Jim Ross has branded one fan theory stretching back to his WWE days “total bullsh*t.”
The 1998 Brawl For All tournament is widely regarded as a disaster and is regularly brought up and cited as one of the worst WWE innovations of all time. The idea is usually credited to Vince Russo and revolved around a “real” fighting tournament built into WWE’s usual scripted programming.
The tournament was slated by fans who booed loudly while it was taking place and caused injuries to a number of stars who took part. There are also some who claim it ended the WWE career of Dr. Death Steve Williams before it even began.
Known as one of the toughest men in wrestling, Williams made his WWE debut in the tournament and it was widely presumed he would win before going on to face Steve Austin. However, Williams suffered a serious hamstring injury before being knocked out by Bart Gunn – the tournament’s eventual winner.
Williams was a long-time friend of Jim Ross, who was Head of Talent Relations at WWE at the time. This led to speculation that Ross hand-picked the participants in the tournament and tried to influence the outcome so Williams would win before heading to that big-money clash with Stone Cold.
Speaking on a recent episode of his podcast, Grilling JR, looking back at the tournament, Ross dismissed these claims, describing them as “total bullsh*t.”
“Little did I know it would be such a disaster,” Ross said. “There was so many injuries, medical bills, talents getting embarrassed. It didn’t have an upside. I think it was a very poorly kept secret that Bart Gunn was the cream of the crop, even though many of my detractors thought that I had loaded the tournament so ‘Doctor Death’ Steve Williams could win it. That’s total bullsh*t. I had nothing to do with the bracketing or who fought who or whatever. It’s a good story, but it’s just not accurate.”
Incredibly, in an effort to capitalise on Bart Gunn’s win, he was thrown into a match with Butterbean at WrestleMania XV. Unsurprisingly, Gunn was demolished by the trained boxer and knocked out in 35 seconds. Gunn was released by the company soon after.
Is Jim Ross Still With AEW?
Despite now being in his 70s, and suffering a number of health problems, Jim Ross remains under contract with AEW and is determined to return to television.
During a career that began back in 1974, Ross has worked for Mid-South Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, WCW, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and most famously WWE.
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