During a recent interview with WFNZ in Charlotte, WWE Hall of Famer and AEW commentator Jim Ross was asked to give his thoughts on Joe Exotic, the focal point of the hit Netflix true crime documentary series Tiger King. Exotic previous ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma before being arrested and charged for attempting to hire a hitman to murder his rival Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue along with a series of animal rights violations. Ross had never heard of the man nor his zoo prior to the documentary's release, but did see some similarities between him and certain independent wrestlers.
"I didn't know that guy," Ross said, joking that he must have been from Texas and "invaded" Oklahoma. "He reminds me of a failed independent wrestler who cannot get booked and he blames it on everybody else — bad knee, bad elbow, the prejudice of the booker. He's an idiot and now there's GoFundMe pages to get his a— out of prison. Can you believe that?"
Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) is currently serving 22 years in federal prison after being sentenced back in January.
Surprisingly this isn't the only connection pro wrestling has to the Tiger King series. On top of Exotic hosting independent wrestling shows prior to his arrest, The Undertaker and Michelle McCool took part in a public service announcement for Myrtle Beach Safari mere weeks before it and its controversial owner Doc Antle were featured in the series.
Antle has openly the accused the series of misrepresenting his reservation.
"We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series. We can only assume it is because Doc Antle has been such a high profile wildlife personality for so many decades that his association would create more buzz," Antle wrote in a since-deleted post. "It is important to understand that this series is not a documentary; it';s sensationalized entertainment with paid participants. Tiger King is the bizarre story of Joe and Carole and their feud. These characters are not representative of experts in the wildlife sector or world class facilities like ours here in Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach Safari has been recognized by the state of South Carolina as one of the pre-eminent wildlife facilities in the United States. We've also received international accolades for the critical role we provide with our qualified, captive breeding programs and our global conservation efforts of threatened and endangered species."