After joining WWE as an announcer in 1993, Jim Ross also took on the role of Head of Talent Relations in 1997 after the departure of J.J. Dillon.
This meant that as well as calling the action in the ring, Ross played a huge part in signing new stars, dealing with contracts, and any day-to-day issues with the talent roster. One star who spent a considerable amount of time on Ross’ radar was Shawn Michaels. While HBK was a favourite of Vince McMahon, his conduct didn’t make him especially popular with the rest out of the locker room outside of The Kilq.
Jim Ross Comments On Complaints About Shawn Michaels
It was common knowledge that Michaels was able to act as he wanted due to his relationship with McMahon. By his own admission, HBK wasn’t easy to work with during this period and knowingly rubbed people the wrong way.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross recalled having to deal with Michaels’ fellow stars complaining about his conduct. However, all involved knew that as Michaels was a favourite of McMahon, their complaining wouldn’t change anything so were wary of pressing the issue.
“I got complaints about Shawn from talents all the time, pretty much on a daily basis. But the talents also knew that Shawn had such a connection with Vince, that they could only push that issue so far. And then he runs into Vince’s judgement call, and you’re basically telling Vince you’re making a huge mistake, you don’t know what you’re doing blah, blah, blah. So yeah, almost every on a daily basis, it seemed like somebody had something to say. And I’m surprised that we didn’t have more issues than we did, to be honest with you.”
Shawn Michaels remained with WWE until temporarily ending his in-ring career following WrestleMania 14 in 1998. Although the star remained under contract and made a number of appearances he didn’t return to the ring in 2002. Upon returning to the locker room, Michaels famously apologised to everyone he had mistreated during his previous run with the company.
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