During the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast, Jim Ross went in depth on 2 of AEWs coaches: Dean Malenko and Jerry Lynn. Ross said about Malenko that he’s been a great friend of his behind the scenes, and that his ‘stale’ wrestling persona isn’t true outside of the wrestling ring.
“Dean’s one of our coaches at AEW,” Ross said. “Another valuable contributor to what we’re doing. Behind the scenes, he’s funnier than hell. Dry sense of humour. He’s battling Parkinson’s; he’s courageous, he’s fighting through it and he’s always in a good nature. I see him at T.V. every week. We always have conversations. I enjoy talking to him because he makes me laugh.”
Ross talked about Jerry Lynn’s time spent hovering around WWE during the early 2000s. Lynn spent a cup of coffee with the company in 2001 that only lasted a year. He also mentioned that he always pushed for Lynn to come to WWE and would mention it to the writers in the company who had no idea who Lynn was.
“They said that to me,” Ross said. “Can you get us a highlight tape or something on Jerry Lynn? You seem to be high on him, JR. We’re not familiar with his work. Jerry Lynn, at one time, was a hell of a hand. He’s doing a phenomenal job for AEW right now as a coach. He does a really good job with talent to the point where a lot of the top talent want Jerry Lynn to be their coach for their match.
“At a certain point with those writers, [they felt] we’re just using JR’s guys. We need to have some say in this, and that’s where the rubber met the road. You guys don’t have enough product knowledge to f***ing tell me who’s a good worker and who isn’t. If I get you a player and I put him on the team, you as writers, creative people, play-callers, have got to be able to come up with the right plays to get this guy in the game. Everybody’s always looking for power. The writers want to have some power.”
Ross continued to mention how much control the writers in WWE really wanted to have. He said the decisions they wanted to make were always just to please Vince McMahon by bringing in guys with size who didn’t have the wrestling ability of someone like Jerry Lynn.
“They wanted to control the draft,” Ross said. “They wanted to draft the players. I can understand that to some degree. What they were going to do–they were going to kiss Vince’s ass even more by bringing in guys they knew would pass Vince’s eye test. They may have s**t character, they may not be reliable, but boy they look good on an 8 by 10. We’re not going to have any defiant reaction from Vince because we know he’s going to like this 6’3” bodybuilder, greased up, hair wet, tattoos. Same s**t as now.
“If they did that, all the talent would look like Adam Bomb, who looked perfect. But you don’t need 20 of them. It was all to ingratiate themselves with Vince, to make themselves more valuable and to have a part of it. Where they can go to a talent and say, ‘Hey, bro, I brought you in.’ No, you didn’t. You didn’t bring in s**t. You didn’t sign a contract, you didn’t make any money offers, you didn’t negotiate with agents or lawyers or any of that. I did. So, ‘Bro, I brought somebody in’ is bulls**t.”
Ross continued even further to say that Jerry Lynn should’ve been hired because of his ability to make everyone in the company look better. He also said the writers pushing back was all about them just trying to please Vince even more.
“It was all ego oriented,” Ross said. “It was all about wanting to ingratiate myself to the boss; I want to make Vince happy. You think Vince would’ve hired Jerry Lynn just on sight? Jerry’s 5’8”, but he’s a hell of a wrestler. He could make everybody he wrestled with better.
“Would I have hired Jerry Lynn for the main event of WrestleMania? No. And that’s not a knock on Jerry Lynn – I love the guy. He was a positive influence on younger talents. Jerry overcame size implications to earn a living in pro wrestling for many, many years because of his enhanced skill set, and not because of his enhanced biceps.”
Ross also talked about Chyna during the podcast and her unwillingness to wrestle women during her time with WWE. He said he wishes some of the current women in wrestling today were in the company back then because she wouldn’t have complained having to work with some of the top females today.
“She thought she was way, way above wrestling any women,” Ross said. “I wish we had Cris Cyborg or Ronda Rousey. She wouldn’t have that same attitude if she was booked with Shayna Bayzler, but booked with Ivory? Or Torrie Wilson? Or Trish [Stratus]? None known as shooters by the way – that’s not why they were hired. Those were some miserable days where a talent thought it was a lot more about them than the whole picture.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.