Jim Ross has opened up about his relationship with WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan comparing it to the close friendship he enjoys with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
After signing with WWE in 1993 following his departure from WCW, Jim Ross rose to become Head of Talent Relations as well as holding the microphone as the play-by-play commentator across WWE programming.
As part of his role backstage, Ross was in charge of negotiating contracts for a number of Superstars. However, that list of Superstars didn’t include Hulk Hogan.
Speaking on a recent episode of his Grilling JR podcast, available via AdFreeShows, Ross revealed that Hogan’s deal was handled personally by Vince McMahon. This meant that the legendary announcer had no real relationship with Hogan, something he says persists to this day.
“That was the common denominator through the years with Vince; he took ownership of certain talents. When we returned Hogan, I had no relationship with Hogan and, unfortunately, I still don’t have one to this very day. I respect him, I don’t dislike him. I just never got close to him,”
Continuing on Jim Ross compared his lack of a relationship with Hogan, to his close friendship with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Someone he said he did everything he could to help win in WWE.
“[Vince McMahon dealt with] some of those talents, like Warrior and Bret, of course. The one that he let go of, because I got more results than Vince did, was Austin. Austin became my guy. I did everything I could for Steve to win and for the company to win. For the company to win with Austin, make sure his contract is solid and he’s happy,”
Elsewhere during the podcast, Ross commented on Bret Hart’s contractual situation with WWE during 1996. At one stage during the year, Hart disappeared from WWE television amidst rumours that he was considering a contract offer from WCW.
Ross explained that he felt Hart should have been the highest paid Superstar on the roster due to his worth to the company at the time.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.