Jim Ross has detailed the time he says he felt the most unwelcome in WWE, noting that he felt the company had him around to embarrass him.
JR was discussing WrestleMania 27 on his Grilling JR podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson. That event in 2011 played host to Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s only WrestleMania match – an infamous bout with fellow announcer Michael Cole.
Jim Ross was in Atlanta for the event and he was on the call for that match that ended in a controversial reversed decision in favour of the hated Cole. Ross recounted that night and his feelings around how he was used both at WrestleMania and the next night on Raw.
“I was only booked to do some duty at WrestleMania because that’s where Cole and Lawler had their ‘epic’ match, I use that tongue-in-cheek-wise. I always thought Lawler deserved more than a gimmick match with an announcer. That’s what he got and he seemed to be happy with it but what choice did he have but to be happy with it because that’s what you’re booked to do. So I was called in to call that because I was already being phased out.”
“Then I had to stay an extra day because Michael Cole had to ‘get his heat back’ and I remember him squirting me in the face with the barbecue sauce. And nobody told him not to squirt it in my eyes and he did. I couldn’t see sh*t and it was burning, I was temporarily blinded. Like an old heel spot on a spot show. I couldn’t see and it also ruined my one thousand dollar hat, which they paid for.”
Jim Ross continued, noting it was a difficult weekend for him professionally:
“It was a unique weekend to say the very least. I probably have never been feeling as unwelcome or I’m at the wrong place at the wrong time than I did over that show. I had no joy from working WrestleMania 27, none. Now I didn’t phone sh*t in, I worked hard based on what I had to work with. But it’s hard to make Lawler and Cole a Funk/Brisco classic. Ain’t gonna happen. So you’ve gotta take that into consideration, how you call it. But anyway, it was an interesting weekend.”
Ross then explained that his intuition almost helped him escape his appearance on Raw. However, his professionalism won out and he appeared on the Monday night show:
“Then the next day, on that Raw my phone rang early. […] So we’re packing and getting ready to go to the airport. I got a phone call. My intuition said don’t answer it but trying to be the professional I profess to be I answered it. ‘We need you tonight,’ I don’t even remember who called me. I didn’t know what I was gonna do but I knew that if Cole was knocked down a peg creatively with Lawler the night before, that they were probably gonna do something to get him back; re-enhance him somehow. And who’s better to be made to look like a fool in this scenario than me. So I went there and intuition was right, I was just there to be embarrassed.”
Jim Ross recently discussed the career of Mick Foley in WWE. Ross noted the influence that WWE legend The Undertaker had in helping Foley to succeed in the company.