWE career that we've never heard from him before, at least in such a blunt and unguarded manner.
Like all of WWE's top stars, Brock Lesnar has a specific personal relationship with Vince McMahon, which he spoke about in the interview. "Vince and I have had a love/hate relationship for the last 20 years, but it's been good. We've got a lot of water under the bridge." He continued that he sees Vince differently than how he sees other people he's worked for, including UFC's Dana White, saying "I look at Vince as more of a father figure. I've learned a lot of things from him."
When asked if there was anyone he would have liked to have faced but didn't during his WWE career, he immediately named the almost was, but never happened match of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin versus Brock Lesnar. "I got to wrestle (Hulk) Hogan. I got to wrestle The Rock. The Undertaker. Ric Flair. But I didn't get to wrestle Steve."
Austin famously refused to show for an unannounced King of the Ring qualifying match against Lesnar on the June 10, 2002 edition of Raw. Management wanted Austin, who was still the company's top star and draw at the time, to lose to the rookie Lesnar in the match on free TV, but Austin refused, stating that something like that needed a proper build and should happen on a Pay Per View. Vince McMahon refused to change the plans and Austin refused to show that night. While the damage was done to Austin's relationship with McMahon, Lesnar held no ill will against Austin and understood where he was coming from.
"I understand from the business aspect at the time, Steve left and didn't want to work with me. It was probably the right business decision for him at the time. I don't hold a grudge against it at all. Business is business. I got that right away. I had a lot of good mentors coming up in the business."
Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar are actually pretty good friends and have been for quite a while, with Austin's podcast being one of the few shows Lesnar would appear on semi-regularly throughout his career. While it easily could have wound up as a bitter situation between the two legends, it seems that both were able to see through the problem and look at it solely with business eyes and there, they were on the same page.