JR addresses Crown Jewel controversy and GRR payday Submitted by Aaron Rift on 10/29/2018 at 10:17 AM
Jim Ross recently commented on the WWE/Saudi Arabia relationship during his podcast and here are a few some highlights...
Crown Jewel: ďIt is a hot button issue right now,Ē Ross said. ďThe thing that cannot be compromised is putting any talent, or any WWE personnel, or any fans in jeopardy. If everyone feels completely comfortable with the safety, thatís the problem for me, then you should do it. Iím not going to get into all the politics, and the oppression, and all these things. I know Iím not read on it. Itís not something that Iím going to read on. I know whatís right and I know whatís wrong. I know ever person no matter their color or gender should be treated equally. Thatís what I believe. I donít care what their nationality is, what party theyíre in, what side of the aisle they sit on. So I think if youíve got a guy on the card that needs a payday because WWE [has] got massive rights fees coming, that doesnít go in everybodyís pocket.Ē
His Greatest Royal Rumble payday: ďOne of my biggest paydays in my history of working for Vince [McMahon] was making a trip to Saudi Arabia.Ē Ross admitted, ďI got paid very, very well. And much more than a former guy doing the payoffs than I would have paid myself. And if it affected me in that regard, how many other people that were there, some of them for days and weeks, even more, how many of them did it affect in a positive way? So Iím not going to be the guy to get up and talk about things that I donít quite understand. I know what I believe, but I also donít want to take any money out of a wrestlerís pocket and takes care of their family. That [has] always been my pet peeve. Take care of the talent and if the talent donít want to go, they shouldnít go and they wonít have to go. Thatís what I think about this Saudi thing. Thereís no right answer, guys. There really isnít, I donít think. Iíve heard both sides of the argument and both sides can make very good points that I can say, Ďyeah, I can see that. Yeah, I can see that too.í But I donít have the right answer apparently. But I have an answer for me. My answer is, if itís safe and the talents can go earn money that they need. Look, Christmas is coming! Think of these things as simple as it may be. ĎOh, listen, J.R. had this reason that [WWE] should go to Saudi because itís near Christmas. What an idiot! What an idiot!í Okay, maybe I am an idiot, but the bottom line is I would move cautiously, WWE. I would try to make sure that everything is as safe as it humanly possibly could be. Nobody would go if they didnít want to go and I would divvy that money up like you did before, in a very fair, equitable way because itís new money. Itís significant new money. Itís not like running a house show in Muskogee [Oklahoma] next week. This is big time money for a lot of guys, some of them are looking at it like they have less paydays left than they have earned previously. So thatís my thoughts on Saudi.Ē
Shawn Michaelsí return: ďI think Shawn [has] got plenty of matches left in him if heís wisely booked.Ē Ross claimed, ďin other words, I donít see the return at Saudi Arabia being a one-off. If Shawn can go out and maintain the level of performance that he will be comfortable with, and trust me, he will not be comfortable with mediocrity. Does he have to adjust his game a little bit? Of course he does! He will be great no matter what. When he was off for four years and then he came back to wrestle at WWE, I told him when I went to San Antonio [Texas] that he owed it to himself more than anything else to finish his legacy and donít let it end this way. Iím sure others would tell him the same thing. He took it to heart and made the decision on his own. And he came back and the night he was back, he was amazing. After four years off, no practice. So Shawn [has] got a lot left in the tank, in my view, if the vehicle is driven correctly. Pedal to the metal, day-in-day-out ainít going to happen. If heís smartly and strategically booked, youíre damn right, I could see him having something big and significant at WrestleMania. He would be if I was sitting in that chair suggesting stuff. At least that would be the suggestion.Ē