Sam Roberts recently had WWE Hall of Famer and legendary commentator ‘JR’ Jim Ross on his podcast. Sam and JR discussed his WWE return, Wrestlemania 33 main event, Triple H and the Mae Young Classic.
JR Is Back Home
“It was Vince McMahon’s idea to have me back. It was Vince McMahon’s idea to have me call the Undertaker’s match. I am under the impression that Undertaker had made that suggestion as well. Kevin Dunne was crucial in the whole negotiation.” Kevin Dunne and Jim Ross have a very close relationship. “Vince would say depending on how the meeting was going “this is my number one guy and this is my number two guy for talent and television”
“So on the Friday night, 48 hours before Wrestlemania. I signed my deal and then on Saturday I was informed Vince wanted me to call a match. I was getting ready to end the conversation and Kevin said to me don’t I want to know what I’m going to call? Sure but it didn’t really matter, I was just happy to be back on the traveling squad, so to speak, and he said you are going to call Takers match with Reigns, its going on last.”
Vince was the one who cut the deal with JR. Jan Ross’s thoughts weighed heavily on his decision to rejoin WWE as she told him he needed to go home. He has signed for 40 dates a year, and has used 6 already for the Mae Young Classic. He also used one for NXT Takeover: Chicago.
Relationship with Triple H
“Some of the guys in DX could be challenging to deal with at that point in their lives. Decisions they were making, their lifestyles, the road schedule, the wealth coming their way, when I had an issue that I felt I had to address, Triple H was always the go to. He was a good communicator, he could communicate with his rowdy friends, and we generally got things taken care of.”
“So I could tell all along he was going to be a great leader. He had good vision, good feel, he could always add a little something to a scenario to make it better. Here’s the key thing, he had the ability to look at other peoples storylines and angles, and make viable suggestions on what they were doing to make what they were doing, better. Most top guys have that ability to do it for themselves, but they are not as forthcoming to help somebody else with ideas to get them over.”
“He’s obviously this administrator of significant prominence. I spent a lot of time with him in Orlando and I could tell you he is evolving in to the real deal man. He’s really observant, he pays attention, open for suggestions. I love his philosophy and I love what he is about, as far as the product is concerned. The fact he would go above and beyond to help somebody else with a storyline idea or an idea for their persona, all that kind of stuff impressed me and it still does.”
On The Undertaker Vs Roman Reigns
Sam asks JR about the decision to possibly have Roman Reigns retire The Undertaker.
“At some point you got to pull the trigger and go with someone who you believe is the right choice. The issue with Reigns for me is the fan base. The biggest bitch is regarding the fact that he was showing as a ‘fan favorite’ and not ‘villain’. I never heard anybody call the guy lazy, out of shape, he doesn’t work hard, he’s not very physical, you cant rely on him. You know, none of those things that I’ve heard have been issues. Its simply that many vocal fans think he is miscast.”
“You know, I didn’t really have an issue with it at all. I was told by Kevin Dunne that Vince wants me to call a match at Wrestlemania. That kind of told me everything I needed to know. Number one, Vince has booked me to come back in the most ideal way by coming on last. I couldn’t have done it better myself. It also told me that if Taker is going to work with Reigns at the last match, that then maybe I have accidentally found myself calling the great Undertakers last match ever.” JR said it was an honor to call he match and it was surreal.
Mae Young Classic
“We had to interview all 32 women, individually, no cameras, no audio, in a little room with Lita, Madusa, myself and the competitors. During that day I seen the all the emotions and absolute total honesty from these talents. I have said this to people and my gender may not be crazy about this next statement. No group of 32 men, would have been as honest.”
“The women showed all of it, and they had passion, they cried, they had tears of joy, tears of apprehension. There was also tears of sadness as one important family member was not here. I had fully invested in to the humble cause of equality, opportunity and the chance of a lifetime for these women. Who grew up as wrestling fans and has just as much right to live their dream as any male.”