Zach Gowen's time in WWE may have been brief, but he believes he was part of one of the company's most harrowing matches. Reflecting on his time on the mat during "The False Finish" podcast, Gowen took listeners back to his encounter with Brock Lesnar on a 2003 "WWE SmackDown" episode.
This showdown was particularly poignant for Gowen. It unfolded in his home state of Michigan with his mother looking on from the ringside. Regrettably, the match would see Gowen, an amputee, endure a severe onslaught from Lesnar.
"Gowen Recalls Harrowing Lesnar Match"
Speaking about the lead-up to the match, Gowen shared, "As I approached 'SmackDown,' I was informed about the impending match with Brock. My excitement surged as I believed we could create something unforgettable.
Despite its brief duration, that bout is one of WWE's most intense confrontations. The creative team envisioned making Brock the ultimate villain. And what better way to achieve that than having him batter a one-legged local star in full view of his mother?" Adding another layer of intensity to the match, Gowen described his first experience with blading.
"I had never bladed before that night on 'SmackDown.' It resulted in far more blood than intended – a sight unlikely to be replicated in WWE." During the match, Lesnar's savagery was unparalleled. He incorporated a steel chair, bashing Gowen's head and causing the referee to disqualify him.
Gowen's bloodied appearance and his mother's desperate appeals only added to the scene's horror. The carnage climaxed when Lesnar violently thrust Gowen's leg against the steel ring post. In the aftermath, Gowen was hastily wheeled away on a stretcher.
However, amidst the brutality, Gowen extends his gratitude towards Lesnar. "It's time we recognize Brock Lesnar as a WWE legend. His name rarely comes up in such conversations," Gowen noted. "I hold immense respect for Brock. While he appeared incredibly brutal that night, he ensured I was safe throughout.
Everything looked horrific, but he handled me with care. After cleaning up and getting stitches, I even celebrated the night. For that, my gratitude to Brock knows no bounds."