On the August 28th episode of Friday Night Smackdown, Roman Reigns joined forces with Paul Heyman. During the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talked about the pairing of Reigns and Heyman. Ross said he likes the fit for the two and is happy we now know Reigns is a heel.
"It seems like it's a fit," JR said. "At least now they have a fighting chance to get Roman over as a viable something. It's not, 'Is he a tweener? Is he a fan favourite? Is he a villain?' We know pretty much what he's going to be with Heyman."
Ross also talked about how big of a failure the WCW invasion storyline was after Vince McMahon bought WCW. He said McMahon lost patience with the story and was just ready for it to be over after it massively underperformed.
"That whole invasion thing sucked pond water," Ross said. "It so under achieved and could've been so much bigger, but it wasn't. Vince lost his patience on it. He didn't give the newcomers that we acquired from WCW the chance to get over. I don't think Vince would put any time into anything that he would think is going to suck or be the sh**s and embarrass the company. If it had a remote chance of working, he would try things like that."
Throughout the podcast, Ross talked about the career of Jim Cornette. One of the more memorable things Jim Cornette was known for was his involvement in OVW. Ross talked about Vince changing his mindset about having a developmental system where they could produce new talent. He said it was his idea for them to have a system where they could constantly produce new faces to use on the main roster.
"He trusted me," Ross said. "This is not a revelational thing that we have to get better, we have to evolve, and develop new stars. People love new; wrestling fans specifically love new. I knew they would be taught right. The talents would be taught responsibility and with respect."
Ross also talked about Brock Lesnar being the head of the ring crew in OVW. He said it taught him the ability to not take everything for granted and understand there's more to being on the roster than just doing wrestling moves.
"He liked hauling things, he liked being the supervisor. It taught him responsibility. There's more to this stuff than just showing up and doing an F5. Everybody there had a job. Our ring crew was bad ass."
Ross was the head of talent relations for WWE for many years until he stepped down for. While Ross was still the head of talent relations, he would let Jim Cornette do whatever he wanted with OVW because he believed in his ability to get the best out of the young talent.
"We had the same agenda, and the agenda was to produce new talents," Ross said. "Cornette and I had the same philosophy. I knew that if I kept him away from Vince in corporate meetings, kept him away from Kevin Dunn, that we had a chance to keep Cornette on the hook. I wanted to take advantage of his teaching. I let him coach his team. I never one time said, 'I want this guy to be a baby face, this guy to be a heel.' It wasn't my place to do that and there's no sense in it.
"Let the guys who are there every day with these talents everyday make those decisions. Unless you're there everyday in practice and see how they work, how do you make those decisions?"
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.