On the latest Q&A version of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talked about Vince McMahon’s age and whether or not he thinks McMahon will ever slow down. Ross said he’s worried about Vince’s health and believes he still runs the company as if he’s in his 20s.
“He’s not a spring chicken like the rest of us in that generation,” Ross said. “We all have to face up to the fact that we’re mortal and aging affects people differently. The thing about Vince at his age, he’s still working like he’s 25 years old, he doesn’t stop. He only works in days ending in Y and he has no time limits, there’s no requirements.
“You wonder sometimes how intense he is, as busy as he is, the responsibilities he has running a massive publicly traded company if it’s getting to be too much. I don’t know the answer to that question. I’m a lot more concerned about his health than him being able to run the company.”
Ross discussed how long he sees Vince running WWE until he finally stops. He said sometimes people have a happy place and somewhere they never want to leave or live without, and for Vince, that’s the WWE.
“He will run the company until they bury him,” Ross said. “I don’t think he will ever sell the company. I don’t think he’ll ever slow down to any large degree, that’s just not in his makeup. If he did, he would not be happy. I fully believe all people should strive to find their happy place and his happy place is working. It’s always been that way.
“I think that’s one of the things that’s made the company so successful. Vince’s unrelenting work ethic. Nobody in WWE has ever worked as hard as the owner. Nobody. He has no hobbies, he goes to the gym and he works. That’s it. The only thing I’m concerned about is Vince’s health. I wish him the best, he helped me a lot along the way no doubt, but you wonder sometimes are you doing what needs to be done or what you’re forcing yourself to do? It’s almost like an obsession with him to work.”
Ross talked about slowing down his work schedule himself and how much thought he’s put into it. He said he hasn’t thought about taking himself off the announce desk because he still loves the business. Ross noted that he and Vince share the same obsession for the business and that might be why he doesn’t see Vince leaving WWE ever.
“I’m leery of slowing down to any large degree,” Ross said. “I don’t want to take myself out of the game. I want to keep my energy and my focus and my love of the business. Sometimes, I’m a little bit obsessed at this stage of life still wanting to work. I can relate to what [Vince] is doing. He built that company so he doesn’t want to see that company do anything but great things. The error could be that he believes he’s the only guy that can make that happen.”
Ross recalled his commentating days in WWE where he and Jerry Lawler were the voice of wrestling for decades. He talked about Vince talking in his ear during matches and whether or not it would bother him.
“Of course it did, how could it not?” Ross said. “Vince would tell you what to say. Sometimes it would be ill timed, sometimes it would be right on the money. Just general stuff, normally it was critiquing live on air. Producing announced talent is an art-form, unless you’re the owner of the company then you can do whatever you want, say whatever you want, don’t worry about the morale of your talent and it was rough. It was very daunting, very challenging.
“Sometimes Vince would say ‘Hey Lawler’s having a bad night JR, you got to get him out of it,’ so it came to be my fault that Lawler was having a bad night from his perspective. To be honest with you, I don’t remember Lawler having too many bad nights. I was the guy [Vince] vented too. A lot of my peers, Mick Foley, Taz, Todd Grisham, it didn’t work for them and I can understand why. It was just hard to have someone in your ear, while you’re on the air live and you’re talking. Now you hear the ambient noise of the crowd, you hear yourself, you hear Lawler and you hear Vince.”
Ross was asked by a fan to give his opinion on the greatest family in the wrestling business and he named the McMahons. He says what Vince, his grandfather and father have done for wrestling across the world can’t be compared or diminished.
“What Vince did with WWF and all the evolutions, it’s hard not to rank the McMahons as the top family [in wrestling],” Ross said. “If you’re just talking about talents, certainly the Harts, Funks, Briscoe’s. There’s some amazing families but if you look at what family had the most impact on wrestling, my vote would be for the McMahons. They changed the business, they elevated pay. Those other families I mentioned didn’t have the impact on the business in total globally that the McMahons have created.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.