Paul Heyman has looked back on his commentary partnership with Jim Ross at WrestleMania X-7 and says both men knew they were the side dish at the announce booth and not the main course.
Heyman joined Jim Ross at the Raw announce table in early 2001 following Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s surprising exit from the company after his wife at the time – The Kat – had been fired. With the last embers of ECW about to be extinguished Paul Heyman brought his talents to the World Wrestling Federation alongside Jim Ross who he had worked with years before in WCW.
Ross and Heyman were on the call for what is fondly remembered by most as the greatest WrestleMania of all time, WrestleMania X-7 which took place in April 2001 in the Houston Astrodome.
Speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes’ own Kenny McIntosh for issue 10 of Inside The Ropes magazine, Paul Heyman has discussed why he thinks he and Jim Ross were on the top of their game that night in Texas and why he feels some commentators go awry:
“Jim Ross and I took the product very seriously and we understood our roles in being the enhancement for the product. Too many times, commentators think they’re the main course. They’re not—they are the sauce on the steak, they are the side salad, they are there to accompany the product in its desire to navigate a narrative to the audience and both Jim Ross and I were very cognisant of our roles, especially at WrestleMania X-7. I also think Jim Ross was just so on his game that night that it compelled me to try to keep up with him, which was a daunting task because I don’t think he’s ever had a better call than WrestleMania X-7.”
Paul Heyman lasted on commentary as JR’s antagonist and a representative of The Alliance until the Invasion storyline came to an end after the 2001 Survivor Series. He was unceremoniously fired on-screen by Vince McMahon before being replaced by a returning Lawler. Heyman remained off-screen until he made a return to television on the night after WrestleMania X8 alongside a certain ‘next big thing’ Brock Lesnar.