[WWE] JR, Palumbo Returning; King Interview


– Last night on RAW, it was announced that Jim Ross will be returning in some sort of announcer role at Saturday Night’s Main Event. The storyline reason for this was Vince McMahon wants to bring in “an official member of the Kiss My Ass Club” for the special occassion of HBK vs. Shane in a street fight. Jim Ross was interviewed by WWE.com here. Some excerpts:

“[Coming back] was Mr. McMahon’s idea, and I thought it was a great opportunity to get back in the game a little bit. Hopefully, it’s the right decision for all involved. I’m excited about it. But ultimately, it was Mr. McMahon’s idea. His motives are whatever they are.”

“I want to be respectful of [McMahon’s] power, and give him plenty of room to operate. But I still plan on coming back and having some fun and leave the past in the past. I feel like it’s a fresh start for me. As for hard feelings, I don’t have any hard feelings any more than a normal guy would on how things materialized and how I left the air. I can’t change what occurred, so all I could do is try to affect the future.”

“[The way I was fired on RAW] didn’t kill me. I’ve been involved in a lot of unusual situations on TV over the years that none of my predecessors encountered. I was Pedigreed by Chyna. I had my arm broken by Triple H. I was burned by Kane. I was beat up by Stone Cold Steve Austin. I kissed Mr. McMahon’s ass, joining the exclusive club. And I got the living hell beat out of me in Madison Square Garden, just to name a few. So it wasn’t like I hadn’t experienced unusual situations before. But the finality of not being on the air was probably the hardest to live with for a while because I was having withdrawal from not being on Monday nights.”

“I look at that surgery as a positive point because it forced me to change the way I was living my life. Over the years, I think I’ll be able to look back and say that it was a turning point. I got some of my life back by having that surgery.”

“To be honest with you, I haven’t felt this good in years. I have a lot more energy and the infection is long gone and I’m rebuilding my strength. I’ve never done more work at any point in my adult life on the treadmill. I’m hitting high marks on my personal best at 54 years of age. It’s all backwards. I should have been doing it all along, but that wasn’t the case. I made a lot wrong decisions. If I write a book, I could write a whole chapter on abusing myself just out of ignorance. You just can’t work 12-hour days everyday in a very stressful environment without taking better care of yourself. You can’t internalize it or just have another cocktail. You need to do other things and I’m doing those things now and have been able to recapture my health. I look at my health as I had a gift given back to me. That tumor could have just as easily had cancer in it, but it didn’t. So I look at it as I have a second chance at life. Now I’m going to make the best out of whatever time I have left, that includes the time I have in the business that I’ve been a part of for so many years and the fans of WWE.”

“…I think my RAW days are over…I think it’s Joey’s show to do now and let him grow into the role and get settled in and get a rhythm and comfort level that he could really perform in. I think that’s what they need to do. I don’t see myself back on RAW on a regular basis. I certainly wouldn’t mind doing some appearances from time to time, though.”

“I would only want to do [The Ross Report on WWE.com] if I could be totally honest. I was always honest before, but there were subjects I didn’t want to approach. So if I was given the opportunity to talk about anything that is pertinent to the product and be honest about those opinions, then I would be very interested in expressing myself on WWE.com on a weekly basis or even more.”

“[Steve Austin] was really there when I was ill. He made a lot of phone calls. He was right there the whole journey, which I appreciate.”

“I think that the cruiserweights are underutilized. There are some tremendous athletes in that division that I enjoy watching – Kendrick, London, Noble, Helms, Nunzio, Psicosis, Super Crazy – you can’t have a bad match with any of those guys. So it’s just a matter of investing in their personas and them rising to the occasion and getting it done. I know there are some live events where London and Kendrick are wrestling MNM for the tag titles. That’s the opportunity of a lifetime for Kendrick and London. Somebody just threw them the ball, I hope they realized it. Now go out and turn it on.”

“From what I understand , it will be Tazz, The King and me [in the booth on Saturday]. Tazz and King will represent their brands and I’m representing the fans and WWE period. I have to leave my RAW allegiance where I left it and run that broadcast.”

– In JR’s interview he also talks about Vern Gagne’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. WWE.com has posted a profile of Gagne here.

– WWE.com has posted an interview with Jerry “The King” Lawler on JR’s return here.

– Chuck Palumbo has been re-hired by WWE, and an interview with the former multiple-time tag champion can be read here.

– Also on WWE.com: video promos from the Big Show and John Cena about SNME, the latest episodes of Velocity (featuring MNM vs. the Hooliganz) and Heat (featuring Goldust vs. Conway), video from last night’s Unlimited, the two Edge “coming attractions” videos, and more.

Matthew Michaels is editor emeritus of Pulse Wrestling, and has been since the site launched.