Jim Ross has discussed Vince McMahon’s infamous interview with noted US sportscaster Bob Costas, an interview famous for McMahon growing irate at Costas’ questioning.
Costas interviewed McMahon in 2001, discussing among other things the failure of the XFL as well as the risqué content of the Attitude Era. McMahon grew increasingly hostile towards Costas as the interview went on, making for gripping television.
Head of Talent Relations at the time, Jim Ross speaking on his Grilling JR podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson isn’t sure if the interview did McMahon or WWE any good.
“Well, I’m not sure how much good came out of the conversation, to be honest with you. Certainly, Vince is bold and honest and upfront but man I couldn’t equate to what good came out of it. I thought it was a little bit embarrassing but I understand Vince’s motivation. Costas was taking shots and Vince played right into his hands ironically because that’s what Costas wants, confrontation. Controversy, somebody once said ‘controversy creates cash’ and I think that’s exactly what Costas was looking for and Vince provided it. But at the end of the day, I didn’t see great value other than – if anything it enhanced the character of Mr. McMahon, the heel and so it’s easy to say or make the case for that Vince was just staying in character as a villain.”
“[…] I think he was the best heel we had in the Attitude Era and I know it didn’t hurt his heel persona by doing the Costas thing because he came off as a real pr*ck.”
Ross then detailed why there was no way to stop McMahon from doing exactly what he wanted:
“No, it doesn’t exist. He had no filter and I don’t think he would’ve listened to anyone anyway. He is, was, always will be the one and only voice of authority there. Vince can make any decision he wants to make without having to go to a caucus or a committee or whatever. And I don’t know who on staff would have had the expertise to tell Vince what he should or shouldn’t or should not be doing.”
“There was nobody there to censor Vince. I’m sure some of his sycophants, which were many in number, and I assume they still are would have stepped up and said ‘aw that was great boss.’ I didn’t humour him, I stayed away from him, I had nothing good to say about that performance. It could have been used as a great, entertaining sales piece or awareness piece but it came away with ‘did we really build the WWE?’ or was it just all about Vince and Bob Costas? And I would choose the latter in those two selections. It wasn’t good Conrad.”
Jim Ross also shared on the podcast kind words for one AEW colleague he says he can think of no one that he respects more in wrestling.