The Lesnar/Angle build-up was rather badly done so I can see why it wouldn't have drawn as well as it should have. On SD, they had them in tag matches or Lesnar vs Team Angle every week and then teased a title match for no good reason even though it was going to happen at WM anyways. They centered SD three weeks before WM around Angle/Lesnar as main event and in the end, ripped off the fans by having Angle's "brother" hide his face there and be used to lure Lesnar. Such a pointless thing to do. But yeah, as 2003 went further on, Brock clearly became a much bigger deal and had 'star' written all over him once he turned heel again. It's too bad he left so soon, what sucks is he did it because he was tired of traveling all over the world only to wrestle the likes of Hardcore Holly.
I don't remember the week to week booking of the feud but at that time Lesnar was really going to win the title in a short match on SD because Angle couldn't wrestle at WM in a main event match. Then when Kurt demanded to take the risk for the opportunity to main event WM, they changed the match to a teaser with Eric Angle. It was a crazy month of news for Kurt, every day it was ON and OFF, the doctors wouldn't allow him, he doesn't care, a scary chance to get paralyzed for the rest of his life or that it's going to be his last match. When they talked about all that, the earliest date for his return, if at all, was 2004. But instead he did an alternative surgery and came back in 4 months. Kurt gained a new level of respect from every fan with his performance at WM19 and the fact that he even wanted to wrestle, he showed his heart and passion for the industry like no other to the point where he even risk the ability to live a normal life just to perform in the biggest match of the year.
The problem at WM19 was mostly the 100% focus on Hogan and Vince(and the Seattle market according to Vince), they pushed it so hard everywhere. In every way possible, even taping clips of celebrities predicting who will win the match. The problem was that Vince, while a huge TV draw, was never a guy who can sell big PPVs for his matches.
As for the program, the best part started after WM, when they did the storyline that Brock of all people was the one who went to check Kurt's condition in the hospital after the surgery, then their awesome "friendly" skits together until the shocking heel turn from Brock in a cage match with Vince. Awesome chemistry, program of the year 2003.
Great time for SD in 2002-2003, best period in the history of the show after the AE.