Jim Ross Comments On How Mean Gene Okerlund Left The WWE For WCW
On a recent episode of 'Grillin JR' with Co-hosts Conrad Thompson and Jim Ross, they featured the career of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and the subject was brought up as to why and how Mean Gene Okerlund left the WWE for WCW. Jim Ross explained the why and the how, as to Okerlund's departure from the WWE and it basically came down to an executive decision by Vince McMahon.
"You know, Gene's contract was coming up. I remember Vince talking to me about that he said; "just so you'll know" because it affected the broadcast side, which is where I was focused on at the time. "I'm not going to renew Okerlund, but he doesn't know it". And he said, "but I'm going to help him get a lot of money". And I said, "Okay, how are you gonna do that?" "Well, I'm gonna let the other guy (WCW) steal him. His contract's gonna lapse, he's gonna be able to go wherever he wants". "And I know that if they think they meaning WCW think that they're stealing, one of my primary faces and voices, then they'll pay him a lot more money than I was going to be able to pay in here and it'll be a great payday for gene, doing the same job". And so that was kind of how that worked out."
The jump from WWE to WCW worked out well for Okerulnd, as he was the voice of WCW and he continued to have great success in professional wrestling for the remainder of his career.
If using quotes from Jim Ross, please credit Pro Wrestling Slam! for the transcription.
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