On this week’s Jim Ross Report, JR devoted a large portion of the podcast to discussing AEW, its creative process, and many more elements that he believes will make the company successful.
Ross is high on the promotion. While underscoring the fact that he does not believe that it is a realistic goal to compete with WWE, he issued a series of positive comments on AEW’s first steps.
Jim Ross On Chris Jericho To AEW
It has previously been reported that Jericho to AEW was likely to happen and that came to fruition at the close of Tuesday’s rally. Jericho closed the event, and announced his signing.
“The close of the event with Chris Jericho was outstandingly booked, well-placed, well-produced, whatever your term might be,” Ross said. “Jericho was the biggest star on the show. I didn’t mean to knock Cody, or The Young Bucks, or Hangman Page, or PAC. I’m not knocking anybody. It’s just that Jericho is the longest-tenured global star that appeared on that presentation.”
JR says that no matter what role Jericho plays with the company, he is a strong acquisition.
“He’ll be a great asset, no doubt, in any role that he’s put in,” Ross said. “I can’t see Chris being on a weekly television show every week, though. He likes to do a lot of different things. He has varied interests.”
JR On Attracting Talent To All Elite Wrestling
With Cody, The Young Bucks, Jericho, Page, and PAC on board, Ross believes that attracting talent to AEW will not be a problem.
“They’re starting to get a nice nucleus there. I think that nucleus will grow,” Ross said. “They’re going to attract people who want a new adventure.”
As perhaps Oklahoma’s most prominent college football fan, Ross used a sports analogy to discuss AEW’s plan to acquire more stars.
“This is like recruiting in college,” Ross said.
“When you sign a five-star recruit out of high school in football, then that star player becomes one of your best recruiters. Others in the star player world become interested in what their buddies are doing.”
“That’s what I see in this scenario,” said Ross.
JR also believes that disgruntled stars from other promotions could find a home in AEW.
“Talents that are not happy for one reason or another, usually because of one of the two C’s, cash and creative, some of those people, I’m sure will be making inroads or inquiring about getting a jersey for the AEW team.”
JR On Kenny Omega’s Future
While Kenny Omega’s immediate future remains in question to some degree, Ross believes that The Cleaner will find his way to Jacksonville sooner than later.
“I think Kenny Omega ends up with AEW. I really do,” Ross said. “It just seems like a fit right now. I think Kenny ends up at AEW with his buddies. He’s comfortable there, he’s worked with these guys. He’ll have everybody’s ear for creative. He’ll have a voice, and a very prominent voice, especially as it relates to his storylines and angles.”
Ross made a point of saying that he has no inside knowledge of Omega’s status, though.
“I don’t know where Kenny Omega will go… Hey, WWE could come in with an amazing offer. They can, and they might. That might be overwhelming, and you say I can’t turn that down.”
Jim Ross On AEW’s Creative Process
One factor in Omega’s ultimate destination could be his desire for creative freedom.
Ross went out of his way to compliment Omega in that regard.
“Kenny Omega’s a really unique cat. He’s very intelligent, a smart young man,” Ross said.
“He’s as good as there is in the world right now as far as unique matches, adding wrinkles, being courageous enough to try new things.”
Taking that point a step further, Ross believes that having buy-in from AEW’s top stars will be key, and he sees value in having top stars involved in the booking process.
“If you go back to the old days of the territories, the bookers always allowed, and encouraged, their top guys to be involved in the booking of their angles and storylines,” said Ross.
Ross used an example from his own experience, working with Bill Watts in Mid-South Wrestling to illustrate his point.
“If you asked Cowboy Bill Watts why he gave all these guys so much autonomy, he would say because he wanted them to have some skin in the game,” said Ross.
“I want them to feel a part of the process because they’ll give us a better effort. Watts knew the wrestler ego.”
“So you feed the ego by letting them be involved in creative, now they’re more committed to make sure their creative is successful. I’ve got no problem with that.”
Jim Ross On Potential AEW Television Deal
Of course that creative will need a media partner, and Ross says that he believes that is a certainty.
“I think a TV deal is basically done,” Ross said.
“Why would you do all this celebration? Why would you have this major announcement, this huge event, if you didn’t have TV pretty much locked up?
Jim Ross Praises The Kahn Family
One huge positive for the upstart AEW is the powerful financial investment being made by Tony Kahn and his family.
JR went out of his way to praise the Kahns.
“The Kahn family deserve recognition for the commitment of putting a lot of their hard-earned money into the business we all love,” Ross said. “They’re putting their money where their mouth is.”
“I have great optimism that Tony Kahn is a young genius.”
As a longtime wrestling veteran, Ross expressed his appreciation for that backing.
“There’s a plan coming about. I love the commitment of the Kahn family,” said Ross.
“I appreciate their commitment to our business, the wrestling business.”
“All us old school guys that spent our life helping get where we are today, to see the ability to have it be perpetuated and continued and payed forward, is really a cool thing.”
You can check out the full episode of The Jim Ross Report below.
When quoting this transcript, please credit SEScoops.com. This transcript has been condensed and edited for clarity.
What did you think of AEW’s debut event?