Jim Ross spoke on the latest episode of Grilling JR about WWE purchasing WCW in 2001 and the potential talent that was available for WWE to bring over. One of the more notable names in WCW at the time was Rey Mysterio, who was on a guaranteed contract with WCW. Ross said that while he was the Head of Talent Relations, he had conversations with Mysterio and actually told him to sit at home and wait out his contract. Ross said he told Mysterio that once his WCW contract expired, WWE would hire him.
“You’re getting paid more guaranteed from WCW than I can offer you,” Ross said. “We had a long talk, he came up to me to see me and that’s what I told him. I’m going to sign you, I’m going to pay you fairly, you’re going to make so much more money than you’re guaranteed that this won’t even be a relevant conversation in a year.
“But, of course, how do they believe me? Rey never worked with me before. I was very honest about it, in other words if you get a better deal in Japan and it fits your schedule and you like it, then I can’t match the WCW dollar. I can earn you more than you ever earned in WCW because here you’re not on salary.”
With the purchase of WCW, talent such as Sting, Eddie Guerrero, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Goldberg were all potential acquisitions for WWE. Ross continued to talk about the biggest stars from the WCW purchase and explained who Vince McMahon was most interested in.
“He was very interested in Goldberg,” Ross said. “I don’t think he was not interested in any of those stars like Flair, Hogan, Sting, Nash, Scott Hall, he was just more invested in some others than not.
“If I had to say one guy, for me the one guy would’ve been Sting followed by Goldberg, for Vince it was Goldberg then Sting later on. I’m assuming this is somewhat accurate.”
Ross talked about how they found out a lot of the talent were on guaranteed contracts which changed plans. He said some of the talent they were going to bring in weren’t very motivated or interested, and they had to decide who the right guys to sign were.
“Here’s a bunch of guys that we’re going to bring and we know their motivation is to get a job to get paid,” Ross said. “How many of them really want to be here? How many of them aren’t burnt out? How many of them are ready to regroup, hit the restart button.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.