Jim Ross recalls his WCW broadcasting days with Paul Heyman and Missy Hyatt

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June 04, 2012

Paul Heyman and Jim Ross in the WCW announce booth

Our on-air dynamic caused some fans to swear that we hated each other. Perhaps, some days, we did. Some of this angst was a result of the actual, organic tension Paul could elicit from me and, in reality, not all because of what his TV character said on the air. He was stubborn, as was I, and at times, I was not the most patient of mentors in the broadcast booth to my defiant “student.”

Heyman understood the wrestling business in a fashion that far belied his years. He immersed himself in the inner workings of the world of pro wrestling since he was a teen, notwithstanding the fact that Paul was a highly intelligent guy.

But he could just be a pain in the buttocks at times.

The volatile Heyman was, more often than not, his own worst enemy in the corporate world of WCW, but he never failed to deliver the goods when we sat down to broadcast an event or weekly program. He knew how to provide a left-handed compliment to the fan favorites and how to properly embellish the villains, all the while being able to weave the wrestlers’ inner turmoils together, with the goal being to make the talent bigger stars.

Without question, Paul Heyman was one of the absolute best broadcast partners I ever teamed with and some fans feel he was the best with which I ever worked. He certainly knew how to bring out the best in me and what buttons needed to be pushed to produce combustible, spontaneous and memorable broadcasts involving the two of us. 

Paul and I would reconnect in a WWE broadcast booth when Jerry Lawler left WWE back in the late ’90s — of which I will cover in an upcoming installment.

Like a handful of other partners, Paul Heyman made me better and often times lit a fire in me that others could not. I’d be happy to broadcast with him today in any capacity.

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