WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently spoke with ESPN to promote his new book, Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On the first time he was introduced at a WWE meeting prior to his debut with the company at WrestleMania 9: “I was very much aware of the attention that the room paid to Vince when he spoke because everything that they needed to know, that affected their job. I thought that was pretty cool. He introduced me to the room and it was like there wasn’t an audible sound. It was an audible non-sound. Nobody gave a s—. I was not welcome there, and I could see it from that very first moment.”
On his WWE debut at WrestleMania 9: “That’s not the greatest feeling to have when you’re getting ready to do your first assignment. It’s only going to be a live show with no net, and the biggest event of the year. So, that was a little unsettling, but you persevere, man, you work through it. Poor me. I’m going to broadcast WrestleMania IX. I’m a wrestling fan. It’s taken me 19 years to get here. And I’m going to b—h and moan that I didn’t get the Chamber of Commerce welcome wagon welcome? You kidding? The first night was an adventure, commentating alongside “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Bobby Heenan, but Ross pushed forward and did his job as well as he could do it, toga and all. Things could have gone sideways in a hurry if the iciness from the rest of the boys continued, but Ross found a pair of key allies in one of the most recognizable commentary teams in wrestling history.”
On helping to bring talents such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to WWE: “They are two of my signees. They’re two guys I had a very strong personal relationship with. And you know I just thought the world of both those guys. They were what we needed to revitalize the talent relations department. They were components of what we needed to re-jump-start the competitive feeling you get often times when you have a locker room that’s dotted with overachievers and ex-mainstream athletes. It’s all because of that group of guys and gals that we assembled, that we put in that team environment, that had great skills and we were able to, maybe not 100 percent of the time, but more often than not, give them the opportunity to fully express their creative abilities. And those are still being felt. Randy Orton’s still a key member, John Cena, those guys are two of my last guys.”