Jim Ross

Jim Ross Comments on RVD Getting Backstage Heat for What He Told Vince McMahon


During the latest edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross commented on Rob Van Dam getting backstage heat because he told Vince McMahon in 2005 that he did not want to go to Iraq for the Tribute to the Troops special. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On how Laurinaitis should have protected RVD rather than tell RVD to go tell Vince himself: “First of all, managers should protect their talents, especially, you don’t throw one in the dog pan with a guy like Vince who is very patriotic and will not look at this decision to not go favorably in any light. It’s a damn loser from the get go, that process.”

On if there was heat on RVD for this: “Of course. Of course there was. Vince looked at it as an unpatriotic act, more or less. And look, I admire, and always have, Vince McMahon’s patriotism, and the United States should love him because he pays a shitload of taxes, and I know he’s legit about his love of Dr. Martin Luther King, amen to that. But you know sometimes you can take this stuff too far. Here’s the deal. Here’s how I would have addressed that. Vince, he doesn’t want to go, he’s not comfortable going, I don’t have to give him any reasons unless Vince asks me. That’s all he needed to know, he doesn’t want to go. And so we can force him to go, or he could violate his contract, and then all of a sudden, who wins in that pissing contest? Nobody. We got a roster full of people that are talented, popular, and have name identity, that these soldiers will be grateful to see. It’s not a Rob Van Dam show. He’s not the whole F’N show on this trip. So Tribute to the Troops is a unique deal, it’s an ensemble cast, so there are a lot of talents that could have gone without making this big issue and having Rob go talk to Vince. I just didn’t understand that logic. And maybe Laurinaitis had a good reason, it might be one of his first ones.”

On if RVD ever recovered for not wanting to go to Iraq: “I don’t know if Rob ever quite got over all that. I might be wrong, or maybe I’m overreacting. But I don’t think he quite ever got over that deal. It was a real simple thing, man. He was tired, he was broke down, he worked a very physical and demanding style, I would have had no issues whatsoever in saying, OK, you’re unbooked, and I’ll get somebody else to go, because a lot of people wanted to go. You think the majority of the talent wanted to go to Tribute to the Troops? Are you insane? They loved it when they got there, they loved the hype of going, they loved when they got back and got to be in the video packages, but they goddamn sure didn’t like the travel on an army freighter or whatever the hell it was. There were a lot of guys that didn’t want to go, but they didn’t have the cajones like RVD to speak his mind. I wasn’t there in that mix, I was at the show obviously, but I thought that as long as Rob went in to converse and not confront, his point would be made and heard, if he goes in to confront and demand, it’s just not going to work, nobody wins now. Thanks for coming.”

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