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Jim Ross On Malakai Black’s Feud With Cody Rhodes In AEW, Criticism Of AEW Signing Too Many Former WWE Stars

July 17, 2021 | Posted by Blake Lovell
Malakai Black Cody Rhodes AEW Dynamite 7-7-21 Image Credit: AEW

In a recent edition of Grilling JR, Jim Ross discussed Malakai Black’s feud with Cody Rhodes in AEW, criticism of AEW signing too many former WWE stars, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Jim Ross on Malakai Black joining AEW and his feud with Cody Rhodes: “I didn’t see him all day. I’d never met him in my life and I didn’t meet him before the show. I knew the rumblings there were some surprises, and I’ve been very adamant with my associates and my peers that I don’t need to know that information. That may come off as arrogant, but for me to be real and natural and spontaneous, I don’t need to know it. I don’t need to precondition myself that he’s gonna do this, and I’m gonna say that. It loses the magic, so I don’t need to know any finishes. The day I can’t interpret how the finish is and how it works out, then somebody will be sitting in that chair in the middle. Malakai is a big acquisition for us. I’m glad he’s on our team. I’m very surprised WWE let him slip away. We’re lucky we have him. He’s a unique talent. Looks like his first dancing partner is gonna be Cody, and they’ll have a hellacious run I think. Both are young and hungry, and Cody is one of my favorites in and out of the ring. I guess that’s because I was so close to his father. I feel compelled to look out for him a little bit. That’ll be a hell of a run.”

On the criticism that AEW is signing too many former WWE stars: “It’s a weak argument. ‘They’re WWE lite.’ I don’t agree with that, and I’m not knocking WWE. I had 26 great years there and I’m not anti-WWE. I don’t feel like we’re in a wrestling war. The war is AEW against its self – getting our young guys to continue to evolve and get better. I think we’re seeing that. Some of your homegrown kids are starting to find their way. There’s a big difference in working in PWG or an indie show and working a match on a national television show. It’s a different mindset and a different ballgame…..I just believe we’ve got some talent and I love watching the evolution of it.”

On rooting for other companies to succeed and the potential for more crossover with NJPW: “That’s what we all want – we all want the business to be healthy. The trickle down if someone gets hot. It’s good for all of us. Everybody gets a share in some of that newfound or renewed enthusiasm. I want Ring of Honor to do well, or Impact. I still enjoy watching New Japan. They give you some really great matches. I’d love to see Okada in a big pay-per-view main event for AEW someday, and who’s to say that can’t happen? We have a good relationship with the New Japan office. I think that somewhere down the road, one would assume when travel issues are lessened, having an AEW presence in New Japan in big shows seems to be a likely move.”

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Grilling JR with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.