On the latest episode of “Grilling JR”, Jim Ross discussed the landscape of the WWE during 1999. One of the topics he discussed was whether or not rumors of there being heat between Steve Austin & The Rock were true. Here are the highlights:
On The Rivalry:
I never thought it was a big negative thing, Steve and Dwayne’s relationship. I would have been very, very disappointed in both those guys if they didn’t have a competitive feel for each other. Austin didn’t associate with anybody that I can remember on a personal level. He just wasn’t that kind of guy. He did his work and he went home. But I liked the competitive nature.
On Tension Between The Two Being Overblown:
Look, here’s the other deal. We leave out a lot of things, and I didn’t see Wade [Keller] talk about, ‘Well, how did the Undertaker take this deal?’ How’s some of the other top babyfaces take the Rock getting over and flipping to a babyface? It’s inevitable when you have a young, brilliant stallion of a heel, that at some point in time because of his look, his athleticism, his overall charisma, that he’s going to become a fan favorite to some degree. Austin became a fan favorite as this kick-ass babyface, and Rock became a huge babyface by being a smooth, silkier more of a wrestler, Austin was more of a brawler. So they had different styles.
On Having An Appreciation For Their Competitiveness:
But I applaud the fact that they wanted to compete. And I’ll tell you, they weren’t the only guys who wanted that spot. That’s THE spot, man. So I liked the whole dichotomy of the way they work. And I never had one time that I can ever recall — and both those guys are friends of mine, and I had close relationships with both of them at that time and today. But shoot, I don’t remember them coming to me and say, ‘You’ve gotta get that son of a b**ch straightened up, or I’m gonna go home.’ Or ‘Hey, Jim, what the hell’s the deal with…’ Nothing. They’re both jocks, they’re both alpha males. They both were high motivated, high overacheiving dudes. So anything less than being competitive, I’m not trying to kick Wade Keller under the bus here, but really? Was it really that big a story?
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Credit: Grilling JR. H/T 411Mania.com