WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross has discussed a WWE referee tapping out and leaving the company amidst “being bullied” after taking a first class seat on a flight.
Etiquette is taken seriously in professional wrestling locker rooms and committing a faux pas can lead to serious consequences for the perpetrator. On this occasion, Jim Ross has discussed former WWE and WCW referee Billy Silverman making the fatal mistake of upgrading himself to first class on a flight. Seen as the preserve of veterans and legends, first class seats are at a premium but Silverman was seemingly unaware of the unwritten rule after rejoining WWE after the demise of WCW in 2001.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast [available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com] Jim Ross admitted that Silverman had been a victim of bullying as a result of choosing to sit in first class and decided to leave the company because of it:
“We had some guys on our roster that were kind of bullies and they were very competitive. I don’t know what motivated them. I think what motivated them is that they knew that Silverman was not going to fight back and he was being bullied, and that was wrong. Billy did a nice job as a referee, he always did, but that was unnecessary. I was sorry, he was a good referee, as a matter of fact, and you lose a piece out of your toolbox, so to speak.”
“I always felt badly about that scenario, but what are you going to do? If he would have come to us when he landed and would have expressed himself, that was no option. He was gone, he quit. So, I don’t know, and some people will take exception to that. ‘You should have brought him back.’ But, quite frankly, at that time it probably was better for him to take a little bit of a sabbatical considering this whole scenario.”
Jim Ross also discussed Taz joining WWE and says the former ECW Champion was “not a popular hire” among some in the company.