Jim Ross has opened up on the attitude of certain ECW stars when they first invaded the World Wrestling Federation in 1997.
By 1997 a relationship between what was then the WWF and ECW was firmly established. Talent trades took place with the likes of 2 Cold Scorpio heading to the WWF and Al Snow going back to ECW for a spell where he first found out that what everybody wanted was Head.
As well as any talent or financial exchanges, ECW staged an invasion of Raw igniting a feud with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler who himself ventured to the land of extreme. Lawler did have unlikely allies in the form of Rob Van Dam and Sabu. Van Dam was christened ‘Mr. Monday Night’ as he bragged about being too good for ECW and claiming his future lay either on WWF’s Raw or WCW’s Nitro.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross recalled Rob Van Dam and Sabu not being welcomed with open arms due to their reluctance to lose matches. According to Ross, it’s the most basic thing in professional wrestling.
“Of course, he [Sabu] refused to do a job – the most elementary thing in wrestling. It’s overstated sometimes, I know the boys that listen to the show will say ‘well JR, you weren’t a worker’, ‘you don’t know what it’s like’. I sure as f*ck know what it’s like, I represented well over 100 talents in that company for a long time. I know what it’s like, I hear it, I see it, I feel it, I communicate about it.”
“But when they came in and didn’t wanna do the job, as I understand it, it wasn’t communicated very civilly; it was very defiant ‘ECDub, ECDub’, f*cking ECDub’s broke. Did they ever make any money? I can say this conclusively, they sure as hell didn’t make enough to pay their bills. I’m not blasting ECW in general, but my God it’s not the NWA, and to come in with that attitude didn’t bode well for those guys. And I would have loved to have had both guys on the roster. They were box-office type attractions and Rob van Dam, without singling out Sabu, they’re different styles, different talents. Golly man, Van Dam’s a player.”
Rob Van Dam and Sabu did of course eventually make it to WWE with RVD being part of the next ECW invasion in 2001. Sabu came to WWE in 2006 debuting against John Cena on a ‘WWE vs. ECW’ special before challenging Rey Mysterio for the World Championship at the One Night Stand pay-per-view.
Jim Ross also discussed WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s infamous interview with veteran broadcaster Bob Costas.