On the latest episode of Grilling JR, former WWE Head of Talent Relations Jim Ross spoke about receiving that job and having the first talent he wanted to hire be Mick Foley. Ross explained that he had back and forth conversations with Vince McMahon about Foley joining the WWE, saying he was the only one who believed he’d work for the company and be a big star.
“When I went to Vince I said I had some ideas and guys I’d like for us to consider and I mentioned Mick, and he said ‘That ain’t going to work. How many he tried out here?’” Ross said. “I’m thinking, maybe you genius’ made a mistake. I know that you invented wrestling and all of you have an invested interest in the extreme knowledge that’s extremely higher than mine or anybody that I know. I don’t get it.
“I asked Vince, ‘If you want me to do this job, you got to give me a chance to do the job.’ [Vince said] ‘You need to know JR what it feels like for a talent to break your heart. You’re really emotionally invested in this guy, but you need to understand what it’s like for a talent to break your heart because he’s not going to be successful.”
Ross discussed people who worked in WWE backstage who would change their opinion based on Vince’s thought process. JR said he wasn’t going to allow Vince and the company to let Foley go to another company and not work for WWE because he knew the skills he had.
“Whoever is in the room in any meeting would take the pulse of the old man before they declare,” Ross said. “I always thought that was horse s--t, that’s one of those deals where their testicles would not fit into a thimble. I told Vince that in private many times, it’s funny to me how so and so said this in this meeting and just yesterday he and I were talking about this very topic and he had a completely different view on it but waited to hear what you had to say so he wouldn’t cross the boss. Vince was primarily the guy, he just didn’t believe Mick would get over.
“I believe he had something, it was a feeling, an instinctive feeling. I thought if I’m wrong, I’m wrong and Vince could say I told you so. I told you he’s going to break your heart cause you’re going to fire him now. That’s what would’ve happened. They weren’t going to die on the hill of Mick Foley to cross the boss, I was willing to do that.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.