Jim Ross did an interview with Newsday and went into more details on his departure from WWE and he also discussed CM Punk among other things. Here are some highlights:
On what happened during the WWE 2K14 symposium with Ric Flair:
“I knew that when it was over, a lot of the top WWE officials were very anxious to get Ric Flair out of the facility,” Ross recalls. “So I knew there was some concern there, but I didn’t know that the concern involved me. A story started out of misinformation that I had been drinking with Flair all day. And the issue was that if they [WWE officials] had checked their schedule, I had been booked all day with WWE activities and SummerSlam that had nothing to do with Ric Flair.”
Ross also said that he was already looking to move on to do other things outside of WWE:
“My job was to keep the rudder in the water,” Ross said. “I didn’t do that. And so, the decision was made that we part ways. And to be honest with you, and this is not looking back, or trying to cover somebody’s tracks, or cover my own [behind], I was really looking for an opportunity to move on. I wanted to get into the podcast business, I wanted to get into one-man show stuff . . . I wanted to look at other opportunities, like this Fox Sports thing that I’m doing now. And I knew I couldn’t do those things while I was under contract to the WWE. But to be honest, to be totally frank with you, I had such a loyalty to that company, and I still do, that after 20 years I didn’t know how I was going to say goodbye.”
Ross then talked about the locker room today compared to the Attitude era and discussed CM Punk
“This whole locker room has a different feel to it, and a different — they’re not as edgy as the Attitude Era locker room,” said Ross, also the former vice president of talent relations for WWE. “They’re not as competitive. I don’t know that they’re as hungry. But now, CM Punk is different. [Compared with] today’s corporate wrestler, CM Punk is a little bit of a rogue. And I don’t mean that in a negative way.
“Over the last two of three years, he’s been my favorite WWE performer to watch in the ring, without question. He would’ve been a huge star in the Attitude Era, without question. Here’s the deal: He’s a very cerebral guy, who has an old-school spirit, that really cares about every aspect of the business. I think that he needed time off, ample time off, to recharge his batteries. I think he has, for lack of a better term, a major case of burnout. And I think the problem should have been recognized and addressed much earlier than letting it get to a head and him being so frustrated and such a sense of hopelessness that he decided to go home. Walking away from a problem is never a solution. Never. Solve the problem.”
Ross says Punk may benefit by taking a “season” off to enjoy his native Chicago sports teams and mend his body and mind. If afterward he can’t find common ground with WWE, he may not face the same dearth of alternatives other grapplers have faced.
There’s alot more. I highly recommend you check out the interview. You can read the full interview by clicking here.