Jim Ross has opened up about a WWE Hall of Famer who wanted him to go underwear-free for his WWE WrestleMania debut.
Jim Ross had been the voice of WCW before a change of guard at that company led him to seek a new adventure in the world of WWE.
Ross made his WWE debut at the announce desk in the grandest style possible at WrestleMania 9 in 1993. As he explained on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross discussed his debut and how he came with a costume twist – he would debut for WWE wearing a toga:
“It drove me crazy and we had to do a dress rehearsal, and it was an adventure. I’ve never worn a toga. Do you wear underwear, don’t you wear underwear? Heenan, Monsoon and I dressed in the same dressing room at Caesar’s Palace, a little locker room type thing, the three of us.
“McMahon asked me before the show, that week, he said, ‘Here’s what I’d like to do. I would like you to work at WrestleMania. It’s a Caesar’s Palace type theme because that’s where it’s going to be. [Howard Finkel] will be costumed, [Randy] Savage, Heenan, and Heenan are going to ride an elephant or something in the ring, and we want you to wear a toga. If you’re not willing to do that, no problem (which I knew was bullshit). Then we’ll find someone else.
According to Jim Ross, fellow announcer Bobby Heenan may have had evil plans as he encouraged JR to go live on pay-per-view:
“Heenan was so adamant that I was going commando and not wearing anything under the toga, and [Gorilla] stood behind him shaking his head like, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it because he has a plan. He’ll expose your big ass or something. Fortunately, I took Monsoon’s advice. I was wearing underwear. Heenan knew I was wearing underwear so we didn’t experience the exposure.
“It’s WrestleMania. My WrestleMania debut couldn’t have started better than this, so I’m like, ‘What the hell is this?’ I’m a long way from fucking Oklahoma, so why not? Let’s go. for that.”
h/t Wrestling Inc.