On the most recent episode of the Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross addressed his comments about how certain wrestling stars are struggling to evolve and admitted that these comments were met with a controversial response from some of the talents in AEW. Despite this reaction, Ross insists that he stands by what he said and gave some clarification as to why he made those comments.
“I expressed an opinion, a philosophical opinion. I believe that what I said was accurate. I also believe at times, and I apologize for this, I can be very upfront. I’ll rather tell you what time it is rather than make the watch. I think that’s what I did here, I didn’t mention any names, I didn’t call anybody out, I tried to report it as what I believe it to be, which is an industry-wide issue. What’s next?
“I told somebody about this the other day, let’s use the scaffold match as a parallel. What’s next? A higher scaffold? How do you do scaffold match two? ‘It’s bigger and better than ever so somebody’s going to fall farther!’ I did ruffle some feathers, it wasn’t totally my intention but I wanted to pay attention that this is an issue. Where does it stop?”
Ross stressed that the talent should realize that their health is an issue when they perform high-risk moves. He also said that when calling a match it’s tough not to call the action in front of him. Using the example of pretending not to acknowledge a group of wrestlers waiting outside the ring for a diver to jump over the rope.
“How can we protect our talents that truly believe in their hearts that this is the way to create an emotional investment with the paying customer or the T.V. viewer?” Ross asked. “I just thought when is enough and some things are just simply illogical. If I call matches in my career, not just now in AEW or anywhere else, with reality in mind? Can you imagine all the times that you could have fun or not and be honest about things and call shit out? It would be terrible and I think it’s being more relaxed.”
Ross was asked about the reaction backstage and he responded by saying that he was surprised that nobody confronted him over these comments. He admitted that he knew some people were a little pissed with him but not to the extent where the talent felt words were needed.
Ross has also been coaching referees in the AEW. Ross was speaking to some of them in regards to how they should stand when someone is beating down in a corner, to make sure they keep a close on all pinfalls and check to see if the shoulders are down. Ross says that the fans are more knowledgeable than ever and spot these mistakes easily.
Ross claims that some of the refs told him that they had never been taught anything about this before which goes to show the importance that a person like Ross can have on the company.
It’s easy to see why these comments can rub some people up the wrong way but I personally believe that we cannot overestimate what Ross can bring to a company. Ross has always stressed the importance of realism and respecting the audience as an intellectual. This is something I have always been hugely in favor of and when you can predict the outcome of a match you feel above the art and this is something that should be avoided at all costs.