AEW announcer and Senior Advisor Jim Ross appeared on Busted Open Radio earlier today with WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca, to promote Saturday's AEW Fight for the Fallen event. You can download the full show at this link.
One of the topics discussed on the show was the unprotected chair shot that Cody Rhodes took from Shawn Spears at AEW Fyter Fest last month. Bully asked JR his opinion on chairs and chair shots in general, and Ross said he believes chairs have run their course in pro wrestling.
"I think the chairs have run their course to be honest with you," Ross said. "The chair shot back in the day, the chairs were there as usable objects because we are sitting on them. The ringside fans and the studio audience were sitting on them. Those steel chairs and folding chairs were everywhere because they were handy, easy to stack, cheap, easy & inexpensive staging. Now, then nobody sits on a steel metal folding chair. They're all locked up on ringside. Usually nicer chairs. And the announcers don't sit on folding chairs. Maybe the timekeeper does, I don't know. It's a work that it's such an expose. Another thing, the boys know, if they're gonna use the chair they gotta assume the doggy-style position. They're on all fours waiting to get hit in the back. And I can't recall ever in the last many years that a chair shot to the back has beaten a single soul.
"So, why are we doing it? I'm not b---hing about our creative. It was edgy. It was out there. In hindsight I wouldn't have done it. But it happened and we [the announcers] called it the best we could. But I think the chairs are kinda like the authority figures - I think they've kinda run their course. Unless somebody can figure out a way to make them more innovative and current, I'd say lets 'table that stuff'. No pun intended Bubba. Let's get rid of those chairs for a while."
Ray responded and said, "Sounds like you're not in favor of the chair more from the psychology perspective of it than the actual physicality of it. Because it seems like the physicality of it is what people wanted to harp on."
Ross mentioned CTE and how important it is to protect the wrestlers.
"I'm a big person to want to protect the CTE issues and people's brains," JR said. "Because obviously we know that some of those injuries are irreversible. Guys get their brains rattled so many times over and over again - you're asking for trouble. If you dodge the bullet then God bless you. I just think that we gotta protect the CTE, protect the talents. I'm big on that. But again, it's kinda run its course. I feel when a guy assumes the position you think you're getting ready to watch a scene from a prison movie. He's on all fours here. Come on. We have a lot of high flyers here in AEW. But at some point in time they gotta start winning matches with their high flying moves instead of using them as segue spots to get from point A to point B."