During the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross discussed the Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania 12. Ross talked about how the match got the tagline “Greatest Athletic Match in History” and compared it to the Edge vs. Randy Orton match at Backlash last month being given the tagline, the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”. JR said it’s tough to meet those expectations, but he was proud of both wrestlers and what they accomplished after he watched the match.
“It is impossible to live up too because what criteria are you basing it on?” Ross asked. “The greatest match of all time based on what criteria, because there are no criteria. It’s just a great tagline and a great marketing phrase to garner more interest.
“It became a marketing thing because I’ve always wondered what do you base that on? If that’s a question, it wouldn’t pass in a court case, you have to be more specific. If it’s just your personal favorite that’s one thing, but if you’re going to say it’s the greatest match of all time on a big scale you have to give some background.”
Ross continued to mention how proud he was of Orton and Edge.
“You can never live up to the expectations on something that is marketed in that way, it’s impossible,” Ross said. “But I will take my hat off, I was very proud of those two cats I signed, how they’ve matured over the years and made a lot of money.”
During the opening of Edge and Orton’s match at Backlash, the wrestlers were introduced by the voice of the late Howard Finkel and with that, the old MSG microphone rig dropped. Ross gave some insight into why the MSG microphone rig appeared, noting that The Garden is the place Vince McMahon always viewed as the center of the wrestling world.
“The Garden will always be Vince McMahon’s utopia,” Ross said. “Madison Square Garden, no matter if they run the Barclays Center or whatever, if all the wounds would heal and the deals are right financially, The Garden will always be the mecca of a WWE event in Vince McMahon’s eyes.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.