On the latest episode of the Grilling JR podcast, former WWE commentator Jim Ross spoke about the great career of Terry Funk, who debuted in 1965.
Ross discussed Funk’s run in WWE in the late 80s and how he never faced Hulk Hogan for the championship at a major pay-per-view outside of Saturday Night’s Main Event in 1986. The current AEW commentator spoke about Vince McMahon wanting Hogan to only face competitors in major feuds who looked realistic to beat Hogan in terms of size. Ross also mentioned how he brought in Mick Foley to feud with The Undertaker for that reason.
“Terry could’ve been a great opponent for Hogan because Terry would’ve known how to work with Hogan to embellish Hogan’s skills,” Ross said. “McMahon was very cautious to not book Hogan with average sized guys. He wanted him to sell for a guy that was bigger than him.
“It’s the same concept I used when I hired Mick Foley to use for the Undertaker. You’re looking for an opponent and Foley was 6’4″, 300 pounds and I think that’s the same theory that we’re talking about in this topic. Vince was going to make sure, and I don’t blame him for this, that Hogan was booked with the right guy that can create the right visual and right dynamic so that when the Hulkster sold, it had more believability. I think there’s a lot to say for that, protecting your golden goose that’s now spitting out these golden eggs in the form of tickets sold.”
On a recent episode of Grilling JR, Ross mentioned how he still has a relationship with Vince McMahon despite joining AEW. Ross continued to talk about Vince, saying he holds no hard feelings towards his former boss and still respects the 20+ years he spent working for him.
“People think I’m still mad at him for some f***ing reason,” Ross said. “Only spent 26 years there, made a lot of money, why would I be mad? Come on. ‘Well, he had something pulled out of your ass.’ Okay, he also had me beat up several times, it’s pro wrestling. Sometimes it’s the theatre of the absurd, that’s what it is.”
Although Ross stated he has no hard feelings towards Vince, the AEW commentator said he was also upset with how WWE runs the Hall of Fame, specifically the amount of time each Hall of Famer is given to speak. Funk was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 along with brother Dory, and Ross said seeing them both get only two minutes to speak was ridiculous after the careers they had.
“That was a b------t deal too because they got no time,” Ross said. “Everything was time, it’s all a T.V. show and I detest that. The organic nature of the Hall of Fame, it should be objective in the selection, it should not be over-selected by having too many people that can’t speak. I know a couple of Hall of Famers called me this year and asked me to help them with their Hall of Fame speech in WWE. I said how much time do you got? ‘2 minutes.’ Maybe they stretch it to three, but it’s become too corporate from that respect for my taste.
“I’m sure they don’t care what my tastes are anymore, which I get, I don’t care what their tastes are either, it’s their deal. I thought him and Dory had no time. Dory was not the great orator that Terry was. There are very few men that can talk as effectively and as memorably as Terry Funk. I thought they got jobbed a little bit on that presentation. I didn’t like the way that went down, they deserved better cause I’m sentimental, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.