Jim Ross recently made an appearance on the Busted Open podcast where he discussed the advice he has given to the younger talent at AEW, which was recorded shortly before Fight For The Fallen this past Wednesday. The talk of rules has been discussed with AEW Vice President Cody Rhodes and FTR in regards to teams following to the rules. Ross agreed with those sentiments saying that the tag ropes were taken out in AEW because some crew members thought they were “lame”.
“Yes, I try to, and a lot of them come to me to ask questions. The issue is that not everyone listens,” Ross stated. “We don’t have tag ropes anymore because some in our crew thinks it’s lame. I think that’s bulls–t.
“Heels need rules to break. They need shortcuts. It’s just common sense. It’s basic human instincts. The villains, when they get outwrestled, they cheat. It’s never changed. It’s not going to change. Most of them listen and are appreciative.”
Ross said that some of the producers and coaches at AEW have stepped up and helped young wrestlers. He talks about the type of knowledge that they have been passing to the roster.
“I think some of our coaches are taking more ownership,” Ross said. “I’m always impressed with the knowledge that a guy like Dean Malenko or Jerry Lynn share with the talent because they’re good communicators. They’re not heavy-handed. They can be frustrated as well. Some guys, unless they think of it or if it’s their own philosophy, don’t believe you’re accurate. How can you not take advice from a guy like Jerry Lynn or Dean Malenko on psychology, pacing and timing?”
Ross compared the job of a pro wrestling to a job of a stand-up comedian. He talks about the ability and need to let things breathe for the audience to take in.
“I tell young guys your job is a lot like being a stand-up comedian,” Ross stated. “Stand-up comedian takes the stage. He tells a joke, and then the good ones wait for the laughter to let the audience process the joke. Slow down. Let them process. I think some guys just don’t have the confidence in their game to work a hold, put them in a predicament, let them work out of it and let them work back into it. It’s basic psychology.”
Ross recalled a conversation with Jerry Lawler where they talked about how wrestling hasn’t really changed from the idea of enticing emotions within people through a good vs. evil template. He believes that the only thing that has really changed is the pacing of matches and the athleticism of wrestlers.
“I was talking to Jerry Lawler late last night, and we were laughing about how some younger talents want to make the business, but [say] we reinvented the business. It’s the new style of wrestling,” Ross recalled. “To that I say bulls–t. Double bulls–t. We play on human emotions.
“I don’t believe the business has changed so much. Now some of the athleticism, the pace, that’s changed a little bit. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes not, but the basic foundation and fundamentals of wrestling are not gonna change.”
Ross also gave some constructive criticism in the presentation of Taz and Brian Cage. He praised Taz’s promos but questions why Taz needs to stand in front of Cage.
“We had some camera work that we need to be more aware of. Taz does not need to be standing in front of Brian Cage,” Ross pointed out. “I’m not knocking Taz. He’ll probably take it that way, but so be it. Nonetheless, we have to have better positioning in that regard. Taz has cut some damn good promos. I really enjoyed those quite frankly.”
He also critiqued Cage for not reacting more to the FTW Title to get people to care about. Ross feels that Cage needs to show more personality as his biggest selling point so far has only been his large physique.
“When Brian got the FTW belt, he didn’t register it one bit. He was nonplussed,” Ross noted. “So, if it didn’t mean sh-t to him, then why should it mean sh-t to me or you or the fans? There’s been a lot of good things in that build. I like Taz’s heel work. His promo work is as good as anybody we have right now, quite frankly, but Cage has got to show more personality.
“He is a hell of an athlete and sometimes he works like a babyface with all the flying stuff and that might need to be addressed. It’s a learning process.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.