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Jim Ross Takes Issue With Seth Rollins’ Comments on AEW Being the ‘Minor Leagues,’ Says It Makes Him Look Bad

October 25, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Seth Rollins White Gear SummerSlam 2015 Image Credit: WWE

– Jim Ross isn’t pleased about Seth Rollins calling AEW the “minor leagues,” and went into detail about it on the latest Grilling JR. Rollins sparked headlines this week when he was asked at a convention appearance about a possible match with Kenny Omega and said, “When Kenny is done playing in the minor leagues over there, Kenny can come work in the absolute top professional wrestling company in the world in front of the most people, make the most money, and have the biggest matches, which is with me at WrestleMania.”

Ross, who of course works for AEW, wasn’t too pleased and went into detail about why he thought Rollins’ comments made the WWE Universal Champion look back. Highlights and the full podcast are below:

On not being happy about Rollins’ comments: “You’re right, I’m pissed off about it. And here’s why I’m pissed off about it. Number one, it doesn’t do any favors for our business. Our business in general; any promotion in the total of all the pro wrestling business it’s bigger than any individual. Now I’m not inferring that Seth thinks he’s bigger than the business. But by what he says sometimes, you can make that assessment, rightly or wrongly. But it’s just not a classy thing to say, for an athlete of his designation. You know, it’s amazing to me, since this came out, I talked to two Hall of Fame guys off the record, because I’m not gonna throw them under the bus, that were embarrassed about those remarks as well. It doesn’t do the business any good and one of these cats even said to me., ‘Well, maybe Rollins is breaking under the pressure because he’s getting a lot of criticism.’”

On Rollins’ claim that he’s the ‘big leagues’ because he’s making the big money wrestling in front of the most people: “You know, here’s the deal, folks. The WWE today is a whole different world than it was when when guys were earning above their downside guarantee significantly based on what the live events and the PPVs were producing. So a guy like Steve Austin might be making $1 million a year downside guarantee, which is $19,323 a week I believe. But he might have a year though, where he would make $10 million, $13 million. $9 million. So it’s always over that. Now guys in WWE, like Rollins I’m assuming, is cut on a salary, in broad terms. So I don’t know how many houses Seth has drawn that sold out.

On WWE not relying on stars as much as the brand these days:: “As another Hall of Famer mentioned to me, it’s not about the individuals being over or drawing the house or selling out. It’s about the WWE brand selling out. Hence, the best illustration is WrestleMania. The brand name WrestleMania and the parent company — the big dog in the yard, WWE — is what sells tickets at WrestleMania under the auspices that they’re going to deliver a special show, opponents and participants to be named.”

On Rollins: “But Rollins, he’s in a great spot, he’s blessed. You know, maybe someday he’ll be as over as his girlfriend, I don’t know. But nonetheless, I’ve always liked his work. He’s a solid guy, he’s a solid guy, but saying things like that make him look bad and for that, I feel badly. I just do.”

On AEW not being the ‘minor leagues’: “Here’s the thing I find incredulous about this deal. One of the things. He says, ‘Well, when you’re through playing in the minor leagues.’ Ironically, Mr. Khan’s got more money than Vince, but nonetheless, that’s another story for another day. We believe that we’re on a great network in TNT. We think we have a chance to build a nice brand. You never heard from me ever, Conrad, even when we’re drinking, say ‘We’re gonna kick WWE’s ass.’ It’s stupid!”

On a possible match between Rollins and Omega one day: “If Omega and Rollins did have a match it would be a great match because both of them are great workers. I never said in this — I was upset at Seth because I thought his comments made him sound bad. Made him sound bush league. Made him sound like he was one of those guys that was born on third base, woke up and thought he hit a triple. Because it’s just, for the guy that worked his way through the indies and Tyler Black and Ring Of Honor, great hand, I don’t know what’s happened to some of these guys. I just believe sometimes it’s internal, sometimes what they’re driven to say, what they feel obligated to say, they say things that they think will gain the favor of their bosses, I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is. But for a top talent that’s being blessed with great health right now, thank God, and making a ton of money and dating the hottest woman in the business, arguably by many. Man, what do you got to bitch about? Are you kidding me? We’re over there working our ass off and a lot of us have dedicated our lives longer than you’ve been alive to this business, and we’re busting our balls without knocking — I’m not knocking WWE. I think it’s a bad thing when you’re knocking a company that’s working our ass off to be good.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.