During the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross talked about the career of Jim Cornette. Throughout the show, Ross mentioned how Cornette has been very critical of AEW on his podcast, the Jim Cornette Experience, citing some of the talent as being too small and not believable. JR said he wishes Cornette would stop bashing AEW and see that there’s a new era in wrestling, and that this is what is getting over to the fans.
“If he’s going to lambaste somebody, I wish he would lambaste another company other than AEW as much as he does,” Ross said. “I take some of that personally. Like, wait a minute, I know as much about wrestling as you do, I’ve been on a lot of the same journeys here, so don’t bull–it me about ‘this’ should change. It’s a different world.
“I’m not telling you I like it, I’m telling you that’s what it is. The world is changing, and a lot of us just have to change with it or get out. You get along or you move along in today’s world, where you’re talking to young talents that have been raised in different homes, with different philosophies, and a different era than we were. You can’t manage them exactly the same.”
Ross continued to mention how he’s made changes to his style and his perception of the business compared to what it was for him in the past. He said that people like Cornette need to realize that this is a brand new era in the wrestling business, and he talked about how much he enjoys his job with AEW.
“Sometimes that means that the senior members, like me, have got to compromise,” Ross said. “You have to change and be willing to listen to another alternative. There’s things I call in wrestling, and it’s been this way for years, that I don’t like. But that’s not my call. My call is to show up, and do my job, and do the best I can to get talent over. It’s simple as that. Whether I believe or not that they deserve it or will ever get over, that’s irrelevant. I’ve been able to try to move on in that regard.
“I’m enjoying the hell out of my job right now. It’s the best job I’ve had. Best boss I’ve ever had in Tony Khan. The bottom line is, I don’t think Cornette would ever be able to bend his principles and philosophies to make that work.”
At age 22, Ross said Cornette was one of the best promos in the wrestling business and one of the most talented managers at the time. Ross compared a young Cornette on the mic to a current day MJF in AEW.
“It reminds me where we are right now with MJF,” Ross said. “He’s 23 years old, and his skillset is well beyond his years. That’s why this kid MJF is going to be such a star, and a bigger star as the days go on. He may be the future of AEW. When I see MJF create his own promos, create his own content, it reminds me of Jim Cornette. It reminds me of a young Paul Heyman.”
Ross also mentioned his skeptical thinking when he first saw some of the smaller talent in AEW be positioned as top stars. He said he was quickly proven wrong, and learned that Tony Khan was right to believe in the talent the way he did.
“There’s talents in AEW that I didn’t have the utmost confidence in that Tony Khan did,” Ross said. “Old JR was wrong, and I don’t mind saying it. At the end of the day, how well do you perform bell to bell and can you put sentences together to encourage me to stay tuned or to come back. We got a lot of smaller guys in AEW that can do that.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.