‘Good Ol’ JR, Jim Ross, has lifted the hat on the dealings of Mike Tyson with the World Wrestling Federation in 1998 and the lengths the company went to in order to keep him happy.
When it was announced that ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ was arriving in the company ahead of the 1998 Royal Rumble, speculation began to spiral out of control about what his role would be within the company. When he was seen cheering on Stone Cold Steve Austin from the executive box at the elimination spectacular it was a foregone conclusion the pair would come to blows.
The following evening on Monday Night Raw, the anarchic ‘Texas Rattlesnake’ interrupted Vince McMahon’s presentation of the boxing mega-star with the two men getting into a shoving contest before Austin was escorted from the ring.
Now, AEW Commentator, Jim Ross has taken to his Grilling JR Podcast to talk about the lengths the company went to in order to sate Tyson with a mammoth $3.5 million payoff:
“Shane McMahon had a lot to do with that. He became Tyson’s concierge, whatever Mike needed [Shane got him]. I think during his time, Tyson wanted a motorcycle, I have no idea why, and Shane bought him a motorcycle. They tried to appease him, it’s like recruiting a college football player or basketball play.
The WWE tried to take care of Mike at every turn of the road and Mike needed money at that point in time. The McMahon family took care of him and it worked out. It was a good investment quite frankly because it paid off at the end of the day.”
The pay-off Ross talked about came in the main event of WrestleMania 14, when it was Mike Tyson who counted the deciding fall to crown Stone Cold Steve Austin WWF Champion for the first time in his career. Following the bout, he laid out an apoplectic Shawn Michaels with right hand.
Credit for the interview: Grilling JR Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.