During a recent edition of his Grilling’ JR podcast, Jim Ross talked discussed WWF WrestleMania 4 going up against WCW Clash Of Champions in March of 1988. He talked about how Vince McMahon is always strategizing to stop his competition, but he believes this time he has picked the wrong time to combat AEW’s growth.
“Obviously McMahon was very interested in making sure that WCW did not grow. It’s akin to what he’s doing now with AEW. Just to do what he can to prevent the growth of the brand.
Unfortunately for him, he picked a time where his business is somewhat uninteresting to a lot of people based on the ratings. Timing for him on this one is not real good.
Thank God Turners has changed so much, the organization itself with the new management and owners, that’s why we do so great on TNT. We have a team that understands the genre and grew up studying it.
I believe they’re byproducts of an era where social media was a big part of their life. There was a whole hell of a lot of people that didn’t understand the business, and now they do.
That’s why I think AEW is doing so well with Turner again because they have a different staff, they’ve been educated differently, they have skin in the game and they love the product and that helps us.
We didn’t have those elements back in the day, we just didn’t have those. It was always challenging getting up to go to work, there would be good ideas but the follow through would be absolutely abysmal.”
Jim Ross Explains Why He’s “P*ssed Off” About Seth Rollins Calling AEW The “Minor Leagues”
Apparently Jim Ross took great exception to the recent comments from WWE Superstar Seth Rollins about All Elite Wrestling (AEW) being “the minor leagues.” In fact, he flat-out pissed off “Good Ole’ J.R.” with what he said.
On his latest podcast with Conrad Thompson Grilling JR, Jim Ross responded to comments recently made by Seth Rollins towards Kenny Omega, specifically when Rollins referred to AEW as the minor leagues.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the show.
On being upset about Seth Rollins calling AEW the “minor leagues” in reference to his back-and-forth spat with Kenny Omega:
“You’re right, I’m pissed off about it. Here’s what I’m pissed off about: Number one, it doesn’t do any favors for our business. Our business in general, any promotion in the total of all the pro wrestling business, it’s bigger than any individual.
Now I’m not inferring that Seth thinks he’s bigger than the business but by what he says sometimes, you can make that assessment. Rightly or wrongly, but it’s not a classy thing to say for an athlete of his designation.
On why Rollins might be under pressure and is just another name for the WWE brand:
“Since this came out, I talked to two Hall of Fame guys — off the record, cause I’m not going to throw them under the bus — that were embarrassed about those remarks as well.
It doesn’t do the business any good and one of these “cats” even said to me, ‘Well maybe Rollins is breaking under the pressure because he’s getting a lot of criticism.’ You know, here’s the deal folks: the WWE today is a whole different world than it was when guys were earning a buck or a downside guarantee significantly based on what the live events and the PPVs were producing.
A guy like Steve Austin might be making a million dollars per year downside guarantee but he might have a year though where he would make 10 million, 13 million, 9 million so it’s always over that. Now guys in WWE, like Rollins I’m assuming, is on a salary. In broad terms.
So I don’t know how many houses Seth has drawn that sold out because as another Hall of Famer has mentioned to me, it’s not about the individuals being over or drawing the house or selling out, it’s about the WWE brand selling out.
Hence, the best illustration is WrestleMania. The brand name WrestleMania and the parent company, the big dog in the yard, WWE is what sells tickets to WrestleMania under the auspices that they’re going to do deliver a special show, opponents and participants to be named.
But Rollins is in a great spot, he’s blessed, you know maybe someday he’ll be as over as his girlfriend, I don’t know, but nonetheless, I’ve always liked his work. He’s a solid guy, he’s a solid guy, but saying things like that make him look bad and for that I feel badly. I just do.”
On how his focus is with only AEW rather than beating WWE:
“Here’s the thing I find incredulous about this deal, one of the things. He says, ‘Well, when you’re through playing in the minor leagues…’ Ironically, Mr. Khan’s got more money than Vince, but nonetheless, that’s another story for another day. We believe we have a great network in TNT, we think we have a chance to build a nice brand. You never heard from me ever, Conrad, even when we’re drinking, say ‘we’re gonna kick WWE’s ass.”
On why Rollins might have made the anti-AEW comments:
“If Omega and Rollins did have a match it would be a great match because both of them are great workers. I was upset at Seth because I thought his comments made him sound bad, made him sound bush league, made him sound like he was one of those guys that was born on third base, woke up…and thought he hit a triple.
Because it’s just, for a guy that worked his way through the indies and Tyler Black and Ring Of Honor, great hand, I don’t know what’s happened with some of these guys.
+ I just believe sometimes it’s internal, sometimes what they’re driven to say, what they feel obligated to say, they say things that they think will gain the favor of their bosses, I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is but for a top talent that’s being blessed with great health right now — thank God — and making a ton of money and dating the hottest woman in the business, arguably by many…man what do you got to bitch about? Are you kidding me?
We’re over there working our ass off and a lot of us have dedicated our lives longer than you’ve been alive to this business and we’re busting our balls without knocking…I’m not knocking WWE. I think it’s a bad thing when you’re knocking a company that’s working our ass off to be good.
And we’re proving we’re going to be good, we’re going to be different and we’re going to grow and evolve every week on TNT.”
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