Jim Ross has discussed Fit Finlay losing his job as a producer in WWE after a controversy surrounding the US national anthem took place at a live event in the run-up to WrestleMania 27 in 2011.
At a live event, Finlay authorised The Miz, who was heading to the main event of WrestleMania 27 as WWE Champion to interrupt the national anthem. The intention was to make Miz a more hated villain going into the biggest show of the year.
Unfortunately, US National Guard members that attended the show were offended by the act. The National Guard is a long-time sponsor of WWE, so action had to be taken. As the man in charge of the act, Finlay carried the can and was fired.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, the former head of WWE talent relations Jim Ross discussed Finlay’s departure from the company.
“Well that’s the bottom line, he [VInce] had to make amends to the sponsors and the ad agencies. At that time, Miz was certainly considered one of the fair-haired children. Vince always loved Miz, still does. I thought it was bullsh*t. I don’t know that Finlay even endorsed that whole interruption. People say ‘well he’s an Irish guy and he didn’t understand it.’ That’s bullsh*t.”
“I could see [someone saying] ‘Hey Dave, you made a mistake there, we’re going to suspend you for a month/6 weeks.’ He [Finlay] would have taken his punishment and moved on. Instead, they do the drastic thing so the sponsors don’t get wind of it. I guess Miz took no responsibility, and I don’t think Miz had any punishment. But it was unfortunate and an overreaction.”
Jim Ross then brought up another occasion where a country’s institution was insulted by a WWE competitor:
“I respect the flag without question, but I think it was an overreaction. They didn’t burn the flag, nothing like that. They didn’t wipe their ass like Shawn Michaels did with the Canadian flag. That didn’t seem to get him any trouble. It depends on who you are and how you get offended. It’s just unfortunate and unfair in my view.”
Ultimately Finlay returned to his role as a producer in WWE in July 2012, a role he still holds to this day.
Jim Ross also discussed WrestleMania 27 in-depth on his podcast. Including the controversial finish to the event that saw The Rock get involved in the main event.