Jim Ross On Steve Austin’s Heel Turn, His Relationship With Vince McMahon And More

Jim Ross

Photo Credit: Ringside w/ Jim Ross

Legendary broadcaster Jim Ross recently appeared on the Top Rope Nation podcast and discussed several topics ranging from his favorite wrestling announcers, Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania 17 and more. Here are some highlights:

On Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania 17 and whether it could have worker better:

Ross: “I don’t know that Steve turning heel would ever have worked at that point in time because he was over so dominantly. And I told him, I think I wrote in the book, maybe, it’d be like John Ford, the great director, casting John Wayne to be a Nazi. It would not have worked, it would not even have been tried. And for us to think that we could turn him heel thanks to his relationship with Mr. McMahon, we gotta remember where it happened. It happened in Austin’s home state, it happened in Houston. And at WrestleMania 17. So the audience, he could do no wrong, Steve could do no wrong. And if you listen, if you go back and watch that on the WWE Network or wherever, you’ll see that the ovation Austin got coming out was nothing short of extraordinary. So I just don’t think it ever would have worked because he was that great of a babyface. ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was a folk hero, he was a hero to many working, blue-collar people. I just never saw it working very well.”

On his current relationship with Vince McMahon:

Ross: “Well we talk, the holidays, you know. Vince is a busy guy and I’m a busy man as well so just sitting, having a casual chat, quite frankly, in our world, in Vince’s mind, is not really realistic. But nonetheless, we text. I congratulated him on how successful they made WrestleMania dealt a very bad hand. I’d say our relationship is casually friendly at best, at worst, I mean. If I needed something, I know that I could call Vince and the request discussed, it’d be, I think, accommodated. And he knows I’m the same way. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna work with him. I’ve got a great job and I just started my second year of a three-year contract about a week ago here with AEW. So I made the right move. But I don’t have any animosity toward Vince. I mean he helped Jan and I make a great living with which we solidified our future so I’m not gonna be disrespectful in that respect.”

“It basically comes down to something like this. I wanted to run the wishbone. And the boss, the head coach, wanted to run the spread offense. So we ran the spread offense. And sometimes my reaction to not having my way, not getting my idea through, whatever it may be, I didn’t handle well, that’s my fault, that’s on me. I didn’t handle the stress well, I reacted negatively to a lot of things, so I was a handful to manage at times, but I never looked up. I never had a chance to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, but that’s not Vince’s fault. That’s me being overly possessive and a little bit anal in wanting to have a game plan and to be able to utilize it unencumbered. But Vince and I are fine.”

The full episode is available below:

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