During a recent episode of his podcast Grillin’ JR, Jim Ross conducted a Q&A with fans of the show. One of the questions asked was about AEW and the talent they are looking for and want to recruit for the future.
“Size, athletic big guys,” Ross said. “I’m a big fan of Lance Archer, Jeff Cobb, Luke Harper. Guys like that have the ability that we can all see that have not been given the total opportunity to become a global star. I like those kinds of guys because they have an athletic background, that means to me that since they were a kid, they were competitive, that’s important.
“This business is not easy. Finding athletes to become pro wrestlers is not a bad formula, it worked for generations in our country since Bronko Nagurski (NFL hall of famer), he quit playing football at the height of his career to wrestle full time because he made more money wrestling at that point. If you want to fine tune that, maybe athletic big heels. We’ve got a great roster of baby faces, none of them are giants, that means nothing. Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson were not giants, they were giants in the ring, they drew money, people loved them and that’s what you find in the Young Bucks. We need heels, big heels. We may have too many baby faces by last count, so I think athletic big men is something that they’re interested in finding.”
Jeff Cobb made his in-ring AEW debut this past Wednesday, but has not yet signed a full time contract.
Ross was also asked about Jim Cornette, who has been a big detractor of AEW. Ross was asked if Cornette could have a spot in AEW despite the fact that he continues to disparage the company.
“Cornette would probably curse me for even saying it, but I don’t think he’s on the top of the recruiting list right now,” Ross noted. “We’re still friends, but we’ve never really agreed on all kinds of things. He’s the kind of guy that very rarely has a compromising moment, he’s very set in his ways he knows what he likes, he knows how wrestling in his view should be positioned. I’m not disagreeing with that, but sometimes the message gets overgeneralized. We know what we have, we know what we need.
“I think Cornette is pointing out the obvious. He’s not providing any information that’s new or revolutionary. There are things we need to do, but look these kids are working their ass off, they’re not all giants, Ric Flair wasn’t a giant.”
Despite NXT and AEW going head to head every Wednesday, Ross made it clear that he doesn’t see NXT suffer. Ross said he still roots for his friends in WWE and other wrestling companies.
“We all have friends,” Ross stated. “There’s not a wrestling company in the world where I don’t know somebody. Somebody at some level of influence, so for me to have such a narrow minded ignorant point of view that I want there brands to suffer so my brand can grow is making me a coward. I tell our guys now I don’t care what NXT does, I don’t care who is on that show, it’s irrelevant to me. I want them to do well, I have friends that work there.
“There are people there that I signed, Randy Orton is hot as hell right now, I signed Randy Orton, you think I want him to fail? Of course not. If you’re a wrestling fan either support everybody and their families to make a living or just hold all your criticism to yourself. I want everybody to do well in our business.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.