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Jim Ross on why Carlito was not a bigger star in WWE, Todd Grisham replacing him on Raw, thoughts on Brodie Lee

WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson covered the Raw Roulette episode of Monday Night Raw that aired on January 7, 2008.

Before he got to Raw Roulette, Ross talked about the passing of Brodie Lee. He said,  “We haven’t talked about Brodie because of our taping schedule until we had the opportunity today.  I can tell you this.  Somebody reached out to me over the weekend after that show.  I realized at that time I was still getting over the shock of Brodie’s death and I really didn’t realize how much it affected me.  I have to tell you I was drained for like three days after the Wednesday show.  I didn’t realize it at the time because you persevere and you work through and you battle and you battle.  I’ve done that before with other tragedies.  It was more impactful on me than I wanted to acknowledge because I wanted to get through that show without breaking down.  I wanted to get through that show without my voice cracking and get through that show telling great stories and trying to put talent over in his honor and his spirit.  It was a more challenging time than I realized.  But, what I also realized is this guy off the record became one of the most popular performers within his peer group as anyone that I have ever met in my career.  The only person that I’ve never heard from the fans or the boys say a bad word about was Owen Hart, ironically, and now Brodie Lee.  He was very well loved.  That is no b.s.  That is no, let’s all jump on the Brodie bandwagon.  He was a genuinely loved guy in a business where love is not universally distributed.  He was trusted.  He was a friend.  I think a lot of boys admired and respected what a great parent he was.  You hear that time and time again, what a great parent he was.  You can tell that Dad had a great influence on little Brodie.  Little Brodie is 8, well mature beyond his years as far as wrestling acumen is concerned.  We had our little New Year’s Eve Party at the Hyatt in Jacksonville.  I made a cameo there and so I remember one of the things I saw online afterwards was Brodie working a spot with Adam Cole and catching him with a little discus clothesline.  He’s 8 now.  Then pinning him and much to my delight, he hooked the leg.  The little fella hooked the leg.  He had it.  He knew what he was doing.  It just touched my heart.  It was amazing.  I don’t know how we are going to remember Brodie going forward.  I got a sense that I’m going to be saying, “It’s Wednesday Night, and you know what that means.”  I don’t know why not. I think that’s a nice little tagline to get into the show.  Working with him was a joy.  I was so happy when he got there because we had a long chat that day about, hey look, you’re finally getting your opportunity that you really deserved a long time ago and here you are.  You’re going to get the ball, now run with it.  He did and that whole group, Dark Order, they were on their deathbed.  They didn’t mean a lot until Brodie came in.  He motivated those guys to give them self esteem.  He gave them confidence and they became an entity that has value and they have more value now by far then they did then so he did a lot for a lot of people just within that little group.  When you go back and hear the words of some guys like Moxley on his testimonial and some of these other kids, he was so loved.  Conrad, you and I can only wish that someday that we are as loved as this cat.  He was a good dude man, and he will be missed, no doubt.”

Jim Ross gave his opinion on Carlito:  ‘He’s a good worker.  His only enemy has always been his own motivation.  He can be as good as he wants to be so therefore some perceive that he might be a little unmotivated, IE, a little lazy.  He wasn’t lazy in his interactions with the fairer sex because he was a Hall of Famer in that area.  If he kept his eye on the prize and wanted to go in and work, he was absolutely extraordinary.  Carlos Colon was a big star in Puerto Rico and so forth, and owned the territory, the booker and all those things we talk about, but his son, Carlito, he was the star.  He was the best. Eddie was a good hand.  Carlito could have been a big time star if he would have been more motivated in my opinion. I might be wrong on that deal, but I loved his work.  Sometimes you see him go out there depending on the opponent or who talked to him last, whatever, and he was simply off the page.  Then some nights he would go out there and he would work to the level of the talent he was working with and that’s not always a good thing.”

Jim Ross explained the plan for Todd Grisham to replace him on RAW in 2007:  “He was a talented guy.  I don’t know that Todd was ever an over the hump, off the page, wrestling fan.  He didn’t dislike it.  He didn’t disrespect it whatsoever, but I don’t think it was his number 1 love growing up.  He was a soccer guy.  Todd’s done real well in MMA and broadcasting fighting.  In the fall of 2007, the game plan was as it was explained to him that finally got back to me, was that he was taking J.R’s place on RAW with Lawler in the fall of 2007.  That’s what he was counting on.  It would have been more money.  More exposure.  It was the best role in the company at that time for a broadcaster to have was the lead chair on Monday Night Raw.  What prevented that from happening, to Todd’s dismay, was that when I was announced to go in the Hall of Fame in 2007, the crowd in Chicago wouldn’t stop cheering.  I think it opened the eyes of Vince a little bit, and Kevin Dunn certainly, that well maybe we are moving J.R. out the door too quick.  Knowing Vince as I did, that was always going to be his goal to replace me in that regard.  I don’t know exactly why, but it is what it is.  It’s water under the bridge now.  But Todd’s done very well.  He stays very busy.  I catch some of his work sometimes on streaming or on cable.  He’s done well.  He and I were together a lot.  I moved to SmackDown and I was his sidekick which never quite fit well with me, but look, set your ego aside J.R.  Go to work and earn your money.  That’s what I tried to do.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to for the transcription


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