In a recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discusses Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit becoming world champions in WWE, their emotions at WrestleMania XX, Vince McMahon souring on them and more. You can read his comments below.
Jim Ross on Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit’s reaction to having world championship matches at WrestleMania XX:
“Eddie and Chris realized that it was a very special day for both of them being in championship matches in The Garden at WrestleMania. Who the hell would’ve thought that would’ve happened for two guys that were 5-7 or 5-8? Not to harp on that, but that was kind of the consensus. They’re great hands, but they’re never gonna be at the top of the card. That should give every smaller wrestler that’s wrestling today hope. If you get good enough at what you do bell to bell, anything is possible. On this night, those two guys proved that.”
On Eddie’s match with Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX:
“They were two guys that I knew could deliver because of their athletic, competitive nature, they’re gonna give you more than they need to. This was an awesome match I thought. It just indicated how good both guys are….I loved that match, and the crowd loved it. The other thing, the angle started several weeks – there was a several week buildup going into WrestleMania between these two guys. So, there was a clearly explained and understandable reason for them to fight. And then you add the title to it, and it made the title more prestigious. Between Kurt and Eddie, they made this thing personal. Great match.
On Benoit’s match with Triple H and Shawn Michaels:
“There was a nice little pregnant pause after Chris Benoit won the title and the confetti rained down. You saw the emotion of the crowd – real, true emotion. One of those opportunities where no matter how good an announcer is, there’s really no words to describe what you’re feeling or seeing. So, you let that soak in. And then there was Chris and Eddie getting together in the ring and did their hug. That took it to another place emotionally.
It also showed Triple H and Shawn being very unselfish. Someone may roll their eyes, but they were unselfish on that night because they gave the rub to Benoit. I liked the whole thing. I liked the fact that Eddie gave Chris his moment in the spotlight before he entered the equation. That was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever seen in pro wrestling. It was so real. They were crying real tears.
Jim Ross on Vince McMahon changing his stance on Eddie and Benoit:
“I think the guys on the roster kept encouraging Vince that we were traveling in the right direction. These two guys would be great representatives, and they were gonna be cheered. Every time they were in the ring, they were gonna have a great match or solid at worst. I just think it took a little bit of time. Breaking old habits and breaking the mold. It wasn’t automatic, but he saw it. Those two guys’ peers were very supportive of them. I think Hunter and Shawn looking at potential opponents going forward, how good does it get? You’ve got Eddie and Benoit. I think that was another reason. Everybody wanted to work with Benoit and Eddie. Why wouldn’t you? They were maestros. They had so much support from the locker room that it could not be ignored.”
h/t to Grilling JR and 411mania.com for the transcription.