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Jim Ross Says Wrestlers That Can’t Ad-Lib Need To Find Another Line Of Work

May 27, 2019 | Posted by Jordan Huie
Jim Ross Conrad Thompson

— Jim Ross was a guest on ESPN 1530’s No Holds Barred podcast ahead of AEW Double Or Nothing, where he discussed why he needed to get back to the commentator’s desk and the need for ad-libbing within a wrestling match.

How AEW’s creative braintrust connects to modern audiences: “They’re youthful, they have a finger on the pulse. They all are traditionalists in the sense of being lifelong wrestling, but they’re also young enough that they’re able to relate to the younger wrestling fans. And these guys [Cody, Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks] sell out an event last year with no TV, they have no TV this year and yet they sold out Double or Nothing in like an hour or less. So they figured out something that people relate to and the audience, I believe, wants something new.”

On AEW not having scripted promos: “I understand that the show’s not going to be long on sophomoric, bad acting and humor from somebody else’s pen. The promos are not going to be scripted where every single word is what you have to memorize, as if you’re a trained actor and getting your copy on the day of the shoot. Absolutely makes no sense.”

The need for ad-libbing in wrestling: “If talents aren’t talented enough, no pun intended there, if they can’t ad-lib… then they really need to figure out something else to do. Because that was the backbone that built wrestling, was the guys doing their promos. And talking to the audience and reaching the audience.”

Why AEW shouldn’t try to compete with WWE: “I believe that we’ve got to grow our brand. We’ve got to focus all of our attention on us and not anybody else… I just believe we’ve got to do our own thing and do it well, and not try to copy anybody or be worried about anybody.”

“Nobody is gonna move the needle negatively or positively for WWE. That’s their deal, we can’t affect change on their brand. Why would we waste any time on somebody else’s brand when we already have all we can say grace over for ours?”

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Jim Ross, Jordan Huie