Jim Ross had big praise for Paul Heyman.
JR and Heyman first crossed paths in the late 1980s while with Jim Crockett Promotions, but that wouldn’t be the last time they worked together. Their most famous on-screen stint came in 2001, with Heyman joining Ross on commentary after Jerry Lawler quit WWE.
The pair often clashed on air with Heyman seemingly doing his best to wind up the WWE Hall of Famer. The bickering gave programming a unique edge, adding a different layer to the presentation.
Speaking on Grilling JR, Ross recalled working with Heyman, admitting it could be a frustrating experience. The now-AEW commentator explained that Heyman tried to use pre-prepared lines on air, but this created a clash of styles.
“I’ve been known to get fired up out there,” Ross said. “I tried to stab him with a pencil one time, and that came after I did stab Michael Cole with a pencil, just out of emotion. I apologized a gazillion times over that.
We never rose to violence, but there were a lot of heart-to-heart talks after the show because he couldn’t stand that and I didn’t like doing it, but sometimes you’ve just got to put your foot down and say, ‘No, we can’t go there. Here’s where you should have cut that off, and I gave you a segway to something else, another topic, and you ignored it.
So one thing is perhaps you’re not listening,’ which sounds very egocentric for me to say. ‘You’re not listening to me, and I’m JR. What the hell? Who do you think you are, buddy?'”
Ross went on to break down Heyman’s work as a manager with the likes of CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, and Roman Reigns. With regard to Heyman’s place in history, JR believes the Special Counsel may have surpassed Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette.
“He’s the best manager maybe ever,” Ross said. “I can see him being compared to [Jim] Cornette. I can see Paul being compared to Bobby Heenan because of his mind, his instincts. His feel for the game is still prevalent in a major way. So he’s just absolutely brilliant. I love the fact that we got to work together, and I love the fact we maintained our friendship because it wasn’t always easy.”
Jim Ross Tips CM Punk To Return To Wrestling
During an earlier episode of the podcast, Jim Ross claimed CM Punk was “too good” to never wrestle again. JR said that it would be a logical move for the controversial star to move to WWE, although nothing’s for certain.
H/t to Wrestling Inc