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Jim Ross disliked controversial WWE finish that reminded him of Owen Hart's death

Jim Ross worked for WWE for a combined 22 years
Jim Ross worked for WWE for a combined 22 years
Danny Hart
Modified 15 Jan 2021, 01:04 IST

Jim Ross has revealed that he did not like the finish of Chyna’s match against Ivory at the 2001 WWE Royal Rumble. He felt that the post-match storyline development involving Chyna was reminiscent of Owen Hart’s death.

The match ended with Ivory pinning Chyna after The Ninth Wonder of the World suffered a storyline neck injury. Jim Ross then lowered the tone in his voice to sell the injury, while Jerry Lawler left the commentary desk to check on her.

Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross recalled that both he and Lawler behaved in the same way when Owen Hart died in 1999. The former WWE commentator felt that the finish was wrong and it should never have been booked that way.

“Any time you do a finish that harkens back to a tragedy, it’s wrong. Same theory of using religion or politics in a wrestling show. It’s wrong. You can’t gift-wrap it or make it look nice. Still, when you unwrap the package, it’s gonna smell like s***. And that whole thing was that way.”

Jim Ross added that WWE’s decision-makers chose to book the finish in that manner to protect Chyna’s character. He also clarified that Vince McMahon was likely unaware that the post-match scenes would bring back memories of the Owen Hart tragedy.

Jim Ross on Vince McMahon's instructions

Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross after Chyna
Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross after Chyna's storyline injury

Vince McMahon has been known to give WWE commentators feedback live on the air during shows. Jim Ross said the WWE Chairman told him to talk very seriously and in a low tone.

“I knew that the finish was going to be a little bit left-handed, for the lack of a better term. Vince specifically in my ear was making sure I sold it in the way that we just described, you know. ‘Lower your tones, it’s very serious.’”

Jim Ross thought the finish was a “no-win” situation due to the memories that it conjured up for a lot of people.

Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to SK Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.

Published 15 Jan 2021, 01:03 IST
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