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Jim Ross On Why Ken Shamrock’s Push Was Cut Short, Recalls Issues With Shamrock Missing Shows, Confronting Him

June 20, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ken Shamrock The Rock Dwayne Johnson

– On the latest Grilling JR, Jim Ross talked about why Ken Shamrock never got the main event push he seemed destined for. Shamrock had a serious hot streak when he came to WWE and feuded with some of the core people of the era like Bret Hart, The Rock, Mick Foley, and D-X. He won the Intercontinental Championship and the 1998 King of the Ring, and seemed destined for a main event run, but his push stalled and he left the company in 1999 to return to MMA.

Highlights from JR’s comments are below along with the podcast in full:

On having reliability issues with Shamrock: “Kenny had some issues … I had a situation where he missed a town because he had partied a little heavy. And I think he had some company, shall we say, in his room, and they all overslept. I wanna say he was booked at El Paso. And all due respect to El Paso and their great cuisine, there ain’t a lot of flights getting out of there from wherever the hell they were. He missed his flight, the next flight was not getting there until after the show’s over, so he didn’t even go. So that was a weekend deal, so of course I gotta bring him to the principal’s office so to speak on Monday at Raw. And you know, ‘You can’t do this,’ you give him a little fine, reprimand. ‘Kenny, you gotta — reliability, buddy. We can’t rely on you to make the damn towns, how you gonna get a [push]? You want a push, you wanna make a lot of money, right?’ ‘Yeah! I deserve it!’ ‘Well, guys that deserve it go to work.’ And you know, I always had Jerry Brisco around, just so he could pull Kenny off of me if he started to kill me.”

On missing a second show: “And then he missed another one several weeks [later], but in the same ballpark. So I sent somebody for him at a TV [taping]. And I remember there was a loading dock, big loading dock. So I told Brisco, ‘Look, I gotta go out to talk to Shamrock. He ain’t gonna like what I got to say. If I ain’t back in about 10 or 15 minutes, somebody come get me and take me to the hospital, will you?’ [I meant it] kind of half-assed, tongue-in-cheek, but you know, he had a short fuse, man. He was a little unpredictable. I said, ‘Kenny, we had this conversation. Apparently you didn’t give a s**t, and apparently I don’t mean nothing in your life where you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do anyway. But that’s not how it’s gonna work here. So here’s where we are. I’m gonna fine you a week’s pay for missing this town. And no, you would not have made nearly this much money on the pay off the town. But I don’t know any other way to reach you.’ And I think he was making at that time maybe 250, 300K. Maybe 250 on the low end, so about five grand a week. I said ‘So I’m gonna fine you your week, or we can part ways. We can’t do business this way.’ And I said, ‘I talked to Vince about it. We’re very disappointed, we see great things in you.’ And he apologized, showed he was contrite. But it still cost him $5,000. And we laughed about that, thank God, in Las Vegas. But he had matured now.”

On Shamrock having a desire to get back into MMA at the time: “Kenny got more responsibility, he was booked a lot. I had him booked where if we run a show, he’s there. But I guess he got a little bit burned out on the road, and he had opportunities and offers, significant offers, to go back into MMA. And in MMA, instead of him wrestling five nights a week or four nights a week for WWE, he could fight two, three times a year in MMA and make good money. And be home training, except for fight week or something. And so that’s what we discussed. And when he left, I said, ‘The door’s open, you can come back any time you want. We don’t wanna lose you.’ The circle never got completed, he never came back, but he ended in a good rapport with the company. But a lot of that’s because he got clean and sober. Because he’s a different cat [when he’s drunk]. He’s threatening, he’s a dangerous son of a b***h. I’ve got a good rapport with him now, thank God. But he wanted to go back and fight. He felt like he left money on the table, and he had unfinished business to do in the Octagon or cage, whatever. So that’s why the push kind of ceased. We had to kind of back off of it till we could figure out if he’s gonna come to work on time regularly. Because there wasn’t anything else after $5,000, after a week’s pay getting fined. What’s left? I’ll tell you what’s left, we’ll terminate you.”

On how high Shamrock could have risen: “Let me tell you, he was very very close to becoming a megastar in WWE. Very, very close, in my opinion, of getting over in a big way. I’m talking about being atop the card at WrestleManias or whatever. People believed in him, as they should have. Because he was damned sure real. He wasn’t playing the character of someone with a fictitious name they couldn’t believe in. He knew what he could do, and everything he did was so damned smooth and realistic. So he was that close, that close to becoming a major star. And losing him to go back to MMA hurt us. It wasn’t a good thing, because we put a lot of money into him, a lot of time.”

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

article topics :

Jim Ross, Ken Shamrock, WWE, Jeremy Thomas