The latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio talked about the 2004 lawsuit from WWE Champion Brock Lesnar against the company, which revealed somewhat new details that haven’t been widely discussed over the years.
Lesnar wanted to leave WWE in 2004 and WWE eventually agreed to let him out of his contract, but he wouldn’t be able to work in pro wrestling for 6 years. Lesnar, who wanted to work for New Japan Pro Wrestling, ended up agreeing to the contract clause and joining the NFL, where he wasn’t very successful. Lesnar sued WWE to get out of the contract and started working for NJPW in 2005, which led to WWE counter-suing him. The lawsuit was settled in 2006. Lesnar would go on to join UFC in 2008, then return to WWE in 2012.
It was stated on WOR that Lesnar wanted to quit and get out of his 7 year contract that he originally signed with WWE, so he quit and said he was going to the NFL, which didn’t work out. Lesnar then wanted to go to NJPW but that’s when the legal issues came up. Lesnar had signed the worldwide non-compete clause, which was ridiculous to begin with, and he was going to win his case. They ended up dropping it because of that. It was said that during negotiations, Lesnar said he was willing to come back because WWE didn’t want him going anywhere else. There was a story floating around for one day back then, that said Lesnar was about to return to WWE, and that’s because in the court case, Lesnar said he was ready to come back, and he would be coming back. Lesnar had then received a $1 million per year contract, which doesn’t sound like a lot right now, but was back then. WWE came back and said Lesnar wasn’t worth that amount of money, and it was a situation to where WWE didn’t want him going anywhere because he was under the contract, but they also didn’t want to pay him on the contract because they didn’t think he was worth it any longer. At the same time, they also didn’t want him working for anyone else.
Lesnar ended up winning the IWGP Heavyweight Title for NJPW, and later winning the UFC Heavyweight Title. He has had multiple lengthy title runs for WWE since going back to work for them, and is making much more than $1 million per year these days.