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Jim Ross Interview (4-3-20)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
April 3, 2020 6:12 pm

Jim Ross Interview (4-3-20)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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April 3, 2020 6:12 pm

Good Ol Jr joins The Drive with Josh Graham to discuss his memory of Vince McMahon, how AEW talent is asked to prepare their promo's, and WHAT is Stone Cold Steve Austins favorite beer. 

It's Time to Man Up!
Nikita Koloff
It's Time to Man Up!
Nikita Koloff
The Drive with Josh Graham
Josh Graham

It is WrestleMania weekend, so I can't think about a better book to grab than the one authored by our next guest. Under the Black Hat, My Life in the WWE and Beyond, it is Jim Ross spending time with us here. And strangely enough, Vince McMahon, he's the most famous alum at the university. Both my producer and I attended East Carolina University and North Carolina.

And I'm just trying to get some stories, as many stories as I can get out of you that I can't find in the book. Do you remember your first impression of Vince McMahon? Yeah, he was bigger than life. He was what I thought P.T.

Varnum would be like, if I ever met him. Very positive, very imaginative, you know, an entrepreneur through and through. What kind of beer does Steve Austin prefer? Steve Austin drinks his Stone Cold Ale. He has an ale. He has a beer out, Stone Cold does.

I don't know how big the distribution is, but I know a lot of people have tried it that like it. So I would say his own beer would be his, probably his preference. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about him, just because he's one of the most interesting figures in the history of wrestling. I know you had a strong relationship with him. What do you think is a common misconception people might have about one Stone Cold? Oh, that he probably is not very empathetic to other people's situations.

You know, he's probably not got any sensitivities about him, which is wrong. Steve doesn't trust a lot of people. So he values friendships that he can trust.

And luckily I can say that I'm still on that list. We communicate regularly. But I think that he doesn't trust a lot of folks. But he's got feelings more than people would think. And he's a very bright guy, very smart. You know, that voice and the succinctness sometimes of his sentences would indicate he's not very friendly or not very bright.

And both are wrong. That seems to be a common trait that I see among some of the premier wrestlers that I've come into contact with. Lanny Poffo and his family, great friends of our family as well, of course, talking about Macho Man Randy Savage. And he was somebody that was a bit standoffish and had trust problems, welcoming people into his inner circle. Is that something you've noticed as well? I think I've heard this with Andre the Giant as well, that he is a bit standoffish at times, too.

Have you seen that? More guys were than weren't because the business was secretive. They didn't put themselves in an environment where they could be asked a lot of questions and stuff. So that's just a trait of the business itself, especially back in the old days. Probably not so much now because everything's coming out in the open.

But back in the days when it was not, it was a big deal. And guys, the way they protected the business, they just became very introverted and very guarded. Under the black hat is the book My Life in the WWE and Beyond. We're being joined by Jim Ross, who's on Twitter at JRSBBQ. I've heard Joe Buck say this week, I was listening to him on a podcast, he wrote a book just for himself. He found it to be therapeutic. And I know this isn't your first book, but if somebody reads it, it's a bonus, I think is what Joe said. What was the motivation for you to write the black hat? Because the story of my wife's life and how important she was when I was in charge of the talent roster in WWE for all those years.

Her story had not been told. My first book stopped at WrestleMania 14, I think it was. And so I wanted to put the story up and carry it through the WWE years, and then just starting in AEW.

So it's very current, and I touched on a lot of subjects. It's just a matter of writing chronologically. Chronologically, the story had not been told through the first book. It was partially told, but then so much more happened. But I'd always planned on writing a second book to finish the autobiography aspect of it. So it just so happens that a lot of things happened along the way, like my wife getting killed on March 17, that I had not planned on.

But I did have to write about it, and I also talked about it in the audiobook, which was really a challenge to get through. You mentioned you were in charge of evaluating talent that could become stars in the WWE. With that in mind, how do you think Rob Gronkowski will do as a wrestler?

What do you think? I think he's a one- or two-off guy. He's not going to be a regular wrestler, in my view.

And I ran a department that we scouted, we negotiated, we managed a wellness program, we did the live event booking, signed contracts, everything for the talents. Gronk is probably a guy that they'll get maybe a WrestleMania something-something out of. But is he going to be seen most weeks on Raw or something? I doubt that that's ever even been considered. I just don't see that happening. But you know, stranger things have happened, so we'll see.

You'll appreciate this. One time I was talking to Lincoln Reilly, and I asked him, hey, Russell Westbrook, you're a big fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder when he was playing there at the time, where would you put him on a football field? And he said, it's crazy, just the other night, me and Bob Stoops were discussing that, and we both arrived at free safety. For you, is there an athlete you've laid eyes on before and thought, man, this is somebody who has the personality, this guy has the athleticism, the work ethic, the commitment to think this would be a fantastic wrestler? Is there anybody who comes to mind, Jim? Oh, you know, there's a, gosh, probably a lot of them out there, but I think one specific one that people would know, you know, a lot of those kids that come through OU, you know, Brian Bosworth, if he had not been hurt, and he signed with us early on in the NWA, probably would have made an awful lot of money in wrestling. He had a great body, he just had bad shoulders, and he had a great look and reputation, he looked like a wrestler, you know, the hair, the whole nine yards, and he had, you know, his two-time buckets winner. So he had a great media kit already made, but we tried to get him signed, Cowboy Bill Watts and I talked about him, and General Crockett and I talked about him, we talked to his agent, we met with his agent. It just wasn't something Brian wanted to do at that time, he wanted to be a movie star, so he went that direction instead of the pro wrestling world.

I think in hindsight, he would have made more money if he had committed to pro wrestling. Jim Ross with us here on Sports Hub Triad, and I'm interested, from a football perspective, what do you think about Jalen Hurts from Oklahoma? What's he going to be in the NFL? Quarterback, and he'll be a backup quarterback, he'll get a chance to play sometime in an emergency situation, he'll become a star. He's just got all the intangibles you want in your locker room.

Character, honesty, hard work, he's got a better arm than people think, he's athletic as heck, he's gone through successfully two very good programs in college football with Alabama and OU, so I like his chances. Robert, who's the producer of this show, he's been to every WrestleMania I think since, what Robert? 23, so the last 13 years? I've been to quite a few.

Right, and you also were a wrestling referee as well, so you've been in the wrestling world for a while. We're trying to find a way to put a smile on Jim Ross' face and put a smile on the audience's face as well. The coronavirus, it's a big deal and everybody's talking about it, so rather than try to be talking down about some of the things that are happening, Robert and Aaron, they cut a very short promo for you to hear about what they think of the coronavirus. I've been waiting on this. COVID-19, I don't know who the hell you think you are, but I know exactly who I am. I'm a citizen who's concerned for the well-being of the people that live around me, and the one thing you have to remember is when we're quarantined, we're not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with us.

Tell him, Aaron. I've been washing my hands since I was a little boy. Three times a day. You know, I've been practicing good hygiene for a long time. COVID-19. A long time. You'll get me sick.

COVID-19 is going to be able to tell you how many lights are on the ceiling after me and Aaron lay them down for the one, two, three. How bad is that, Jim Ross? Would they pass as wrestlers at all?

Not on national television, but I enjoyed it. Who was the best at cutting a promo? Who was the most reliable? Between those two yahoos? Oh, no, no, no.

Just in general. I don't care about these two guys. I mean in the WWE.

I'm only kidding. Well, you know, the best guys that did promos are the ones that didn't need writers. Today's version in WWE, they have writers. So they write some of the personality inadvertently out of the talents because the talents aren't encouraged to create their own content. In AEW, we don't have any writers and the administration gives a talent bullet points and the talents are then must create their own promo, which is great. Chris Jericho was the environment Moxley, Matt Hardy.

These guys are coming from WWE that they were they were governed by a system that didn't allow them to express themselves as much as they seemingly wanted to. So that's where we are now. And it's just an interesting place to work. And I had a hell of a run there. You know, I I signed more great stars. Luckily, our team did. We were so fortunate to build that roster out of Hall of Fame people. And you know what? I had one recruiting class where we signed Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Dave Bautista, Randy Orton and Shelton Benjamin in one class. Not bad.

And all those all those other guys came before and after that. So we talk about that a lot in the book, you know, some of these stories, how we got guys signed. And I got a great offer at JRSVVQ. If you check us out at JRSVVQ, that's not only where you can find over a barbecue sauce and jerky and seasoning and all the great stuff, but I have an offer for the book. It's 40 bucks. We pay the shipping. If we personalize the autograph, you get a commemorative bookmark.

So it's a loose off. That's what I'm doing right now. As a matter of fact, I'm at our little warehouse in Norman, isolated, signing books, and I'm loving it. The book is under the black hat, my life in the WWE and beyond. Wrestling is massive in these parts with, of course, the Hardys. I mentioned Vince McMahon's background, and we certainly hope that things get back to normal soon.

And smiles are put on people's faces with WrestleMania 36 and what you have going on as well on Twitter. JRSVVQ. You mentioned BBQ.

You mentioned some of the promotions there. JR, we really do appreciate the time in North Carolina today. Keep that guys. Enjoy it.

Hope everybody stays healthy and be smart. Stay in. Stay home.

There you go. Figure it out. That's what I'm doing. That's great advice. Stay in. Stay home. JR told you so. That's great stuff from Jim Ross.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-11 15:16:15 / 2023-02-11 15:21:30 / 5

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