WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross was the latest guest on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast to discuss his new book, memories of the late Lance Russell, WWE bringing back War Games at the next NXT Takeover show and whether or not he’s interested in calling the War Games match.
Here are the highlights of what JR said about:
What it meant to have Vince McMahon to write the book’s foreword:
“He was my first choice. He was my overall number one draft pick and I got what I wanted which I am happy to say. Somebody asked me just how hard it was to get Vince to do my foreword and I said I just sent him a text. He responded and said that he’d be proud to do it. So he did and it was great. Stone Cold did the afterword and we got contributions from The Rock and Bob Stoops (before he resigned from Oklahoma) and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Mark Cuban (the other billionaire I work for) so it is really a fun thing and I think that there is a lot of life lessons in this book and one thing I can tell you is that it is not a wrestling book. It is not JR outlines his ten favorite matches or JR’s ten favorite wrestlers or ten matches I hated the worst or my best draft pick or whatever, it is not that it is about life and my life is so intertwined with wrestling that almost anywhere in my journey wrestling has embraced that aspect of my living being.”
Memories of his friend Lance Russell:
“We were great friends. Lance and his late wife Audrey and my late wife Jan and I were friends and became friends largely over the filming of the “Man on the Moon” movie. Ironically and don’t ask me to explain it because I have no idea but in that movie I play Lance Russell’s role even though in the credits it didn’t mention Lance Russell or me playing Lance Russell by right there by my credit it’s got “ring announcer” Lance Russell. So why I didn’t do the ring announcing and Lance just play Lance is a head scratcher to me. But we became great friends over those few days in Los Angeles filming and I knew Lance in WCW when he used to be driven crazy by The Freebirds (Hayes and Garvin) and I’d see him here and there.”
“I never hear a single human being say a remotely negative remark about Lance Russell. In life and in general that is very rare and in the wrestling business it is essentially extinct. The only other person that I can think of that would fit in that same conversation at least off the top of my head is Owen Hart. So Lance Russell was a national treasure and he was the best weekly TV wrestling host ever and that there will ever be. That side of the business has become a dying presentation but what Lance did for decades and decades with no rehearsal and no teleprompters and nobody in his ear to keep him in line and just freewheeling with a stick mic in a small TV studio and got these ridiculous rating that you’d think were typos makes Lance the best ever in his role and I don’t think anybody will ever come close. The big thing for me is that Lance was a gentleman and a class act and a wonderful guy.”
The WWE’s announcement of the returning War Games match:
“I was happy. It is a neat hook to build around for the NXT Takeover. It is a very marketable tool and that is how I look at it. It’s got name identity with some older wrestling fans and the name has been bandied about some to the younger fans and trickled down. War Games has got a little bit of a legacy, if it and I don’t know exactly the structure of it but I can just tell you that if it is executed correctly it could really be special. I thought over the years and maybe it is just my own bias but I thought in the early going of the War Games we had better matches than they subsequently got and the end of the War Games. But I may be bias and wrong but that is my take on it.”
“The talent has got to fit the environment but the concept is really unique and it is very nostalgic in a good way (I think) and it is kind of like WWE having a Starrcade event in Greensboro, that is kind of cool and even though I don’t think it is going to be televised it has got people talking about a live event so I kind of think that has served its purpose and it is very nostalgic and the fans in that area should get some enjoyment out of it.”
“It’s nostalgic, has got some name identity and it is nice to see it back but it is not something I’d want to see every year and the other thing is that the previous War Games some of them have been very violent and that doesn’t seem to be en vogue these days. That is not a bitch from my end, I’m just saying if everybody thinks it is going to be a War Games like it used to be in the old days it is probably not but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better and certainly different so I am open minded. I am glad that the basic canvas is there called the War Games now let us see where they take it and I am curious.
Would he like to call the War Games match:
“I am certainly sure that even with my busy book signing schedule, if I was needed in Houston for NXT Takeover I’d certainly make myself available (laughing).”
For this and every other episode of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling please subscribe on iTunes, Podomatic, Player FM, Tune In Radio and The IRW Network.