Jim Ross Offers His Thoughts On Shinsuke Nakamura’s SDL Run, “Woken” Matt Hardy, More


WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross was recently a guest on Sam Roberts Wrestling podcast to talk about a variety of professional wrestling topics. Ross offered his thoughts on former New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) star Shinsuke Nakamura‘s run on the WWE main roster, Matt Hardy‘s “Woken” reboot, talent establishing relationships with Vince McMahon, and who he would bring to WWE today. Here are the highlights:

Shinsuke Nakamura‘s SmackDown Live run:

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“It’s bell to bell, we are lacking what we know is there, we are not getting. I would love to see him return to that. Remember the match where he finally squared off with AJ, that’s your match and maybe AJ Is the best in the world.  I got to call a match or two of theirs and they were unbelievable. I understand Kenny Omega who WWE I am sure would love to sig.

“He has proven he is sound and connects with an audience, he will want to get there some day because the older you get, you can’t work that crazy style with multiple big bumps per match and they do a lot of bumps on the apron which is very dangerous. Omega and Okada had three great matches this year but I thought that the Nakamura/AJ matches that I called were up there with them so it’s subjective right.”

Matt Hardy‘s new “Woken” character:

“Matt has been around long enough to know where opportunities come and how fleeting they can be. He has one chance to make ‘Woken’ Matt Hardy work because it won’t get a second reboot, I like the persona, it feels organic and it’s interesting.”

Talent establishing relationships with Vince McMahon:

“I think Vince would be very adamant by saying yes, are those opportunities every day and easy to attain, probably not because of the work load, but I don’t believe and he shouldn’t, let go of his relationship with the talent. Sometimes it’s intimidating for them.”


“There’s also that feeling of I can’t believe I am here, if I keep to myself nobody will notice me and they won’t throw me out the door, but that’s not a great strategy.”


“That isn’t a great strategy and it’s also not good for the locker room. The one thing that happened when we signed all those guys in the Attitude Era, we had a very competitive group, they all wanted to be the top dog. I booked Austin in a tag match once at Vince’s suggestion right before intermission to give him a break before TV. I got a call from the agent who had Austin and I figured out, A) he doesn’t like tag matches and B) he couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t going on last.

“I said, that tag match would give him a break and going on before the intermission would get you on the road earlier to get to Raw. He gave me a speech about how he had worked his whole life for this to be a top guy and that top guys go on last and that is what top guys do, that was him. That was the way some talents were in that word, so I un-booked the tag and I put him on last.”

Who he’d bring to WWE today:

“I am going to certainly work out a way to bring Chris Jericho back, I am looking at Kenny Omega and finding the interest out from Okada, he is a good looking young man, he’s really good. I would certainly welcome Cody Rhodes with open arms and Young Bucks because I like those kids, as many shirts as they are selling now, get under that WWE umbrella and see how many you sell. I would try to figure out a way if there is one more run in CM Punk, and one more run means one WrestleMania, the only other way I would do him is have him return at WrestleMania  and that way there is no pressure on anybody.” 

You can listen to Ross’ interview on The Sam Roberts Wrestling podcast by clicking here.

H/T WrestleZone for the transcriptions