As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently caught up with Edge and Christian on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness. Among other things, 'J.R.' talked about how he got the talent relations gig in WWE when his background was in broadcasting. Also, Edge and Christian shared stories of how Ross helped them out along the way on their pro wrestling odysseys.
According to Ross, he got into talent relations at WWE because there was an edict to keep him off TV after a bout with Bells Palsy.
"One of my sabbaticals, when I came back, Vince took me in helping J.J. [Dillon] do some things because they didn't really have another spot for me. And at one point, I came back, and I was definitely, without a doubt, 'don't ask - it's not going to happen' be on television again. And I said, 'fine'. I was either going to be a producer or work in talent relations." Ross explained, "my big deal was helping J.J. And then, all-of-a-sudden, the Friday before Shane and Marissa [McMahon] got married, J.J. bolted and not in a nice way. He was very angry, and upset, and so forth. So, and, he had his issues and J.J. is a damn good man, really good man. So, anyhow, J.J. left, and, at that time, the plot thickens, I'm in South Africa producing a TV show with Bruce Prichard. So Bruce says, I can't remember exactly how the conversation went, but I knew right away and he told me about J.J. leaving and then also, I think he said that or the next call, somewhere close to that he had expressed to Vince the desire to be the head of talent relations and he got that job. Then, Vince calls me in and gives me a crazy new title, so Bruce was VP Of Talent Relations and I was VP Of Wrestling Administration. Yeah, exactly. So we found out that Bruce was much more valuable than I before, then, or since, creatively, and I may have had a little more value than he on the administration and organizational side. So basically, we ended up migrating into the roles we were best suited to do."
Apparently, Ross gave Edge a signing bonus of $40,000 to pay off his student loans. The Humber College graduate said the signing bonus changed his life.
"Let's talk about that real briefly because I've had people doubt whether that happened. It happened." Edge continued, "well, I'm going to tell you for my end as a kid coming out of college, who owed $40,000.00, which was more than money than I ever made in a year, and no way in the future besides my only goal to pay it, $40,000 at that time is a chunk of change and it's still a chunk of change for a lot of people. And I remember thinking to myself, 'okay, now I'm signed. Right, the first thing I've got to do is pay off this debt.' And [Ross] paid it off. It was a signing bonus and I've never, ever forgotten that because it got me out of a hole. Now I was starting at zero, and, man, it put me in such a different place."
Ross downplayed the signing bonus, saying it was the right thing to do and that he was glad that it allowed Edge to fully focus on realizing his dreams.
"I remember helping [Edge] out, but I didn't look at it as a big, magnanimous gesture on my end. It just seemed like the right thing to do." Ross added, "there you go. Psychologically, [Edge was] ready to rock and roll."
Also, Christian noted that Ross sent him a performance bonus for doing a good job on live events.
"Man, I remember when we first started out and we were doing a series of live events," Christian recalled. "We were on the road, we were wrestling The Hardys, and [Ross] at the time used to write like a monthly report that just went out to the locker room, just kind of brushing everybody up, and just basically saying what was going on, and all those sorts of things. I remember one little blurb in there, you said, 'and thanks to Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz for putting on great performances at the live events,' something to that effect. And then, I'll never forget, when I went home, there was a performance bonus check in my mailbox. You gave us a performance bonus, so that's one thing I'll never forget that you did."
Get rolled up by Paul Smackage here. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness