Much has been made of Undertaker booking personal appearances outside of WWE in the coming months.
The most high-profile of those appearances is scheduled for Starrcast 2, the convention being held in conjunction with All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event.
“I heard it through the grapevine that The Undertaker’s decision to appear at Starrcast for Conrad Thompson has not been a popular front office decision,” said Ross.
“They’re not happy in the front office, apparently.”
That word may not be surprising, as the general response to Undertaker at Starrcast among fans was shock.
Someone as closely associated with WWE as Undertaker appearing at an event in the same city, on the same weekend as Double Or Nothing is jarring, in spite of the fact that Starrcast is just one of the appearances that Undertaker has lined up.
To that end, Ross wonders what those upset with Undertaker would have him do to earn income.
“How mad can you get at The Undertaker?” asks Ross.
“You’ve got a 50-year-old guy with young children and a son in college. His track record with marriages is much like mine. It takes a while sometimes to find the right one, and he has. But he’s got to make a living.”
JR believes that personal appearances are the way to go for Undertaker at this point, rather than physicality in the ring.
“If he’s at the point age-wise where WWE doesn’t want to use him in the ring, or he doesn’t feel able to compete in the ring, if you want to keep him around, you’ve got to pay him something,” Ross says.
Conrad Thompson On The Undertaker At Starrcast II
Ross further discusses Undertaker at Starrcast with the convention’s promoter, Conrad Thompson, and Thompson says that he understands WWE’s discontent, but underscores that fans should not read anything into the appearance.
“Just because he’s at Starrcast, nobody should read into anything for All Elite Wrestling,” says Thompson. “That’s the natural conclusion everybody jumps to, but it’s a totally different thing.
“He’s going to be at Starrcast on Satuday. There won’t even be anybody from All Elite in the building. There’s no crossover. It’s a totally separate event.”
Still, Thompson says, he’s thrilled to have Undertaker at Starrcast.
“I was sort of shocked when I learned that he was available,” Thompson says. “I had assumed that he would be a big part of WrestleMania, and part of that closely guarded group, and not sort of able to freelance a little bit.”
“To my surprise, we were able to put together a deal with Taker’s management team, and we’re super excited to have him.”
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— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) February 21, 2019