One of the biggest news stories coming out of this week was Vince McMahon revealing the XFL's 2020 release date and establishing the different cities and venues that will be featured in the XFL. WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, recently appeared on WKYC Channel 3 - Cleveland for an in-depth interview and among the topics discussed, Ross revealed what his experience was like being a part of the original XFL, back in 2001.
"I loved it," Ross said. "I had a blast. It was a lifelong dream, no kidding. I didn't do it for the money. I made $1,500 a game, and ya know, we'd make five times that just by signing autographs. But I was doing a network game on NBC for $1,500. But I'm not complaining about that! That's the thing to make clear. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had. It was new and exciting."
Ross is best known for his near lifelong career doing commentary for the WWE, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, various other independent professional wrestling circuits, and even some MMA and boxing promotions. His talents and achievements have been recognized by the WWE Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame, and various newsletters - all successes that Ross attributes to hard work and passion for the business.
"It means I'm old and I got a lot of work," Ross said. "And I espouse to my theory of, 'Don't worry about the mules, just load the damn wagon.' And they load the wagon up and I pulled it for a long time, since '74, and I'm still doing some work in wrestling. And I'm still a fan; It's wacky and it's crazy. My dad told a friend of his one time, 'My boy ran away from home and joined the circus and he never came home.' That's what he thought about wrestling at that point in time. It's been a wonderful ride."
Ross's accomplishments continue to rack up with People Magazine even naming Ross and WWE Hall-of-Famer, Jerry "The King" Lawler the 8th best sports duo announce team of the last 25 years. Ross thought the award was flattering, but ultimately, ironic because he doesn't even consider professional wrestling a legitimate sport.
"Here's the irony of that," Ross began. "It's flattering, obviously. My daughters loved it, 'Hey, dad got a little accolade out of the wrestling world.' Which is my point exactly - pro wrestling's not a sport. Honestly, that's just it. It's theatrics with athleticism involved, no doubt. It's not a sport. So how does two guys, two southern boys from Tennessee and Oklahoma, one with a cowboy hat and one with a crown, sit there every Monday night and some weeks do higher quarter ratings than Monday Night Football? People enjoyed our banter and we did it. They felt like we were real. And every broadcaster - any time you interact with the public, your secret to success is be real and true to yourself. Be what you are. And people love that."
You can check out Ross' full comments in the video below.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WKYC Channel 3 - Cleveland with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.