AEW announcer Jim Ross has explained why former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon found himself the butt of the jokes in the WWE locker room for a time.
Back before the days of the Attitude Era, Vince McMahon was still presented on television as an announcer in WWE but that was to change in the latter half of 1997. McMahon’s first physicality with his soon-to-be nemesis Stone Cold Steve Austin took place on an episode of Raw in September of that year.
As well as being historic as the first time Austin hit his Stunner on the evil Chairman, it is also remembered for the dismal way McMahon sold the move as he crumpled softly to the mat.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross who was on the call that night explained the backstage reaction to the way Vince McMahon took the move and says the boss took a ribbing for it:
“He got ribbed unmercifully. I can always say I didn’t take the ugliest Stunner. Hey look, I admire the fact that he did it, and he kind of humbled himself by becoming a wrestler to some degree. He became Austin’s nemesis, and the nemesis went beyond normal when you have the president and owner of the company put to get physical and you catch him with your finish. Vince sold the hell out of it.”
“The audience popped big time for it, and you knew we were off to something big because there’s no way that the owner of the company, with this ego and so forth as a heel, is going to – it wasn’t going to be the last time we heard from Vince based on what Austin did to him. I thought the Stunner was a way to launch the Austin/McMahon scenario because nothing in the Attitude Era, in my view, came close to comparing to that angle, that marriage, that booking. Vince was perfect in that role.”