Christian Cage shocked the wrestling world when he came to AEW after appearing at this year’s WWE Royal Rumble.
During his time since his AEW debut, Cage has become the IMPACT World Champion by defeating Kenny Omega, and even wrestled the AEW World Champion, unsuccessfully, at AEW All Out. Speaking as someone who signed both he and his best friend Edge to their first ever contracts with WWE, Jim Ross spoke on the latest Grilling JR Podcast about Christian and what he lacked in terms of charisma compared to his partner. The AEW Commentator gave credit to Cage for his match with Omega at AEW All Out, but said Christian never connected with the audience the way Edge did.
“I always thought Edge was going to be a breakout star because he connected with the audience,” Ross said. “[Christian] was always the clear number two on that team. I was glad they both got their opportunity to grow on their own, but I always thought that Edge had a little bit of a leg up in that scenario. That does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that Christian wasn’t a great hand. The match that he had with Kenny Omega in AEW was outstanding. He still is a hell of a worker, he’s always been a hell of a worker, but he just didn’t quite have that connectable charisma that Edge had. It’s not a knock on Christian whatsoever, just [Edge] had a specialness about him and I’m happy he’s back in the game at a schedule he can manage and take care of his health.”
With AEW Grand Slam week coming to an end, Ross spoke about what it means for the company to have made their first appearance in New York. Ross also spoke about Tony Khan’s ability to put together a fantastic roster, and how many dream matches the company will have down the line with their new acquisitions.
“It’s a big step for us, a big step forward, and something that Tony Khan and the team have been building to prepare for that,” Ross said. “I know that when we booked the venue, I wasn’t concerned in a negative way. I just didn’t know what to expect. I had never been in that facility before in my life. I’m probably not the world’s greatest Tennis aficionado. I did catch the US Open this year just to see what the arena looked like with people in it. As the fans have watched, it was pretty impressive. Good win for the team and everybody is happy I think, and I sure was proud to be a part of that presentation.
“It brought back a lot of cool memories of passion, and all the signs, and masses of people and to see their enthusiasm. More important for me to hear their enthusiasm was just the medicine we all needed. Tony Khan has proven that he has a great taste in talent with the acquisitions he has made. I’m really excited about the future because the potential dream match pairings with our roster now is unlimited. There’s just going to be so many dream matches, can you imagine CM Punk and Bryan Danielson? CM Punk and Kenny Omega? Then you have Adam Cole now, Jon Moxley. Those pairings are just endless and they’re matches that when you talk about them, it excites me because you know the potential of those darn things. All those guys respect each other and want to work with each other. I’m really happy for our future and what we’re all doing. It’s fun stuff.”
Since taking a commentary job with AEW, Jim Ross has made several blunders at the announce desk, notably calling the AEW World Championship the “WWE World Championship” and referring to Paul Wight as “The Big Show.” At the age of 69, Ross has called some of the greatest wrestling matches of all time, and the criticism he’s received for his mistakes can be viewed as very disrespectful for someone of his legacy.
JR spoke about more criticism he’s received from fans of social media who are upset with the commentator over his tone on the broadcasting during certain moments. The WWE Hall of Famer said he can’t be over the top at every moment while he’s on commentary, and that each match has a different feel to it and needs a different call.
“People have to understand that every match can’t have that, every match is not going to get that call,” Ross said. “It’s the wrong set up. The wrestlers got to make the music, and I’ll do my damnedest to make the right tone and reflection. They’ve got to start the process by making the music and setting the stage and putting it all in place. Could I go crazy on every call? I could, if it’s warranted, if it’s merited. I haven’t lost my passion. That same passion that you heard I’ve got now. It’s just what you hear and what you see, what kind of music are you guys giving us? Are you giving us the right sort of music that we can go there and it not be obsolete and ridiculously out of place?”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.