When Austin rose to promise in the WWE between 1996 and 1997, and then once he became the top dog in 1998 and after, Ross was always one of Austin's fiercest allies. When Austin walked out of a WWE RAW taping in 2002 over a creative difference involving Brock Lesnar, Ross was the first guy from the company that Austin agreed to talk to as the dispute was on-going.
However, Ross revealed an interesting story this week relating to an incident that occurred during Austin's heyday when he was on the road working some house shows one weekend. Ross told the story on the Sam Roberts wrestling podcast.
Ross had reportedly booked Austin in a tag team match, the last bout before intermission, at a live event somewhere on the west coast. The thought was that this would allow Austin to leave the show earlier so he could get on the road for RAW, where some major storyline was planned for him.
Apparently, Austin did not take kindly to being taken out of the main event, even if Ross was just trying to give him a break.
As Ross told it:
"We had a very competitive group. Everybody wanted to be the top dog. Everybody took pride in being the guy. I booked Austin one time in a tag match to give him a break on a Saturday night before TV, a Sunday night, excuse me, on the west coast. I put him in a tag match at Vince's suggestion and I put him on right before intermission.
So he goes out and gets to the town and Blackjack Lanza is the road agent, so Lanza calls me on the phone, which was very common, go over the plans for the night creatively on the live events, and he goes, 'I've got Austin here for you.' He handed Austin the phone and after he got done over modulating on my phone and cussing, I figured out that A) he didn't like tag matches and B) he couldn't figure out why he wasn't going on last. And I said, 'well, I thought the tag match would give you something of a break instead of carrying the whole load and going on before intermission would get you on the road earlier.' I said, 'you've got a big night at RAW the next night and it's an early night because we're on west coast time.'
And he gave me, 'man, I worked my entire G.D. life for this, to be a top guy, and not have to do that and I want to go on last. That's what top guys do.' And that was him! That was the way some talents were."
[H/T to Wrestling Inc.]