Jim Ross believes WWE’s creative team sometimes showed a lack of respect for the wrestling business.
In 1996, Steve Austin wanted to reinvent himself as a cold-blooded character after initially debuting in WWE as The Ringmaster. The former WCW star was given a list of possible new ring names, including Chilly McFreeze and Ice Dagger.
The latest episode of Grilling JR revolved around Austin’s first 12 months in WWE. Reflecting on his friend’s transition from The Ringmaster to Stone Cold, Jim Ross accused some behind-the-scenes personnel of not truly caring about wrestling:
“That comes out of a marketing meeting or it comes out of a room filled with people, most of them don’t have product knowledge and are not fans, and they’re tongue-in-cheeking it. It shows you their lack of respect, in general, for the business. Chilly McFreeze… are you sh***ing me?”
Austin eventually became known as Stone Cold after his ex-wife warned that his tea would go “stone cold” if he did not drink it. The three-time Royal Rumble winner immediately liked the phrase and decided to use it as his nickname.
Jim Ross gave his brutally honest opinion in WWE meetings
Although he is best known as a commentator, Jim Ross also worked in various behind-the-scenes roles during his 22 years in WWE. His responsibilities included managing superstars’ contracts and overseeing live event booking.
As an important member of WWE management, the 69-year-old had no problem telling members of the creative team that their ideas were not good enough.
“I wasn’t so popular in some of those meetings, because I’d walk in and say, ‘We’re having a meeting so you can present this s***? You’ve gotta be kidding me, fellas, ladies, gentlemen, whatever.’ But it [the Chilly McFreeze pitch] was horrible, it was horrible,” Ross said.
Fortunately, Steve Austin’s decision to call himself Stone Cold worked out for the best. The Texas Rattlesnake went on to become a six-time WWE Champion and one of the biggest names in wrestling history.
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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