Jim Ross played a key role in WWE not just as a commentator but also as the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, in the past. He played a role in bringing wrestlers to the company, negotiating deals, and also looking out for them.
One Superstar that the current AEW commentator was in charge of handling was Yokozuna, who was an important talent in WWE in the 90s. Yokozuna sadly passed away in 2000, four years after his release by WWE.
Jim Ross recently spoke about the WWE Hall of Famer, and why WWE released him.
Jimm Ross reveals Yokozuna's weight when released by WWE
JR, in his Grilling JR podcast, spoke about Yokozuna and how WWE wanted him to lose weight. WWE sent Yokozuna and Vader to Duke University to help both of them reduce weight, but both Superstars returned to WWE weighing more than they did when they joined the programme. He revealed that the two had been sneaking out to eat in the evenings.
WWE eventually released Yokozuna from the company, not just because of his weight issues, but because of the heart ailment that he had. JR said that he kept in contact with Yokozuna even after his release from WWE, and that he weighed 600 pounds - 200 pounds more than the desired weight for him to make a return to WWE:
"I would talk to him (Yokozuna) sporadically in my role. Just to touch base with him and see how he was feeling. Obviously, we wanted him to come back. The 400 pound number was the number - we thought that if he got to that level, he could better address his heart issues. He was 200 plus over that. He's got to pass a physical, and he couldn't; it's simple as that." (H/T WrestlingInc)
JR said that WWE tried to help him and they could have retained him if he had lost weight to get to the 400-pound mark as the heart issue could have been managed by them.
Yokozuna passed away due to fluid accumulating in his lungs, in 2000. When he died in 2000, he weighed 580 pounds.Published 09 Oct 2020, 17:32 IST