WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross recently spoke with ESPN to promote Saturday's AEW Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. JR will be leading the AEW commentary team on Saturday night. Ross recently parted ways with WWE and he told ESPN that he's very excited about where AEW is headed.
Ross was asked about his WWE contract negotiations with Vince McMahon, but he revealed that he agreed that they wouldn't even discuss an extension.
"I've tried to represent our business in an admirable and honorable way since 1974," Ross said when asked about the talks with Vince. "I got taken out of the game by the coaches and the team's decision, of which I didn't agree with. So what do you do? Well, you can b---- all year, or you can do what you're signed to do and when the opportunity comes, like I did here, my contract expired and he and I agreed we're not even going to negotiate to extend it. To negotiate to do the same thing I'd been doing is something I could not live with."
Ross also talked about his roles with AEW outside of announcing.
"I'm going to do all I can to help this young group," JR said. "Share what I got, what knowledge I have, what expertise I have, whether it be in the infrastructure of the talent relations department or other areas. As a senior adviser, I can advise anyone in the company, especially the president. So I may be as much as Tony Khan's consigliere as any other job. It's a good way to describe what I'm doing as senior adviser is helping all of these guys, but I'm not going to get into that world of playcalling and strategizing matches. If somebody asks, I'll tell them what I liked and didn't like, how I thought it could be better or whatever it may be."
He was asked if AEW wanted him to take on a more specific role in talent relations. He clarified that he won't be hiring talents and doesn't want to be a head of talent relations.
"I don't want to be head of talent relations," JR said. "I'm not hiring any talent. I'd like to make that clear. People are wearing me out wanting me to hire them. I don't hire anybody. I would have not signed on if I had to be an EVP and be in charge of the talent roster. It wouldn't have been something I wanted to do. My patience for some of the millennial kids they are hiring, that anybody hires -- they need a lot of time, time I don't have. I'm going to help them as much as I can, but that's not my area of expertise."
Regarding WWE, Ross said most of the people running the company don't understand pro wrestling. He was asked if he was given any reasons why his WWE workload was cut back.
"I've always had a little bit of creative freedom to express myself," Ross said. "Over time WWE kind of reeled that back in, I guess they had some of that research or it was due to personal philosophy, I don't have a clue, but most of them don't understand wrestling -- they are in administration there. They are great marketers, they've got some brilliant, brilliant people in WWE, no doubt about it, but I think some of the key decisions are being made without an inordinate amount of product knowledge, which is not going to make them happy to hear, but that's the way I look at it. Vince could do better by surrounding himself with a different kind of consultant or writer or creative people or whatever."