As noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross was recently a guest on Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast. Among other things, Ross talked about the importance of talent developing a relationship with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as well as Matt Hardy using his 'broken' persona in WWE programming.
During the interview, Ross shared that he used to encourage talent to have a relationship with McMahon because he may go with the talent's creative ideas if he trusts them.
"I used to tell talents this when I'd sign them, 'here's what you need to do to come to work here, and stay here, and be great, and make a lot of money, is be the professional that we expect out of you in all phases, but whatever you do, develop a healthy, genuine, not disingenuous ass-kissing, but a healthy relationship with the boss because that will go miles down the road and give you opportunities because he gets to know who you are, he gets to plug into what you're about as a person. A little bit of that could be converted into creative and then your creative is more organic.'"
While establishing a relationship with McMahon is probably harder for talents nowadays because of the workload, Ross suspects that McMahon would say it is still possible.
"I think Vince would be very adamant by saying 'yes'. Are those opportunities every day and very, very easy to obtain? Probably not simply because of the workload, but I just don't believe Vince will ever let go, and he shouldn't, of his relationship with the talents. Understand most of these kids wanted to get into the business forever. This is their dream job, right? Well, this is the guy that created the dream in that regard. So sometimes, it's intimidating for them because he is the most omnipotent man in the world that's in our field."
According to Ross, talent who do not speak up reduce their chances of making an impact in WWE.
"I can see for some talent who aren't self-starters and maybe don't have the confidence in their game yet," Ross continued, "[saying] 'I'll just stay over here and be quiet - nobody's going to notice me and I'll extend my shelf life.' And I can tell you, nobody likes that. Within the creative portions of the company, if you sit silently, don't contribute to your character, don't have an idea, we don't see growth in all areas as a professional, you lessen your own chances by staying silent and not speaking."
On the subject of 'Woken' Matt Hardy, Ross suggested that Hardy has been long enough to know how fleeting opportunities are and that he will not get another chance to do this gimmick on the WWE stage. Ross went on to say that he likes the gimmick.
"Matt has been around long enough and is tuned to the business in-depth enough to know where opportunities come and how fleeting they can be. He has one chance to make 'Woken' Matt Hardy work and he is in the process of it right now, so it has to work now because it won't get the second reboot, in my opinion. And I'm not prophesying any failure. I like the persona because of just what [Roberts] said, he's committed to it and it feels organic. It feels like he has had a metamorphosis of attitude, and theory, and mind, the whole nine yards."
Check out the show here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast