Jim Ross has been talking about the origins of Ron Simmons’ “DAMN” catchphrase that the WWE Hall of Famer became known for later in his career.
In a wide-ranging discussion about the legendary Simmons’ career on his Grilling JR podcast, his co-host Conrad Thompson asked JR his thoughts about the catchphrase. Thompson also quoted an interview with Simmons detailing the origins of “DAMN”:
“I think whenever things were not going so well in the ring, I would always say that and the people in some of the towns would repeat it when we went back. My voice carried so well and one night when we were there, I said and the crowd started chanting “DAMN.” So the writers caught onto it and they just said “let’s try this in a scene.” So Bradshaw, Booker T, and John Cena were doing an exchange and they had me say “DAMN” and that’s where it was born.”
Ross then gave his opinion on why it has become so popular:
“Organic, the keyword. You can see him saying that. You can believe that Ron saying “DAMN, DAMN” was money, it was real so I didn’t have to stop and process…”DAMN,” I got it. So it worked out because it was organic.”
“Every time Ron Simmons is brought back to WWE for any sort of special, the RAW 25s of the world, things like that. You know if he’s on campus, if he’s in the building, you’re gonna get a “DAMN” somewhere along the way.”
Simmons is not the only wrestling star to manage to popularise a one-word catchphrase. In the early 2000’s Stone Cold Steve Austin coined the “What?” catchphrase that can still be heard being chanted 20 years on. Daniel Bryan would then go on to make “Yes!” the most popular word in wrestling. He rode a wave of popularity all the way to winning the main event at WrestleMania 30 in 2014.
During the podcast, Jim Ross also had some kind words of praise for a current star on the AEW roster.