10 Times WWE Went Too Far With Brock Lesnar

5. Zach Gowan's Stairway To Hell

Stephanie McMahon Brock Lesnar

Zack Gowen had battled through enough in his life before briefly living out an unlikely dream as a WWE Superstar in 2003, but was a made an unfortunate victim by more than just the reckless booking that burned through his entire repertoire in a little over six months.

It was a genuinely miraculous story. As 'Tenacious Z', Gowen had made national news and caught the attention of the wrestling world at large with his array of moonsaults, flips and dive despite the potential impediment. After eventually joining WWE (but not before klutz Talent Relations goon John Laurinaitis signed a different one-legged wrestler), Gowan was thrust into a programme with a masked Hulk Hogan, himself engaged in an unending war with Mr McMahon.

After his amputation was played more for laughs than the pathos it probably should have commanded, Gowen was placed in a contest with Brock Lesnar in which 'The Beast' broke his other leg. Attempting to show McMahon how fierce he could be a week later, Lesnar whipped himself into a frenzy and pushed the wheelchair-bound Gowen down a flight of stairs in a terrifying visual.

Unable to protect himself from the steps hitting his face and the chair landing on him, Zack showed incredibly bravery in the face of Lesnar's legitimately frightening abuse. It's thankfully not a sight 2020's slightly more progressive WWE would elect to recreate.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back almost 35 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz" Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast and its accompanying YouTube channel, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 60,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times, GRAPPL and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett