Jim Ross was partly responsible for assembling one of WWE's most impressive rosters in the early 2000s. The likes of Brock Lesnar and John Cena went on to become megastars over the next two decades. Nathan Jones, by contrast, only spent a year on SmackDown before quitting the company.
The Australian worked for WWE between 2002 and 2003. Prior to joining the wrestling business, he served seven years in a maximum-security prison after committing eight armed robberies between 1985 and 1987.
On his Grilling JR podcast, Ross explained how Jones' lack of social skills prevented him from progressing:
"I was very impressed. The eyeball test was pretty impressive, and he was a pretty bright guy, i.e., he could put sentences together. Physically, he turned heads, but Nathan was not ready to travel. We've had other guys there; their social skills didn't correspond to their look. It was a fait accompli with Nathan. He was unsteady, he was unstable, I thought, a little bit." [34:28 – 35:05]
Ross previously said that former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon viewed the powerlifter's hiring as a "calculated risk."
Why Nathan Jones suddenly left WWE
John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL) was an in-ring competitor when Nathan Jones appeared on the SmackDown brand.
The Hall of Famer spoke about Jones on his Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw podcast earlier this year. He revealed that his former co-worker abruptly walked out before a match in his hometown:
"We got down to Perth and remember before that Nathan Jones just quit talking. He was just rocking back and forth, and he was this massive man… this might not end well! He was going over [winning] that night, I believe. It was his hometown. He just grabbed his bag and walked out, literally walked out of the arena. Never came back."
Jones defeated Shannon Moore in his last televised match on the November 27, 2003, episode of SmackDown.
Do you have any memories of Nathan Jones in WWE? Let us know in the comments section below.
Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.
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