Jim Ross Says It Was 'Love At First Sight' When Vince McMahon Saw Top WWE Star

The term "love at first sight" can be described exactly how it sounds, and according to AEW commentator Jim Ross, that's an emotion Vince McMahon experienced when he first saw a current WWE talent. At the time, Ross was the Head of WWE Talent Relations and had signed one of the greatest classes in the history of wrestling that included John Cena, Batista, Shelton Benjamin, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesnar.

The latter had wrestled at the University of Minnesota before coming to the WWE and signed with the company in 2000, being sent to OVW upon his arrival. Having been recruited by Gerald Brisco, someone who also had amateur wrestling experience, "The Beast" was brought into the company before signing. Ross revealed what the first encounter between Lesnar and Vince was like.

"Vince and I were talking outside the locker room and Brock was standing down the hall talking to [Gerry] Brisco, and Vince looked up like he had seen a ghost," Ross said during a recent episode of the "Grilling JR" podcast. "He said, 'My god, who's that?' Of course, I'm being a wise-ass: 'That's Gerry Brisco, he's worked for you forever.' [Vince said], 'Oh, God dammit, JR. I mean, who's that monster?' The monster was Brock Lesnar, and at that point, the love affair began. It was love at first sight."

Although Lesnar is a multi-sport athlete whose been in several WrestleMania main events, won multiple Royal Rumble matches, and held the WWE World Title 11-times, not many would view him as the number one greatest of all time. According to Ross, during Lesnar's rookie year in 2002, the WWE used the first-ever brand split as a way to try and position Lesnar to become their version of NBA royalty.

"We're protecting what we believed to be Michael Jordan," Ross said. "We believed that Brock Lesnar was going to become the greatest in-ring talent that we ever had. You can't replicate what he brought to the table. The look alone brought the eyes there, and if talent can't figure out what gets the eyes on him or her, then they need to reevaluate the position. Brock Lesnar can just walk into a room and consume it. He was our Jordan, man.

And with Lesnar set to face Roman Reigns in the main event of SummerSlam in a Last Man Standing match, it's clear WWE still views him 20 years later as comparable to "Michael Jordan".

"I just believe and I still believe it — I don't know if I'm wrong now. Who does the biggest company in the world bring in every time they want to draw stadium events? Brock Lesnar, and he's not even on TV every week. They're doing a great job with him. Brock is an attraction guy, and not seeing him too much is how you should culture and develop attraction-type talents."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.