WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross recently appeared on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Podcast to promote NJPW on AXS TV. During the interview, PWI senior writer Al Castle asked J.R. about Shane McMahon being chosen as The Undertaker’s opponent for WrestleMania this year. Ross says he personally has no issues with Shane coming out of the woodwork for the semi-main event match, and that the storyline has people talking.
“I believe . . . knowing the two participants as well as I do, and I know both of them very well, that they will do everything within their power to have an extraordinary match based on both their individual skill sets and their strengths and their weaknesses. So I have no issues with Shane McMahon coming out of the woodwork,” Ross said.
“I can tell you I was in Las Vegas for the press conference for my fight the week that Shane McMahon came back to television. The day after, as a matter of fact, (I was) in the Oklahoma City Airport, where I rarely get stopped and asked wrestling questions anymore because I’m there so damn much. And all kinds of acquaintances and airport staff were asking me about Shane McMahon. In Vegas it was the same story . . . So a lot of people are talking about it. And obviously when you have a lot of people talking about something they’re not all going to like it. I get it and I don’t have a problem with people expressing themselves and their opinions. But when people are so adamant that they know without a shadow of a doubt that this is bad booking, I sometimes am embarrassed for them.”
Ross was asked if WWE talent would be justified in feeling resentful that the owner’s son was chosen to take such a prestigious spot at their biggest event of the year. The Hall of Famer says he’s familiar with wrestling complaining about things like that, but that it’s usually not justified.
“It’s not really logical,” Ross answered. “It’s not the first time and it’s not the last time that people are getting passed over. I found out this: wrestlers that have complained regularly, loudly–discreetly loud–about their spot being taken by a non-regular normally didn’t work hard enough or smart enough during the year to keep their spot. I heard that same thing. What do you think would happen in Bill Watts’ territory when he would bring in Andre the Giant to work the Super Dome or Dusty Rhodes or Tommy Rich or the NWA champion? You’d get the same thing: the guys in the locker room b—hing and moaning that somebody was coming in and taking their pay off … At least these guys who are on the roster are getting a weekly check, so they’re still going to get paid for their efforts or non-efforts at WrestleMania. Is it the ideal scenario? No. The cure is to make yourself indispensable and invaluable for the next one.”