Jim Ross made an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd last week and discussed some of the highlights from his 40-plus years in the wrestling business.
Ross is credited with discovering Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson after he stopped pursuing a football career. Ross said he knew The Rock would be a star from the first time he met with him. His confidence in The Rock earned him The Rock's loyalty.
"I knew he was going to be a star. The old joke would be that even Ray Charles can pass the eye test; he passed the eye test," Ross recalled. "His grandfather was a great wrestling star, the 'High Chief' Peter Maivia; his dad Rocky Johnson, was a great star around the world; so we knew he had the DNA, but he wanted to be a football player. He got cut from the Calgary Stampeders; he didn't have any money; so we go down to Florida to meet with him and watch him work out. I take him to lunch at this Cuban place; every female in the joint came to fill up our water glass, and some didn't even work there. They see this 6'5 stud, built like a cannon, with this wonderful ethnicity. He told me that he would love to buy me lunch, but he only had $7, which is where his '7 Bucks Productions' [came from] after that incident. He told me from that day that he was going to be my top guy. That was like Steve Young telling the 49ers that I am going to take Joe Montana's job."
Ross revealed his Mount Rushmore of professional wrestling. He praised the legacy of Hulk Hogan for bringing the WWE into the mainstream and paving the way for superstars like The Rock and Stone Cold to bring the company to new heights.
"The proliferation of the WWE, then the WWF going global, going national first was Hulk Hogan," Ross said. "Hulk Hogan was the lead mule that pulled the wagon to take Vince McMahon farther down the road. Then we get Steve Austin and The Rock, that took WWE from a private company to a publically traded company the way it is now, and all those big stars belong on Mount Rushmore, talking about The Rock, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair."
Ross also discussed his relationship with Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Ross said they have a good personal relationship because they can relate to one another, but he admitted their working relationship has been rocky at times.
"I would have to say that Brock Lesnar is the toughest in the head of that line. I've had some communication issues with Brock Lesnar on occasion, but we got along great because we both came from similar backgrounds," Ross explained. "He was raised in a dairy farm in South Dakota with Farmers as parents, and I was raised in a pig cattle farm in Oklahoma and my parents were farmers so we had a lot of common ground there. He is very defiant and hard-headed and knows what he wants, one way or another."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Herd with Colin Cowherd with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.