Jim Ross Comments On Running A SmackDown TV Taping After 9/11, Vince McMahon

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During a recent edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and AEW commentator Jim Ross commented on WWE running a SmackDown TV taping two days after 9/11, Vince McMahon’s opening promo, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On WWE’s decision to go on with the show after the events of 9/11: “We looked at both sides of the issue. Are there gonna be naysayers if we do it? Of there are. But we’re all in uncharted waters. What do you do? What is the right thing to do? I don’t know if there’s a definitive answer to that because it’s a very personal thing. What we wanted to do, and I think we pulled it off, is give everybody a little tag out of the moment and show our respect to those who lost their lives and their families and get away from those images of the Twin Towers being struck. I thought we had the right motive, and I didn’t even know I was gonna do that show until we got to the building. Michael Cole and Tazz were the hosts of SmackDown, and Paul Heyman and I did the show. That was a Vince call. I don’t think any of us knew how to react. We were still fumbling around trying to figure out what happened, why it happened, and what’s next. Are we safe, are we not safe?”

On the format of the show: “It seemed to be the way to present it. It seemed to be the right way of doing it. I think when kids or impressionable fans saw their heroes or favorites expressing themselves as a human being and not as a pro wrestler, I think it had significance. It’s good to know what a talent is thinking as a man, as a father. A lot of our crew was in the Northeast, so I don’t know how many people it affected personally. I know there were some people on the crew that lost people. It affected everybody, and it continues to affect everybody. I think that was the way to go with it. The matches were what they were. It really wasn’t a wrestling show, it was a tribute show that had pro wrestling as a backdrop.”

On Vince McMahon’s opening promo: “That was Vince’s most significant promo he ever did. What you just played was the most significant promo, I think, that Vince ever delivered before or since. He did a hell of a job there. It came from the heart. And the more we talked about this matter, the more motivated and invested he became. He was talking from his heart, and that’s how you do a great promo. I don’t want to compare what Vince said to a wrestling promo, but he was in the ring on a wrestling show and cutting a promo, so there were some commonalities there. It was natural, it was organic, and it was real. I hadn’t heard that in 20 years. I remember where we were sitting and standing. It’s hard to suppress those memories once you get reminded of them.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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