Jim Ross has discussed World Championship Wrestling using real, live bears as part of a pay-per-view entrance in 1991.
Ross was discussing the first SuperBrawl pay-per-view event ran by World Championship Wrestling in May 1991. In the main event, Ric Flair defeated Tatsumi Fujinami retaining his WCW Championship. On the night Bobby Eaton, formerly of The Midnight Express defeated Arn Anderson to win his WCW Television Title.
Earlier in the night, Big Josh took on Black Bart in what otherwise might have been an unspectacular match. However, things took a turn when Big Josh made his entrance alongside two live, real bears.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, commentator on that night Jim Ross gave his thoughts on real bears working in WCW at the time.
“I couldn’t tell you man, that was just another [idea]. You can tell how many new things the company was trying at that point in time to simply find something that would stick against the wall. The thing about how impractical [it was], what if the bear thing had gotten over? How are you gonna get them to the towns? You know, are you gonna call the local bear union and say ‘send me over two bears that are comfortable around people and can walk on their hind legs for about 50 yards.'”
“[…] It was impractical obviously and that was a Dusty [Rhodes] deal, he wanted to get Big Josh over and Big Josh, of course, was Matt Borne, one of the Doinks. Probably the best Doink. I thought Matt was a hell of a worker frankly. He had some substance issues that never let him get a full run at something it seems like.”
Matt Borne stayed with WCW until the summer of 1992 before making his way to the World Wrestling Federation. It was there he portrayed his best-known character of Doink The Clown. As Doink, he competed at WrestleMania IX defeating Crush in a one-on-one match.
Jim Ross has also recently given his thoughts on the WCW star Vince McMahon most wanted to bring to WWE after he bought WCW in 2001.