It’s quite obvious watching pro wrestling today vs. watching it 20 or 30 years ago that the business has evolved. Some say it’s changed for the better while others say it’s changed for the worse. Jim Ross has been around the business for over 45 years and he happens to fall into the latter category and doesn’t think the business has evolved into a better place.
JR was asked about that and how it relates to wrestlers today using finishers from yesteryear simply as regular moves. JR thinks those finishers – such as Jake Roberts’ DDT or Shawn Michaels’ superkick – should be protected and he talked about that with Conrad Thompson on Grilling JR.
“No, that evolution of the business is bulls***. Or that the business is evolving. How the f**k do you know that it’s evolving? Not you Conrad, but in general. Yes, they should be protected. Of course they should. ‘Well, we don’t sell right hands. But if you hit me with your left, it will register.’ What!? ‘But if you hit me with that right, I’ll sell it like a drunk man.’ Come on; that’s so stupid,” said JR.
“The DDT is a finish instead of a transition spot. Shawn Michaels, same thing? the superkicks are just a part of the flow of a match. Nobody wins with it, so what’s that say to you? Does it say that back in the day guys were more proficient at delivering a DDT or a superkick than they are in this generation where things are evolving or changing? I want some proof of that s**t. I want somebody to prove to me that the changing of the wrestling business is what it is today and that it’s making a difference. Maybe it is in some people’s eyes, but is it making a difference? I say no.”
JR then criticized when wrestlers dive over the top rope into a group of wrestlers who are foes but still standing side by side. He says that no one ever wins with that move and it’s just done for a pop.
“They go, ‘Holy s**t! This is awe-some!’ It’s a spot, folks. It’s a trapeze act. Come on! ?I don’t buy into that. The DDT is a great finish and it should be used as such unless you’re not as proficient as Jake the Snake was and you can’t execute it. What if I said it on commentary, ‘Boy folks, do you remember those DDTs and when somebody hit that it was over? I guess these guys just aren’t as good at it as they used to be.’ That ain’t gonna help anybody, but there’s a thought there and same with the superkick,” stated JR.
“So yeah, I’m not big on that ‘the business has changed.’ Tell me how the business has changed that you can bastardize established moves.”
JR then recalled watching an old match featuring Verne Gagne and Lou Thesz that lasted one hour. The match was centered on Thesz’ headlock and Gagne’s sleeper hold and each trying to avoid the other’s signature move. JR said the match was simple but it allowed a story for the announcers to tell.
“I think we’ve taken some shortcuts and liberties with in-ring stuff to where we do things now that are really sensibly illogical,” said JR. “Not all the time, but the theory is, ‘Let’s do more.’ How many tope suicidas do you need to see in a match or a show? That’s Excalibur’s favorite call, ‘Tope suicida!‘ Ok, good. And he’s right ? he’s better at that stuff than I am. But the bottom line is, how much barbecue can a redneck eat?”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.