In a recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed WWE helping ECW financially, Vince McMahon’s stance on helping Paul Heyman with ECW, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Jim Ross on whether WWE considering buying ECW and Vince McMahon helping Paul Heyman financially: “There was discussion, but there wasn’t serious discussion. I would say no on that one because we knew the dire straits that unfortunately Paul was in financially. We figured that the logical conclusion in his case was bankruptcy. At that point in time, if that occurred, we were prepared to buy the assets, which included the library. We had been helping Paul. I think we paid Paul $50,000 a month because it came out of my talent relations budget. I may be wrong on that too, but here’s the bottom line of the story. Shit, we were helping them. He was getting a regular check to try to keep his doors open longer so if he did indeed have a legitimate buyer, that he had more time to negotiate a deal. Vince was very, very kind to Paul in that regard. It would’ve been very easy to put him out of business.
“All of his top talent wanted to leave because if you go back in time, I hired most of them. The Dudleys, Taz, and others. We got everybody we wanted, quite honestly. They were calling me, I wasn’t soliciting them. At Vince’s instance, we weren’t gonna go out of our way to do anything harmful to ECW. We wanted to buy the library at some point because we had the goal to this network, and we had already purchased the AWA library and others. We wanted the library more than anything, and then Vince was gonna leave it up to me on talent to bring in……he didn’t watch ECW television. I’m not sure he was overly familiar with who the Dudleys were. I don’t think he was overly familiar with who Taz was. He just didn’t watch that show. I watched it pretty regularly I’d say, and I was very familiar with the talent. So, when they called, I knew who they were. Vince was a lot kinder to Paul than other promoters could have been.”
On Vince McMahon’s stance on Heyman and ECW: “I think it was the fact that Vince recognized talent, and for any of us to try to argue the point that Paul Heyman didn’t have significant talent, would be ridiculous. He did a lot with The Little Engine That Could. Paul did a phenomenal job – motivating or whatever you wanna say. Bubba [Dudley] talks about ECW in glowing terms, even though his pay was late seemingly more often than not and he had to wear multiple hats to pay the rent. There’s still a strong feeling of loyalty to the brand by some of their alums. I don’t have a problem with that because I’m very loyal to Mid-South Wrestling because that’s where I got my start.
“So, Paul did a good job with the us against the world mentality. The brand was very defiant in its presentation. They had a very unique brand and very unique comradery within the locker room. We wanted to get a lot of their guys because we needed to freshen up our roster. We kind of knew what we wanted to get out of ECW. But if the only person we had got out of that deal was Paul Heyman and no talent, we’d win because he’s a brilliant TV writer and great creative guy. One of the smartest I’ve ever been around, and I’ve been around some smart guys.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling JR with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.