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Bruce Prichard Recalls Vince McMahon Releasing Jim Ross Shortly After Bell’s Palsy Attack, Awkward Phone Call Before Prichard Was Told

July 22, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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– Bruce Prichard discussed the situation when Jim Ross was let go by WWE in 1994, shortly after Ross’ Bell’s palsy attack, in the latest Something to Wrestle With. Ross was told by Vince McMahon that his contract wasn’t being renewed and that his services wouldn’t be needed for the last couple of months on February 11th, less than two weeks after his first attack on January 30th. Prichard remembered that, to the best of his knowledge, Ross was not fired and the rest of his contract was paid out, but also discussed an awkward conversation he had with Ross on the phone the morning JR was informed but before Prichard himself had been told.

Highlights from the discussion, as well as the full podcast, are below:

On whether Ross was fired or his contract wasn’t renewed: “The whole ‘letting him out of his contract,’ or saying they weren’t going to — and again, the way that it was presented to me after the fact was that they were just not going to renew his contract. And I’m pretty sure he got paid all the way through whatever the commitment was.”

On talking with Ross before Prichard found out about the release: “Here’s where the bad part comes in. Jim calls me the night before to tell me that he’s gotta go into the office first thing in the morning. Well, I lived up, kind of up a little bit higher than Jim did. And I had a four-wheel drive vehicle. Jim had a Lincoln two-wheel drive, and going up the hill sometimes could be difficult. And we had a horrible snowstorm, and ice and all this s**t. And I know that Jim’s gotta get going in the morning. So I go in the office a little bit later, and I’m sitting in my office and I call Jim. And I’m laughing my ass off, going, ‘Hey, how was it getting up that hill this morning! Ha ha ha, they didn’t come and plow until like, f**king 8:30, 9:00. You must have slid down that motherf**ker.” And he ain’t laughing. And he says, ‘Well Brucey, you talk to Vince yet?’ I said, ‘No, I haven’t seen him, man. What’s up? How was your meeting?’ ‘Well, maybe you need to talk to Vince.’

On finding out that Ross had been let go: “As he’s saying this, Vince is walking down the hall and knocks on my door and Pat’s door, and says ‘Hey, I need to talk to you guys real quick.’ I said, ‘Hey, Vince is here right now, I’ll call you back.’ Hang up, Pat and Vince came into my office, shut the door. He says, ‘Hey, I just wanna let you guys know we’re not gonna renew Jim Ross’ contract, and I made it effective immediately. We’ll continue paying him, I think he has a couple months left on it, whatever it is. But we’re not gonna be using him going forward.’ And I’m just staring at him. He goes, ‘What?’ I said, ‘I just f**king got off the phone with him, busting his balls about trying to get up the icy f**king ramp at the townhouse! And he asked me if I talked to you. You think you could have given me a f**king heads up?’ And he said, ‘Bruce, if I had done that, then you would have known. And then when he asks you [if] you knew, you would have had to lie to him. I didn’t want to put you in that position. And you would have been weird around him and everything else.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s kind of f**king weird and s**tty that I’m calling him and f**king with him about getting up a hill, and he’s been fired!’ He said, ‘I didn’t fire him. I’m just not renewing his contract.'”

On Ross accusing him of knowing: “I called Jim back, and I said, ‘Man, sorry I didn’t know.’ He says, ‘Yeah, right. Sure you didn’t.’ Because Pat and I knew everything of course, you know, yeah, yeah. And that — Vince was very particular about telling us. He wouldn’t tell us when he was letting people go, and s**t like that, so we wouldn’t be in that weird position of you know that someone’s being let go, but yet you can’t say anything yet. And I had no clue. No clue at all. But I did know that Vince was upset that Jim continued to resist the cowboy hat, and continued to resist the tweaks that Vince wanted to make with his work.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle With with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.