On the latest edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed Ric Flair resigning from the WCW booking committee in 1990 (he was the head of the committee) despite the company’s rising ratings and business at the time.
Ross also spoke on how Jim Herd (who was in charge of WCW at the time), was one of the main reasons for Ric Flair’s resignation (including wanting Flair to shave his head and change his name to Spartacus). Highlights are below:
On if Flair deserved credit for WCW’s increase in business at the time: “He made good decisions, but he had Jim Cornette on that committee who was brilliant, Sullivan had a great mind, Terry Funk had a great mind.
I don’t know why I was there but nonetheless, he had a good cabinet, shall we say, and the role of a good assistant coach is to support the head coach, and I think we all tried to do that because we all loved Ric, all had a great respect for Ric, and that’s what alienated guys like Cornette to have such a hard on at Jim Herd.”
“It was a built in calamity, it was crazy. But Ric did a good job, but Ric is not the hands on guy, the detail guy that Cornette would be, or I would be, for example. Breaking my arm patting myself on the back.
On Jim Herd making Ric Flair miserable: “And it’s just a matter of, Jim Herd making Flair so miserable by screwing with him, over things that are so silly and so stupid, as in, we’re going to change Ric Flair’s name to Spartacus and we’re going to cut his hair off, well, cutting his hair off is not a big, hair will grow back, OK?
But the issue is, why tamper with an established look, that’d be like casting John Wayne to wear a beard all the time in his Westerns.
It wouldn’t fit right. So Herd was a big distraction, he was a shit-disturber. I used to think, I give him the benefit of the doubt, well he just doesn’t know the product well. He liked chaos.
And for these bosses, to be able to say, I fixed that, I took care of this. By God Ric Flair’s not running this company, I’m running it. It was just ego, ego city.
And none of us were surprised when Ric bolted, none of us at all, and of course, where he went was inevitable. But it was Herd basically ran him off.”
On Flair’s resignation letter to Jim Herd: “Honesty. Frustrated. He was right. That’s not any defense here. I’ve said this everytime we’ve talked about WCW, Conrad, the onus goes back to upper management, whether it was Jim Herd, Kip Frey, Kip Frey was a nice guy, didn’t have any product knowledge, Cowboy, bull in a china closet.
It was just failure after failure after failure by Turner to put somebody in a position that can run the show and captain the team, but you’ve got to leave us [booking committee] alone.
Everybody’s a booker, they have enough information to be dangerous. And Herd and his cronies and all those guys in that upper management thing were the same. It was just not going to work. It was a system that was bound to fail. And guess what? It did.”