Jim Ross Provides Insight On Steve Austin Never Wrestling Hulk Hogan In WWE

AEW Commentator Jim Ross did a deep dive with Conrad Thompson about Judgment Day 2002 on the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast. While discussing the main event, a match between Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker for the WWE Undisputed Championship, Ross explained why "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the white-hot superstar whose relationship with the company had almost completely deteriorated by May of 2002, wasn't in that main event against Hogan, but was instead relegated to a handicap match lower on the card.

"Austin didn't have the match with Hogan because he didn't want to have the match the Undertaker did," Ross said. "Hogan was battered, beat up, multiple back surgeries. It's funny when people say 'What's the really important things to learn in pro wrestling training?' Well, you've got to learn to take a great flatback bump because about 98% of the stuff you see ends with a flatback bump. So being able to execute a flatback bump, which sounds very simple, and it is, but a lot of guys spend no time on it, they'd rather spend more time on Tope Suicidas and sh*t like that than how to sell or how to take a flatback."

Ross has spoken on previous occasions about the rumored "dream match" between Hogan and Austin at Wrestlemania X8, detailing Austin's fears that the match wouldn't live up to the hype. Hogan ended up wrestling The Rock on that show, instead, in a match that's now considered a classic. Even then, there was still time for the dream match to take place, but it never happened, and fans were instead treated to a largely underwhelming Hogan/Undertaker championship contest at Judgment Day.

"The match was not an artistic success," Ross admitted. "But it wasn't because those guys didn't work their asses off. You've got a guy that's got a bad back and he's not a spring chicken ... Taker tried to do all he could to make the match a success, but it just didn't get the job done. And that's sad to say when you're talking about two legit legends like Taker and Hulk."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.