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Jim Ross On Whether Mike Tyson Was Pitched To Wrestle, Dealing With Shawn Michaels In The Attitude Era

February 21, 2023 | Posted by Bob Colling
Steve Austin WrestleMania 14 MIke Tyson Image Credit: WWE

On a recent episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed In Your House: No Way Out 1998. Topics included Mike Tyson coming into WWE and if it was discussed for him to wrestle, and Shawn Michaels being a headache during the Attitude Era. Some highlights are below.

On if he knew that Mike Tyson being on Raw would be one of the biggest moments: “I didn’t go that far with it because I wasn’t sure and we didn’t have a lot of momentum, which I’m big on the momentum. We didn’t have a great deal of it stored in a closet ready to break out and use. We were all very, very hopeful. The investment was significant in his fee and he’s high maintenance and we knew that going in. I think that’s why Vince, I think Vince kind of seemingly maybe unofficially assigned Shane McMahon to be the babysitter. I remember one time I was in a meeting with Vince and Shane came in and Mike wanted a motorcycle. Vince being the old promoter that he is didn’t want anything to stand in the way of Mike’s happiness and productivity. So, buy him a — motorcycle and that’s what they did.”

On if Mike Tyson wrestling was ever pitched: “ I think the idea is the bottom line is that we never considered Mike to wrestle. You’re not going to put an untrained brute in the ring with a guy that you’re counting on to lead the company who has a bad neck. You’re just not going to do it. It’s a risk reward scenario that’s out of proportion. So, Mike was never considered, at least to my knowledge, that look in some meeting somewhere through the rpocess was it ever mentioned? I’m sure it was. Why wouldn’t it be? But, I think the bottom line was that we wanted Mike to bring light to this Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania at 14 and move on from there.”

On how much of a headache Shawn Michaels was in the era: “Well, Shawn Michaels had Vince’s ear so Shawn had a free ticket to do pretty much anything he wanted because he was such a good salesman for his own stuff that he could convince you that this is a good idea. But, if anybody else in the roster had come to us with something along those same lines it would have never made television. Shawn was a special case in that regard and Vince let him roll with his instincts probably as much as anybody that we know, that we could talk about.”

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