Jim Ross comments on the reception he got from the Orlando crowd at Camping World Stadium for Wrestlemania 33:
I was completely impervious. I was so focused on taking a step at a time, not wanting to trip and fall like an old fool and break my hip. It was a surreal, slow motion, distorted audio thing. I haven’t watched it back yet, but I will. I’m just preparing myself for that. But I was told it got a real good reaction, but I need to hear it back on TV to hear how it sound. A lot of my friends were in the arena, so it was really neat.JR says he did interact with Undertaker after his final match at Wrestlemania 33:
I was thinking about my wife, but I didn’t want to fixate on that. Because I didn’t want to start crying about it, to be frank. Those that say, “Oh, he’s just a wrestling guy.” They have, unfortunately, never experienced the love of their fan base like I’ve experienced from mine. And I feel for them, because there’s nothing really like it in the world. People I’ve never even met believe they know me because they grew up with me. I feel a certain obligation to not let them down, which was why I kept my bookings in Orlando. I met all my obligations. My wife would have wanted that, and it was a great moment in her memory.
Yes, I did. And I had interactions with him before. He used an RV as his dressing area. I went in his RV when I arrived hours before we were going on. So we had a very good personal conversation. We’ve been joined at the hip for a long, long time, even back to the WCW days. I helped get him into WCW from World Class Championship Wrestling. I thought at the time, you don’t see too many 6-foot-9, 300-pound guys who were athletic. Young Mark Calaway was an athletic beast. So we had a nice conversation. [And after the match], a big hug afterward. I cried, he didn’t want to cry, though he might have had a tear. It was very emotional for him afterward, and I didn’t want to monopolize his time. It sure as hell wasn’t about me, it was about him. What he helped facilitate for me was the greatest honor I have received in wrestling. I’ve been in three Halls Of Fame, and they pale in comparison to having a legendary guy wanting to bring me back—whether I was under contract or not—to be part of the broadcast team, so I can add to his soundtrack of that match. It was a really emotional day.JR on which talents intrigue him coming out of Wrestlemania 33:
I was told by others that Mark and Vince collaborated, and they talked about it. Mark had a suggestion, Vince thought it was a great idea. Look, there’s one captain of the ship, and I give Vince a hell of a lot of credit, because if it wasn’t for him facilitating it, it wouldn’t have happened. I’m very grateful for both guys. It was quite the honor.
I like the guys who were in the main event tag team match on Raw: Kevin Owens, Finn Bálor, Seth Rollins, and Samoa Joe. You can’t go wrong by giving those guys increased playing team and more valuable minutes in the hopes that as their evolution continues, that the fans will accept them on the level that they would have accepted Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, or The Rock. Big stars. Somebody on the roster—hoping more than one—have got to have a breakthrough and become the next big thing. It might be Roman Reigns, it might be A.J. Styles, I don’t know. The fans have got to connect with the talent. The good news is, the WWE has several talents that are on the cusp, that their work will certainly support the increased role, but they still have to make that all important emotional connection to the audience. And there’s just no formula for that, it either happens or it doesn’t. But it’s largely up to the talents to make the connection to that audience.
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