On the latest Ask JR Anything episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross was asked about his favorite AEW match of all time and od 2020. Ross noted the one match that’s stood out the most to him.
“I loved Dustin [Rhodes] and Cody [Rhodes],” Ross said. “[The best match of the year?] The tag with the Young Bucks and FTR I liked that a lot. I liked Brodie Lee and Cody in that dog collar match. There’s a couple of Moxley matches that I thought were really good, I’m a big fan of Jon Moxley. Overall, just looking back in total, the Rhodes brothers match might be my favorite match thus far that we’ve done in AEW.
“Live crowd, the dramatic use of blood, the story behind it. It became very personal and emotional, it wasn’t a ‘rasslin’ storyline so to speak. It was based on reality. They turned it on and it got me [emotionally].”
JR talked about the most rewarding moment in the history of his time spent in the business. He said there’s been memorable matches and moments throughout his career, but the one that stands at the top is one that he can close his eyes and picture.
“My induction into the Hall of Fame in 2007 in Detroit,” Ross said. “I was inducted by Stone Cold, we went on first, the audience was cold. I remember one of the writers said ‘I need to look at your speech,’ and Steve had not written anything down. Total ad lib and it was fantastic. I can still on my mind right now, close my eyes and see [his wife] sitting in the crowd smiling from ear to ear with a bunch of my Oklahoma buddies. Probably was one of the more significant moments because it wasn’t an easy ascent for me.
“It wasn’t easy to get to that level for my run in WWE, it was a challenge. Vince was a hard ass guy, but he paled in comparison to the hard ass guy who raised me, so I was ready. I think even though it was challenging, it made me a better guy. There’s so many great matches, Bret vs. Steve, Rock vs. Hogan, the first TLC at WrestleMania, but i think the Hall of Fame would be the shining star in all of that.”
In August of 2013, Ross was let go by WWE while hosting a roster announcement for the WWE 2K14 video game. WWE reportedly fired him because he appeared to be intoxicated and used profanity while doing the introduction alongside Ric Flair. Ross mentioned the claims that he was drunk and says Flair was involved in getting him to drink that day.
“That was a bad decision on my part,” Ross said. “I had a couple drinks but I wasn’t drunk, that was a lie. When I got to the shoot and I went to the green room, the liquor was flowing like water. A lot of the guys that did drink, drank too much. I guess [Flair] and I were two of those guys, but are you kidding me?
“I wouldn’t have done it either, but yeah that was controversial. I think I got taken off the team at that point, I made bad decisions. I don’t mind taking responsibility for some of those screwups, we’re human.”
Ross also talked about another WWE Hall of Famer in Scott Hall who never became the WWE Champion during his run on top with the company. Ross said Hall was the only person standing in the way of him never holding the most prestigious championship in the company. He also talked about Hall’s ability to this day to help out a wrestling company and believes he should still be working the business in some capacity.
“Scott’s personal demons are the only negative on his checklist,” Ross said. “He had a great mind, he still does, very astute. He can work, very well, he could be a big heel or a big baby face. The only thing that held Scott back was reliability. He was a prisoner to the drugs and the booze that he had a hard time getting past that element. That became his identity at certain points of his career which is totally unfortunate because he was a hell of a hand in the ring and had a great mind.
“I’m surprised somebody hasn’t nabbed him up and got storylines or in a creative capacity because I think he’s that good. It wouldn’t have surprised me but under better circumstances that Scott was a world champion. He had the skills, the look, the aptitude. He just had those little demons nipping at his heels that seemingly never went away.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.