Jim Ross Explains The Purpose Of WWE Sunday Night Heat

Fans of professional wrestling from around the turn of the century likely have memories of "WWE Heat," the hour-long show taped during "WWE Raw" events. On a recent episode of "Grilling JR," former WWE commentator Jim Ross spoke about the origins of "Heat," and the veteran commentator's words apply just as much to today's wrestling landscape as they do to the "Attitude Era."

"I think it was a team effort, but [using 'Heat' to] preview the pay-per-views was a solid concept," Ross said when asked who came up with the idea for the taped show. "USA [Network] wanted more programming, and when your partner, who is paying all these rights fees, wants more, what do you do? You give them more." Ross pointed out that Sunday nights were "a wasteland night on television," giving the company a perfect opportunity to add some extra programming.

Ross's argument echoes AEW President Tony Khan's recent point that Warner Bros-Discovery CEO David Zaslav was the one behind the addition of "AEW Collision" on Saturday nights. While Saturday is unlikely to be anyone's first choice for a live time slot, it's not easy to turn down a television rights deal when offered. Ross then continued discussing "Heat," including the beneficial aspect it had for WWE's pay-per-view schedule.

"It made a good infomercial for the pay-per-view," Ross continued. "It was the lead-in to the pay-per-view when we had one on Sunday. So [I] didn't think it was a bad idea, and we made our partner happy. That's [awfully] important."

"Heat" ran for nearly 10 years, from August 1998 until May 2008. The most famous moment in the show's history took place during half-time of 1999's Super Bowl XXXIII. Mick Foley, in his Mankind persona, defeated The Rock in an Empty Arena Match, capturing the WWF Championship.