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Jim Ross names the next breakout star, why house shows are needed, why he felt disrespected during the 2008 WWE Draft

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Jim Ross names the next breakout star, why house shows are needed, why he felt disrespected during the 2008 WWE Draft

JR did a live Q&A on 11/30/20 and it aired on  12/8/30 for his AdFreeShow.com podcast.

Ross talked about getting drafted to SmackDown from RAW in 2008: “It was fumbled and not handled well in my view.  I was told the night before the draft, ‘You would think that CBS or Fox would get rid of Madden and Summerall and break them up? Are you crazy to suggest that?’ I said, ‘ok, I just want to make sure. I’m just curious, it’s just a career, that’s all.’ Then the next night, that discussion meant nothing. That pissed me off. I thought that was disrespectful. As a mature adult and a professional, just tell me what you want. I knew I was getting drafted when the cameraman knelt down in front of our desk and put the camera right in my face. Here it comes and I didn’t like it. I felt like I was getting worked and I felt I didn’t deserve that in my view. Maybe I took myself too seriously, but I didn’t like it.”

Ross gave his opinion of cutting out live event shows: “It doesn’t do the business any good because it lessens the income of the talent that are counting on to support their families. That’s not a win. Second thing is, talents can’t get better working one or two days a week. You need reps. You need practice. A lot of guys I feel don’t do that. Even if they go to a gym or a wrestling camp and work out with their buddies, I’m not sure how many do that. Comfort zones create bad things. The comfort zones are a kiss of death for a lot of relationships and businesses and so forth. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. It’s not good for the business. I encourage every kid in AEW to work all they can. Here is the double-edged sword. Let’s say they can work independent dates. Here’s the problem. You get exposed to Covid more often than not because those indie shows can’t afford testing. You are rolling the dice that everybody in the building is wearing a mask and everybody is clean. Guys wear a mask but they wear them around their chin like their chin is going to keep us from getting sick. It doesn’t do anyone any favors whatsoever. It’s not helping the business by having no live events.”

Ross was asked who he sees as the next breakout star: “I like Wardlow. He is a big, athletic guy with a great look. He has a big-time demeanor. He wants to learn. He is open to constructive criticism. I like him a lot. I think he could easily be the next big thing in AEW. I think Jungle Boy Jack Perry has the chance to be a really unique babyface because he’s smaller. I have a lot of time for Jack Perry  I’ve been criticized for calling him Jungle Boy Jack Perry.  He can’t be Jungle Boy forever. I like his game a lot. His secret is going to be how well he learns to sell over the course of time in various situations because you can’t sell everything the same way. Sometimes you register, sometimes you sell big. There are different levels. I like Wardlow’s opportunity because no matter what, size matters athletically speaking. Bill Watts said years ago that nothing sells like an athletic big man. Warlow is an athletic big man. I think he has a great upside. Will Hobbs, I like his game. He just turned heel and is working with Taz. That should make him better. Willie Hobbs is a good kid. He texts me a lot. We communicate a lot because I want to help these young guys. I’m not going to be around forever. So, what I can leave behind, I think I’m doing the right thing for the business.”

Ross commented on Tony Khan: “Tony Khan is a very talented guy. He’s the best boss I’ve ever worked for. That’s not a knock on Vince. I’m comparing a 35-year-old guy who loves the business. Tony Khan has been writing wrestling TV shows since he was 10 years old. He’s been practicing for this gig that he has right now since he was a kid. He shares that enthusiasm. It’s very contagious. I’m a big Tony Khan fan for several reasons. He pays me well and he’s a friend. He’s great to work for. I see how he operates. He motivates talent very well. I’m very blessed to be where I’m at right now.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to PWrestling.com for the transcription