Jim Ross Opens Up About His Relationship With Paul Heyman

For nearly 50 years, Jim Ross has been involved in professional wrestling, most notably as a commentator. While he currently works for AEW, he's best known for his time with WWE — a company he served for over two decades. During that time, Ross worked with a handful of broadcast partners, from the likes of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon to Jerry "The King" Lawler, Michael Cole, and even Paul Heyman.


Before they worked together in WWE though, Ross and Heyman crossed paths in WCW in the early 1990s. While the two didn't always see eye to eye, Ross figured one thing out relatively quickly about Heyman. "Paul was a phenomenal talent, I saw that early on," Ross said on the latest episode of "Grilling JR." "I knew that his role was best suited to be a commentator." JR praised him as a "great talker" and a "smart guy," but also noted that Heyman didn't always get along with everyone. While that wasn't always a problem, there were clearly moments when it created friction.

Ross even went so far as to liken Heyman to Vince McMahon in the sense that a conversation was better than a confrontation, particularly when it came to an idea. "He was very confrontational, very verbal," he continued. "I think in a way that's good, but you've got to know your limits." Ross also admitted that Heyman's talent wasn't always fully utilized by others because Heyman didn't get along with the people in charge, although he's clearly flourishing now. "You've got to get along with the decision-maker, and that was challenging for Paul to do and has been with every company he's worked for. But now he's one of the most valuable assets in WWE, huge contributor to their success, and I'm happy for him."


JR Considers Heyman a Good Friend

Even then though, Jim Ross considered Paul Heyman a friend and remembered one circumstance with Heyman in particular. "We had a lot of fun together," Ross continued. "I got a DUI and lost my driver's license, and he was appointed my driver by me." Even though Heyman was apparently "never on time," Ross enjoyed his experiences with the future owner of ECW. Fast forward to the present, and the soon-to-be 71-year-old Ross doesn't speak to many people who remain in WWE, including Heyman. And he hasn't for quite some time, citing an age-old rule.


"I haven't talked to him in so long," Ross continued. "I guess the old rule that you can't talk to the 'enemy' is still applicable in the rasslin' business." Those that he does communicate with in WWE are friends, but their interaction is minimal. As it happens, that isn't exclusive to WWE. "Hell I don't talk to many guys from AEW," he added. "It's not a huge deal at my stage in the game. I don't need your hugs. They're nice to get, but you don't need 'em." With Heyman though, the lack of communication has nothing to do with a beef — perceived or otherwise.

"Me and Paul? Hell no. No beef, none at all," Ross stated. "I consider him a good friend." Ross was then asked if he had given Heyman any advice after getting to see him in action, and the advice was clear: brevity. "Learn to talk in sound bites," he quipped. "Put your meat of your statement in the front part of your presentation." Of course, being who he is, Heyman usually had something to say in response. "In the beginning, he wanted to orchestrate more of our commentary. I said I don't work that way."