On the latest episode of “Grilling JR”, Jim Ross discussed The Curtain Call. Ross believes that the event actually helped launch Steve Austin’s career, as Triple H was originally scheduled to win the 1996 King of the Ring instead. Additionally, he discussed the angle that saw the WWE create a “Fake Razor Ramon” and “Fake Diesel” that Ross acted as the mouthpiece for. Here are the highlights:
On If He Was Involved Into The Creative Process That Launched The Fake Razor Ramon & Fake Diesel:
No, I’m in the meeting. I don’t know. I always wondered why those decisions were made. I was very, very content to continue to improve as a broadcaster and to hopefully earn more significant minutes on the TV doing my work as to what I came there to do. And then it was given to me that this is what we’re gonna do, and ‘You’re gonna be the guy.’ I was never told — I thought I was gonna become like a heel announcer. But I never got the discussion I was gonna become a manager. Because that was never in my plan whatsoever. I didn’t think I’d be good at it. And why are you using me when you got other guys who are much better that you could use?
On The Prep Work The Wrestlers Had To Do For The Roles:
I think Cornette did some work with those guys about Diesel’s mannerisms and so forth. And Corny had a long history with Glenn Jacobs, who we hired. I saw him in Smokey Mountain. I was doing some commentary for Cornette at that time while I was with WWE. So he was like a no-brainer to sign. I was completely unaware of who Rick Bogner was and don’t mind saying it, this ain’t no knock on the dude. Canadian cat. So I wasn’t around him, I didn’t know him well. But he had, at a distance when prepared for television, he had some Razor tendencies. And of course Glenn had that near-seven foot frame that Kevin Nash did. So that’s kind of how that worked out. And [Jacobs’ other gimmick] Doctor Yankem was never gonna work out. It was another stupid gimmick! Made no sense. So eye-rolling, nobody could attach to it, because they don’t wanna be embarrassed that they’re a fan of something so bad. And it wasn’t Glenn’s fault, the gimmick was so bad. So I don’t think we did a walkthrough.
On His Own Heel Turn Promo:
The night before, I did a promo in Hershey introducing these guys, doing my heel promo thing. I rode from Philly to Hershey with Jerry Brisco in a sleet ice storm. And my Native American compadre was not really happy driving on the ice and I was even less happy. But all the way there from Philly in slow traffic, I recited that promo. I had bullet points and I started putting all the sentences together. So when I got to TV, I had the promo down so I was confident I was gonna be able to do that.
On How He Felt Going Into The Angle:
I was excited about it, because it was something new. Again, thinking if I’m still going to go back to the commentary booth, I’m gonna be a little bit more edgy and so forth, so on, it’s all fine. But some of the things I said in the promo got cheered! So I don’t know, it’s like swimming upstream. I didn’t mind trying it, but I sure as hell had no envisions whatsoever of becoming a quote-unquote ‘heel manager.’ I’m not Jim Cornette or Bobby Heenan or Gary Hart, or any of those great ones. I’m just not. That’s not my skillset. So I didn’t feel good about stepping into that world, but that hadn’t really been determined.
On The Curtain Call Benefiting Austin & Kane’s Career:
It’s ironic here that the Curtain Call indirectly helped everybody discover the Stone Cold Steve Austin character. The Curtain Call as it would play out, helped Glenn Jacobs get rid of Doctor Yankem, have a stop-off as the phony Diesel, but more importantly it took him to Kane. And Kane became one of the longest-running main event stars in the history of the company. So when you go back and say ‘Boy look at all the damage that happened in the Garden [due to the Curtain Call].’ Well first of all, we know the Garden wasn’t killed, business continued. It helped create a new atmosphere, new attitude for WWE. And just in the sense of two guys, Steve Austin and Kane, they were byproducts of that chaos. That’s called a win to me. So the Curtain Call was what it was, unsavory to some. I get it. But the fact that we could get Austin and Kane both out of that scenario, squeeze that out of the fruit. Pretty damned good.
You can listen to the full interview below:
Credit: Grilling JR. H/T 411Mania.