On the latest episode of the Grilling JR podcast dedicated to the No Mercy 2000 pay-per-view, Jim Ross talked about the death of Owen Heart and subsequent legal battle between WWE and his wife Martha. Ross talked about not being involved in the meetings and how he appreciated that. He also said Vince and Linda both went to those meetings and talked about how tough it was on Vince to deal with the death of one of his talents.
“I’m glad I wasn’t asked to be at the meeting. I would not have wanted to go,” Ross said. “I would’ve tapped out. It was so emotional seeing Owen die with Lawler from my vantage point. I figured I’d give plenty skin in the game. You want to protect Vince – that was part of my job. It was a tough week because you don’t know how it was going to affect Vince, and how it affects Vince affects a lot of people.”
Ross also talked about if there was ever the potential for a Jim Ross DVD during the early 2000s. He said Vince had never mentioned anything, and he doesn’t think there would ever be one.
“I think Vince would probably have done that over his dead body,” Ross said. “He loved my work as far as my work ethic and managing the talent relations. That was a hell of a roster, deep with Hall of Fame level talents as we had in 2000; it was damn impressive. That’s all you can ask of your talent relations department, is give me talent that can get over.”
JR also mentioned how he was under the weather for the event. He explained that being sick doesn’t mean you can take the day off, and that he needed to be on the show to help continue to put talent over. Ross also shared an interesting story about another time he was feeling sick during a major show.
“You don’t call in sick. That’s the kiss of death,” Ross mentioned. “That’s a blatant weakness in Vince’s eyes. As a talent, you never wanted to be perceived as weak, and couldn’t hold your end up, and couldn’t carry your share of the water. So, I worked that show a little under the weather.
“The adrenaline really helps a lot in those situations. You get 14,000 in a building, they’re excited all your stars are coming back. I needed to be on that show and needed to contribute the best way I could, and that was to get talent over. I wasn’t feeling that great that night, but hey, I passed a kidney stone one time on a pay-per-view. I’ve been there before where it didn’t feel so good and I didn’t feel so good.”
On the show, Los Conquistadores defeated The Hardy Boyz to become the WWE Tag Team Champions. The Los Conquistadores were actually Edge and Christian, who used the disguise to regain a title opportunity after losing to The Hardys in a ladder match that barred them from ever receiving another shot at the tag titles. Ross talked about the Los Conquistadores gimmick, and why on commentary he never forgot to mention that they were clearly Edge and Christian.
“If I did that, it’s going to affect my credibility,” Ross said. “We kept the JR character pretty clean. It was easy as hell to see under those gold outfits who it was. Edge and Christian, they’ve been on so much T.V. and they’re easily identified, so we just took that story and gave it a little tweak as far as identifying those guys. That was a Vince deal – don’t affect your credibility. You know who the hell they are, so call it like you feel. He gave Lawler and I both the freedom to do so.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.