Jim Ross Criticizes WWE’s Booking: “It Has Gotten A Little Stale”

After spending decades in WWE as the lead commentator, Jim Ross shocked the wrestling world when he signed with AEW during the company's inception. Since joining the company, Ross has accepted the role as "the voice of AEW" and has called many instant classics.

On the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross spoke about WWE and gave his opinion on the product they produce today. Ross was very critical of WWE, but gave them credit for putting new faces in the role of champion on their show.

"I think the WWE's booking has just gotten a little stale," Ross said. "They're trying desperately, as you see on NXT and so forth, to get younger. I think Big E, he's not a young pup but he's a new face in that role, and I think that's what they're trying to do. It's like starting the race a little late in the game, it's going to take a little while to catch up and develop young stars. I said this a million times on the show at nauseam, wrestling fans love new. They love surprises, they love things that they can't call, and I believe that to this very day. No matter what their age is, they love surprises."

Ross continued to talk about WWE, bringing AEW into the conversation and praising their ability to provide the fans with matches they've never seen before. JR highlighted some of the talent WWE has been able to sign but stated that it will take a while for them to realize whether or not that young talent will be main eventers someday.

"[AEW] is fresher," Ross said. "Even though they see Adam Cole, they haven't seen him in this environment. They haven't seen Adam Cole against CM Punk yet or Bryan Danielson yet. All these matches are there at Tony Khan's disposal whenever he wants to use them. Tony Khan has done a great job of getting these talents who aren't necessarily young, but new and fresh, and therefore, their marriages/matches with other guys is going to be fresh. I think that's where we are right now, and Tony did a good job of signing all these dudes that can work. They can work with each other, work as a team, they can do anything because they're skilled.

"WWE has got a lot of really good, young talents but it's going to take a while for those talents to realize you've got to be a main eventer and raise your level of performance in every aspect of what you do. From your ring entrance, to your ring attire, to your music, finish hold, how you sell, everything. Everything changes and everything has to be elevated, and I think it's going to take a while."

On last weekend's AEW Dynamite, ratings were down 30.95% from the previous week's Second Anniversary episode, which drew 1.053 million viewers in the normal Wednesday night time slot. Ross spoke about AEW having to move to Saturday night's and how it's affected the show's ratings.

"We're airing on Saturday night and all these preemptions are moving air days because of the baseball playoffs," Ross said. "That's the bottom line of everything, the baseball playoffs take president. Contractually, networks are obligated to carry those games, and they want to carry those games because they get a good rating.

"That's the deal. Nobody should get too upset or concerned that the gross number of households are down because of baseball. Sooner or later, we're going to be back in our regular Wednesday night spot and count down the days to when Dynamite moves to TBS. We just have to keep doing our work, do good shows, and keep it primed until we get back to normalcy."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.