Jim Ross hosted a “One Man Show” in NYC prior to SummerSlam. His special guest was Paul Heyman. As Jim was winding down the show for the live audience, explaining that the club had booked a later event, Heyman grabbed the mic and gave a touching speech.
With most live podcast events that aren’t being recorded for future release, the hosts will ask you not to record or transcribe happenings from the event. (Sidenote: I spent my live podcast money on a different show during SummerSlam weekend and, having seen this brief clip of the closing minutes of Jim Ross’s show, I very much have the buyer’s remorse on my purchase. This was obviously the ultimate show for wrestling fans).
In this specific instance, however, Ross has stated on his podcast, the Ross Report, that he’s happy video footage of the show’s end was taken. He’s rightfully proud of what was said. I’ve included the transcript of Heyman’s speech that night, followed by Jim Ross’s thoughts on it, which aired on his show three days later.
Paul Heyman, at the Gotham Comedy Club, Friday 8/18/17
“If you don’t mind, and I assure you he’s not prepared for this, and I apologize if it’s inappropriate to do it. When I got called, and you guys know this, I never did conventions, I don’t do the autograph signings. I don’t do it. I kinda take the Brock Lesnar approach. When I appear, I appear. It’s on a special event; you pay money to see it, hopefully, and that’s it. That’s what you get to see, “The Advocate.” That’s what you get to see. Brock Lesnar. I don’t do the autograph appearances, I don’t do things like this. I did a couple and I ran away from doing it because, it was like, it got too intimate for me.
“JR called me. He did it, it was shortly after they announced the show. For those of you who are here tonight, you obviously know JR suffered a terrible, terrible loss this year. And there was probably, besides JR, no bigger fan of his wife, Jan, than I was.
“What a truly magnificent woman that all of us who knew her were so blessed to know. And truly Jim Ross’s better half. Just, what a phenomenal human being. And so when JR said “hey, I’m coming to your neck of the woods. I’m coming to New York City and I’m going to do a show in New York. I said to him, I said, you know I gotta ask you this, cause it’s on my mind. And it’s a rude thing to ask you, but considering all that you’ve been through, why? Why do you want to do a show? Why do you want to expose yourself so intimately to the people?
(At this point, Paul is clutching JR’s right hand as he speaks; Ross is seated in a stool next to him, wiping tears from his eyes.)
“Why, when you’re hurting this bad, would you want to come up on stage and talk to people in such an intimate, personal setting?
“And he said to me, and I know that he meant it, he said ‘because when I’m up there with them, I’m home, and I’m happy. And they make me feel good about all that we all [indecipherable, as it’s drowned out by applause].
“I got out of the early 1990s alive in this business, because they tried to run me out and Jim Ross, not ‘Good ol’ JR’, but this man, Jim Ross… and I drove him f**king crazy. Because he prepared and I just walked in and went ‘we’ll shoot for it, we’ll go for it, let’s do it.’ I’d step on his toes. I’d do everything… But I survived. I went on, I never would’ve gotten into ECW if he didn’t keep me around in WCW. We’d go at it on the air because that’s us at our best. We’d go at it on the air because we do bring the best out of each other. And when we’re on the air we probably do really f**king hate each other.
“But I truly tell you, because I know I’m only one of 300 in here tonight, I love this guy. I am forever, forever, in his debt for all that he did for me, for the chance that he took on me, for the battles behind the scenes that he thinks I don’t know about, but I know about the battles that he fought behind the scenes for me in WCW.
“I was honored, my entire career, to share the microphone. I’ve been honored tonight in New York to go out in my hometown and f**k around for an hour-and-a-half. But I have to tell you this from the bottom of my heart, ok? I personally thank you for this evening. It’s been a blast, but honestly, the curtain call goes to him, not to me.”
Jim Ross on the Ross Report, 8/22/17
“Paul did a phenomenal job and… obviously, it was a great favor. We sold out the venue. I don’t know if we’d have sold out with Paul or not, probably not. He was the star of the show, just like he has been with me on a zillion occasions, seemingly, because if you work with him, he’s going to be the star of the show. And if you have a problem with that as his partner, then, that’s an issue you need to deal with with the man in the mirror.
“But he was phenomenal and we did not talk before the show. He got there late. He was actually next door eating sushi. He got there, maybe five minutes before I went out. We didn’t go over any notes, we didn’t have a prompter or a script. No outline. We knew that we were going to do Q & A, That was it. He just did a tremendous job.
“I have tried to watch that video and I haven’t been able to get through it. I had no idea he was going to give that speech. None.”
Transcription by Jeff Rush, PWPodcasts.com Specialist