WWE News: Jim Ross on real-life heat between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin
What's the story?
On an edition of Grilling JR, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross spoke with co-host Conrad Thompson on a myriad of topics; most prominently addressing the long-running rumors of real-life backstage heat between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
Weighing in with his two cents on the same, Ross asserted that he never looked at the perceived real-life heat between The Rock and Austin as a negative thing per se.
In fact, Ross noted that Austin didn't really associate with anyone backstage in the WWE, alluding that the heat between Austin and The Rock was largely nothing more than healthy competition.
In case you didn't know...
During the Monday Night Ratings war between the WWE and WCW, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock turned out to be the WWE's biggest stars, who alongside fellow top-tier names such as The Undertaker, Kane, Triple H and others, went on to help WWE defeat WCW.
However, given the highly competitive nature of the pro wrestling business in general, the competition between performers was not only cross-promotional, but also existed between members within a given organization. For instance, the professional wrestling community had, for long speculated about real-life heat and high levels of competitiveness between Austin and The Rock during their prime in the WWE.
The heart of the matter
Intriguingly, the conversation between Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson shifted toward the topic of The Rock ascending to the top of the WWE food chain during a time when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was already the company's top star.
The gist of the aforesaid conversation was that Rocky's meteoric rise to the top, combined with Austin's competitiveness as well as the fact that The Rock is about 7 years younger than Austin. This may have led to real-life backstage heat between the two pro wrestling icons back in the day.
Ross chimed in with his thoughts on the aforementioned theory, and insinuated that a sort of healthy competition did exist between The Rock and Austin. JR stated:
"I never thought it was a big negative thing, Steve and Dwayne's relationship. I would've been very, very disappointed in both those guys, if they didn't have this competitive feel with each other at work."
"Austin never associated with anybody at work that I can remember on a personal level. And, he just wasn't that kind of guy. He did his work, and he went home. But I liked the competitive nature." (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Furthermore, Ross alluded that every generation of top WWE Superstars including big names such as The Undertaker have ups-and-downs in their respective careers, and eventually make way for the next big star to take pole position in the WWE.
The Rock is now regarded as one of the highest-grossing Hollywood stars of all time, and is undoubtedly also a professional wrestling icon.
On the other hand, Steve Austin is hailed as one of the all-time-greats in pro wrestling, and continues to appear in several reality shows and movies.
What are your thoughts on Jim Ross' statements regarding the real-life heat between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock back in the day? Sound off!