Jim Ross Calls Randy Orton’s ‘Eddie’s In Hell’ Promo Very Distasteful, Says ‘We Made A Wrong Turn’
Randy Orton‘s ‘Eddie’s in hell’ promo on the February 3, 2006 episode of SmackDown lives on in history for all of the wrong reasons, and Jim Ross agrees that it was in poor taste.
The promo in question saw Randy Orton mock Rey pointing to the sky to honor his friend that passed on, claiming Eddie wasn’t in heaven, but he was “down there” in hell. Speaking on the “No Way Out 2006” episode of his Grilling JR podcast, Ross spoke about how the promo idea came up in the first place and said it didn’t ultimately work because it was the wrong kind of heat to get and it was distasteful in general.
“There’s money-drawing heat where you want to pay money to see the heel get the shit beat out of him, which is a great theory if you’re a heel. You want people to sit on their asses every eighteen inches so they can boo you and hopefully cheer when you get your ass whipped, that’s the whole rhythm, the whole dichotomy of that formula, the heels are the key guys. You gotta have a babyface you can believe in that won’t quit on me, but the heels are the straws that stir the drink. I didn’t like that Eddie thing. Eddie’s in hell, I thought it was a reach, it was knee-jerk,” Ross said. “It just was distasteful and that’s go-away heat. Go-away heat, I don’t want to see you anymore, I don’t want to hear this anymore. Go-away heat is not beneficial for anyone. But I thought this was very distasteful in that respect…we made a wrong turn on the road to get to the destination.”
Ross explained that Vickie Guerrero gave the go-ahead for the segment, but believes she might have been reluctant to upset anyone by turning it down, noting that she was working with the company too and the decision ultimately went through Vince McMahon.
“That was Vince, obviously. I mean big decisions like that are blessed by the old man, so I think Vince would have been the one to make that call. He may have had Bruce or somebody else with him—which is not unusual—but I think Vickie was very leery to disagree with a major creative element of this pay-per-view and didn’t want to cause any ruckus. She was working there, she wanted to work there, she was looking at work. And she was looking to build a future with her girls and her looking to take care of her overheads. I think probably the deal there was, I’m not so sure that Vickie embraced it, I don’t know that she didn’t or did,” Ross pondered, “but the issue there is that she was trying to protect her own potential job offerings by not creating any waves.”
Orton would ultimately walk back his promo a week later, claiming he didn’t mean what he said and just wanted Rey to put his WrestleMania title shot on the line. Randy Orton would eventually beat Rey for the title shot, but Rey still found his way back into the main event at WrestleMania 22 and won the title in a triple threat match, dedicating the win to Eddie.
Transcription credit: ITRWrestling.com
Check out the full interview below:
On a related note, Prichard also spoke about the incident on a recent episode of Something To Wrestle, and believed that Eddie not only would have loved it, but he would have “insisted on it.”
Prichard cited his strong relationship with Guerrero as reason for why he felt he could speak for him, also noting that Vickie and his family gave the OK and he believed that “it’s something that Eddie would have wanted, I really believe that.”