Legendary commentator Jim Ross has opened up about his relationship with the late Eddie Guerrero – saying it was good but sometimes combustible.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, which is available via AdFreeShows, Ross would discuss WrestleMania XX in detail, where Latino Heat would successfully defend his WWE Championship. Thankfully, that night, Guerrero wasn’t the curtain-jerker, which Good Ol’ JR says Guerrero wouldn’t be a fan of.
“It was good and, at times, combustible. I’ll give you the story about, you know when we put him on a PPV, and he went on first, and he came to see me. ‘What are you guys trying to do to me?’ ‘Easy hotshot, what’s wrong? ‘I don’t want to go on first.'”
JR would explain to Guerrero that going out in front of a fresh audience was arguably better than going out in many of the following slots, and that Guerrero “got it” after that.
“I said, ‘Do you understand the reason you are going on first, Eddie?’ Do you really understand it? ‘I think I’m getting screwed.’ What if we put you on third? Would that make you any happier? You are coming out to a fresh audience that hasn’t seen anything yet; that’s dying to see wrestling. To see their first match and the fact that you have the ability to walk back through the curtain to the gorilla position when that match is over, with your goddamn chest out saying, ‘follow that boys, follow that.’ This is where we want to stay tonight, intensity-wise, and entertaining-wise, the whole nine yards. And he got it. And guess what he did? He went out and killed it.”
Ross went on to say that Eddie Guerrero was “the best” and that he caught Latino Heat reading his bible. JR would also say that Dean Malenko initially detailed the difference between Eddie Guerrero drinking beer, and drinking hard liquor as being either a “jovial” Eddie or Andre The Giant – noting that the WWE legend had demons to fight.
“Eddie was the best; I loved meeting Eddie when I caught him reading his bible because I knew that he had some peace. He was thinking in a peaceful way, and boy, like the guys would say, I think Dean Malenko told me the story. You know, when I first hired those four guys, he said, ‘Working with Eddie can be a little different. I said, ‘How so?’ ‘Well, if he is drinking hard liquor, he becomes Andre. If he is drinking beer, he is the jovial, laughable, Eddie. You’d want him to drink beer (laughs).’ But Eddie had to fight those damn demons.”
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