Jim Ross is back with another blog, which can be read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Some highlights:
- The announcement of my friend Stone Cold Steve Austin going into the WE Hall of Fame in Houston on Saturday night April 4 was a big hit in my world. Steve is the greatest star of all time in the wrestling biz if one considers revenue into the equation including tickets and pay per views sold along with merchandise sales. Steve was a fierce competitor who was always his own worst critic and would not allow himself to be any thing but the best in his field. My hiring of Stone Cold certainly made my tenure as the head of talent relations in the WWE look good but, trust me, Steve Austin attained his success through hard work and being an amazing student of the game. Steve did and still does identify amazingly well with wrestling fans which helped him craft his Stone Cold persona so well. Ironically, Steve became a wrestling fan while watching wrestling from Houston which will be the same city that Steve will close the wrestling chapter of his life at WM25.
- Sorry to hear of my old friend Sgt. Slaughter being released from the WWE as I did not know it until I arrived in Omaha on Tuesday. Sarge and I both worked for Bill Watts back in the 70′s, Sarge under his real name of Bob Remus, and for economic reasons we used to split an $8 room, with two beds for you wise asses out there, at the lovely Belmont Motor Inn on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, La. Sarge and I made many visits to the local Chinese Buffet, usually in the late afternoon, for the all one could eat extravaganza or a “pitch ’till you win” meal. Often times was our lunch AND dinner, or supper for my southern brethren. Sarge went on to become a huge star in wrestling and is one of the nicest individuals to ever work in the biz. I have yet to speak with Sarge but I will and I know he will eventually be fine. Bob has been in tough spots before in this wacky profession and has always persevered. I am not making light of this matter whatsoever as I can relate to Sarge’s dilemma.
- I remember raising hell, for better or for worse, and it wasn’t for the better quite honestly, when I was abruptly moved from Raw to Smackdown. But I did not lose my job. Looking back on that time in my life, I feel embarrassed that I raised hell over a little humiliation on TV, not my first, and now some of my pals are unemployed.
- Ron Simmons, who became the first black World’s Champion of a major wrestling company when he defeated Big Van Vader in August of 1992 in Baltimore, has also been released from the WWE. I did not know this one either until I walked into the Quest Center Tuesday in Omaha. Ron might want to explore public and motivational speaking as he has a great story to tell and the pipes to tell it. Ironically that night in Baltimore, Ron defeated Leon (Vader) White in a battle of two division one college football stars of significant acclaim and it was a nose guard (Simmons from Florida State) versus a center (White from Colorado) in a match orchestrated by Bill Watts (former lineman at Oklahoma) who was in charge of WCW at that time.
- My last talent recommendation to the WWE talent relations department is the new ECW Champion Jack Swagger. Swagger wrestled at Oklahoma, my gosh we can’t say THAT on TV, and used to eat the occasional meal at the Ross home while a student at OU. Swagger, then known as Jake Hager, was roommates with current Chicago Bear Dusty Dvorchek and the two of them used to hang out at our home. There is no reason Swagger shouldn’t be a star if he continues to work hard and doesn’t make any foolish or irresponsible mistakes. Educated 6’6″-270 pounders with natural balance, agility, a wrestling background and a bona fide mean streak aren’t easy to find.