WWE News: Jim Ross talks about The Rock-Steve Austin Wrestlemania rivalry and more
Ross also commented on The Rock's remarkable rise to fame in Hollywood.
What’s the story?
Iconic WWE commentator Jim Ross recently appeared on an interview with The Sun where he spoke at length about the rivalry between The Rock and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and why it is the greatest in the history of the WWE. In addition to this, he also admitted that he had never imagined The Rock becoming such a huge Hollywood superstar. Here’s what Ross said during the conversation:
“When I signed him I had no idea he was going to be the biggest movie star in the world, but I did think he had the chance to be a very special pro wrestler, and he was that and more.”
In case you didn’t know...
Perhaps two of the biggest superstars in the business, Austin and The Rock battled each other not once but thrice at Wrestlemania over a period of 5 years. The first two encounters, which happened at Wrestlemania 15 and 17 in 1999 and 2001 respectively, saw ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ emerge the winner and become the WWE (then WWF) Champion on both occasions.
However, ‘The Brahma Bull’ redeemed himself by beating ‘Stone Cold’ at Wrestlemania 19 in a non-title match. According to Jim Ross, those three matches between these two ‘Attitude Era’ icons are the best that he has called during his illustrious commentary career. This is how ‘Good Ol’ JR’ described how he felt about the matches:
“I’ve been so blessed to call great matches in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but the matches that were the most significant were the three main events that Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock had at WrestleMania – 15, 17 and 19. Although those three matches were excellent, what they meant to the business and what they meant to the talents were really special.”
The heart of the matter
Ross has easily the most reputed commentator in the pro-wrestling world over the past few decades and has been calling matches since the 1970s. His association with the WWE began back in the early 1990s and he went on be known as the ‘Voice Of The WWE’ during a journey which lasted 21 years.
His experience implies that he has seen the best and worst of the company and has also witnessed great rivalries among the finest wrestlers to have stepped inside a WWE ring. For him to put the rivalry between Steve Austin and The Rock above all the others that Ross has seen speaks volumes of how these two stars propelled the business to unprecedented heights.
Here’s why Jim Ross rates the iconic rivalry as the greatest ever:
“There were a lot of great ones, but If I had to pick out a series or a rivalry I’d pick out The Rock and Austin because of what they meant to WWE at the time, and the business in general and where their lives have taken them since. They established that great fanbase in WWE, and certainly in Rock’s case, he’s been able to parlay that into an amazing career.”
Most recently, Jim Ross signed up with British television network, ITV, to provide commentary for the inaugural episode of their World of Sport Wrestling show which was aired on New Year’s Eve. Since quitting the WWE in 2014, Ross has called for other promotions including New Japan Pro Wrestling and What Culture Pro Wrestling. While it is unlikely that the WWE Hall of Famer may call matches for his former company in the future, he may end up making a special appearance some day.
Although it is hard to downplay some of the epic rivalries that we have seen in the WWE over the years, we can certainly agree with Good Ol’ JR’s opinion about the Austin-Rock affair, which spread across 3 Wrestlemania PPVs in 5 years, being the greatest.
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