Pictured: Jim Ross | Photo Credit: Ty Lee | Send Us Your Photo
Click here for part one of the interview, where JR discussed Vince McMahon, Ronday Rousey, how it is harder to be a good heel today, UFC and much more. Also, make sure to follow JR on Twitter @JRsBBQ, and visit his newly designed website at JRsBarBQ.com.
Wrestling INC: You've been commentating since the 1970s and you've seen lots of changes in eras. As a fan, what was your favorite era in the business?
Ross: Every era offered something unique and its own specific challenges. The 1970s was kind of a Wild West show and I'm a 20 something year old out in the world with these experienced veterans. The 1980s were turbulent because I was with Watts and then we sold to [Jim] Crockett and TBS took over. The beginning of the 1990s was kind of a crazy and adventures time in WCW. Then I left to go work for Vince [McMahon] for some 20 years and change.
If I had to give an answer, I would say the Attitude Era because the fruits of my labor, trying to assemble a roster, and the Monday night wars made it an exciting time. From a business point, it was the Attitude Era based on behind the scenes of bringing guys in, molding them together as a team, and by repeatedly losing on Monday nights. We kept believing and motivating each other and we finally won the battle and the war. I've had fun at every turn of the road during this 40 year adventure and enjoyed every decade for what it offered. I don't look back at any of the time in the business and say I could have done without this era. They are all life lessons learned. The Attitude Era was fun because we had great talent, not a PG-14 rating. It's ridiculous that people think switching back to PG-14 would solve problems.
Wrestling INC: You were talking about recruiting talent earlier? How did you get that position?
Ross: I was already at WWE on staff. J.J. Dillon left abruptly and Vince hired Bruce Prichard and I to oversee the talent relationship department. He made Bruce the vice president of talent relations and me the vice president of wrestling business—which is a new title. As soon as Bruce went back to creative the vice president of wrestling business title went away. I think I'm the only person in the WWE to hold that title. I became the senior vice president of talent relations. Vince knew of my background about working with creative and talent and I'd been in the business 19 years before I got to the WWE, so my body of work was kind of established as far as my background was concerned. I think Vince had faith that I could reorganize the department and retool are talent roster. It's real simple. I was given an opportunity, and as it should be, if I wasn't successful then someone else should have gotten that opportunity. I don't think it was a stretch for him. Vince always has a good eye for the bigger picture—more times than not—putting the right positions to help the company.
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