Arn Anderson recently spoke on The Arn Show about Jim Cornette and his highly publicized criticism of All Elite Wrestling. Cornette often refers to the company as “All Petite Wrestling”, and criticizes the abundance of high spots in AEW matches. Arn said while he shares the same kind of old school mentality, it’s also important to keep your finger on the current pulse of the product and listen to the audience.
“Well, Jimmy, like everybody else and every single person on this earth, they have a right to their opinion,” Arn said. “I would just say: stay true to whatever you truly believe and you have the right to feel any way you want. I have mixed feelings about a lot of things in this world, and you have a right to voice them. Jimmy has his way of looking at the business and I respect a lot of that. I also think we all have to evolve and we have to cater to some of what’s already been introduced as far as higher impact moves, and bumps, and things of that nature, and just the sheer physical part of how the business has evolved.
“We have to accept that that’s here and it’s probably going to stay, but I also do respect the fact that we have to protect the talent from themselves,” Arn continued. “We got to protect the story that we’re telling in the ring and we have to protect each other, and I do feel, which I think Jimmy does too, is we’ve got to dial down a little bit of the danger and some of the things that talent are doing. We got to protect them from themselves, and a lot of things – Jimmy – I share his thoughts about old school rules of the business, and I certainly have my own way looking at the business these days. But I do think we have to be flexible in our thought process and, more or less, get our finger on the pulse of which is the most important. What does the audience want, and listen to our audience and listen to what they say.
“Give credence to everyone’s point of view,” Arn added. “Sometimes, somebody entirely out of your loop will say something and you go, ‘D–n, I didn’t think about that. It’s right under my nose.’ And this could be your neighbor, it could be the person at the grocery store, it could be somebody at the gym. You got to be receptive to change, and everything changes, including our business.”
Arn Anderson isn’t the only person to respond to Cornette’s criticism of the company, as Jim Ross has also spoken up on the situation and shared the same sentiment that Arn did.
“We’re still friends,” Ross said. “We’ve never agreed on all kinds of things because he is the kind of guy that rarely has a compromising moment. He’s very set in his ways, he knows what he likes, he knows how wrestling in his view should be positioned and I’m not disagreeing with that. It’s just that sometimes, the message gets a little bit coarse and overly generalized. We know what we have, we know what we need. I think basically, Corny is pointing out the obvious. He’s not providing any information that I’ve seen that is new and revolutionary. It’s the same thing many of us say behind the scenes. There are things we need to do, but look, these kids are working their ass off, Conrad, and they’re not all giants.”
You can check out the episode in it’s entirety in the video above.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.