Veteran announcer, Jim Ross, revealed the moment he knew The Rock would make it as a Hollywood superstar on the latest episode of the Grilling JR podcast.
“About 10 minutes after seeing the Scorpion King. I sat next to Vince McMahon [at the theatre]. Not one word was uttered, we gained eye contact in the movie theatre at the premiere and we kind of looked at each other like, ‘I see something special here.’ He jumped off the screen, man. It wasn’t like doing a promo or making his pie jokes, which were entertaining as s**t. But he jumped off the screen.”
The 68-year-old continued:
“When he was on screen, he was the only person you were really looking at. We knew then that there was something extraordinary about this cat. To say that I knew he was going to be where he is now, producing television shows, hits around the world, etc… making 90 million last year? No. I’m not going to bulls**t you.”
The Rock’s turn in The Scorpion King led to the ‘The Great One’ receiving a deluge of film and television offers. One year after the film’s release, the multiple time WWE Champion departed the company as a full time performer. Ross explained:
“We did know that there was something special about this guy when he appeared on that silver screen, and others, obviously much more refined about that type of thing, are seeing it also. Offers were going to be piling in for a whole lot more money than we could pay, and bump free money. Rock has been a brilliant businessman. He’s even got me drinking his tequila, and I don’t even like tequila. And I wouldn’t have tried it had it not been for him. Nobody could perceive how great he would be in that world.”
You can listen to the full podcast here.
h/t to Wrestling Inc. for transcription