Jim Ross has discussed his opinion on relationships and marriages in wrestling and why he says there is a high failure rate amongst them.
Ross was discussing the career of Mike Rotunda, also known as IRS on his Grilling JR podcast when the subject of marriages in wrestling came up. Rotunda married his tag team partner Barry Windham’s sister. The couple went on to have two sons who are best known as Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.
According to Ross, however, in wrestling happily ever after is the exception and not the rule:
“Wrestling marriages – I tease about this and it’s probably not the right thing to tease about. Wrestling marriages don’t have a great success rate. There are exceptions to the rule. However, the main reason why wrestling relationships don’t work are two-fold. They both sit at the head of the table, it’s because A – the husband isn’t at home and doesn’t come home, and does the wife think he’s cheating because he’s getting laid on the road? That happens. And I think the main thing is when a wife, generally it’s a wife, wants to be in the business and wants to be as big a star as her husband. That’s where the rubber meets the road. The egos aren’t compatible, that’s my take on it and I may be wrong, unfortunately, they don’t mesh well.”
Jim Ross then brought up the brand split that first occurred in WWE in 2002. The split of wrestlers on to either Raw or SmackDown led to the potential of real-life couples being separated. A big issue when a lot of a WWE Superstar’s life is spent travelling on the road.
For Ross, who was Head of Talent Relations at the time, it was another headache:
“I remember when I was working at ‘the other company’, that there was issues about that, where when the brand split came about. ‘So what are you going to do?’ I asked Vince this question because I didn’t really know the answer. He may have said ‘No, no keep them together, it doesn’t matter.’ [Instead, he said] ‘Do what’s best for the company’ – that’s what he said ‘what’s best for the company’. So in other words, if you’re boyfriend and girlfriend and you’re travelling together on the road, and one of you is going to be on the RAW brand and one’s going to be on the SmackDown brand, your paths aren’t gonna cross as often as they were.”
“You don’t have your riding partner, you don’t have your sleeping partner, all that goo-goo ga-ga stuff. When those picks are optional, when it didn’t matter, I’d talk to creative and tried to get couples to stay together. That’s just another problem to solve. You create another issue for no reason, that’s why I think wrestling marriages don’t normally work. I’m not against them, you love somebody no matter what their orientation is or skin colour, whatever.”
“You love somebody you love somebody. Nobody can legislate that. Love’s what it is, man I’ll tell you it’s challenging, especially when both are performers – ‘you got more TV time than me’, ‘you got a new action figure; I didn’t’, ‘you got three new t-shirts, I haven’t got one’ – I’ve heard all that sh*t. And it’s always about ego and being equal and everybody ain’t equal. It’s simple as that.”
Jim Ross also discussed the infamous Tower of Doom match from the 1988 Great American Bash. Ross was no fan of the convoluted three-cage match, calling it a clusterf**k.