On a recent episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed the 1998 Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Whether Mr. McMahon as a heel character was copying WCW:
“Didn’t even cross my mind. Couldn’t care less. Eric was a great on-screen character there’s no doubt about that. To me it’s comparing apples and oranges. I thought from the beginning because I knew how much Vince enjoyed being the bad guy and now he could be the bad guy on TV. He could get physical. He trained like a trojan so he was in good shape. If that meant something down the road and it did. I thought it was perfect. The timing was good. I said this before and I truly believe it and I mean it. During the height of the Attitude Era, I say that Vince McMahon was the number one heel in WWE. I also say in that same conversation on who the best heels were that Stephanie has to be given some consideration because she was just a tremendous villain. She learned that from the old man. Vince was the top heel in the Attitude Era and I would debate anybody on that topic.”
If Owen Hart was ever in the mix for a title match at the ’98 Royal Rumble:
“I think he (Vince) had already committed to Undertaker for that match to be honest with you. Anytime you get near WrestleMania season you’re always thinking about what are we doing with Taker and how does that fit with the presentation and what other talents does it affect. How could you not have confidence in Owen’s ability to make anybody he’s wrestling better because he made everybody better. That’s a great mark of a pro to make your adversaries or your dancing partner better than they truly are and Owen could do that with anybody. But, I think the Taker thing was already in play. It got Owen back on TV in a pretty spectacular way and that was a good move in that respect.”
Quotes via 411 Mania