The wrestling world was hit hard this past week when WWE announced they were releasing several big names, including Keith Lee, Karrion Kross, Ember Moon and several others. On the latest episode of the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross spoke about the recent crop of WWE releases and why he believes the company has let so many talents go in 2021.
JR also provided some advice for those talents who have been let go this year, stating this isn’t the end of the road and to work on developing their skills better.
“When you become a public company it changes the ground rules throughout said company,” Jim Ross said. “Even though they had a huge profit, which is, congratulations to them, it was bad timing. I thought about coming off the heels of a big announcement that announced great profitability during the third quarter minutes after you’re finding out a lot of talents, all of them are good soldiers [are let go]. Is it creative? Is it an issue we’re not aware of? Is it simply budgetary? Have some people overstayed their welcome? I don’t have a clue. I know that for all of them that got let go they should not perceive this as the end of the world because it sure as hell isn’t. I just don’t believe any of those talents should be thinking that ‘I guess my run in wrestling is over’. It’s only going to be over if that is your choice. Then maybe you might have your own answers, maybe it’s not that important anymore and you’re willing to go do something else and explore other opportunities.
“I don’t know that, but I know that one of the questions I used to ask talents all the time is ‘What is your plan B?’ If they gave me no plan B, I used to question them on that. Here’s what happens: you get into the process to this person that has one goal which is to be on WWE television and then if things don’t work out, sometimes people make stupid mistakes to try to rectify it. They become less of a team player and they’re disappointed in the system and what has happened. The bottom line is it’s up to all of those individuals, some of them can take their time to work on their bodies, some of them can take time to heal, god forbid they may want to spend more time with their families and there is this thing called the holidays coming up in December. I feel badly for them, I’ve been in this position and I never went into the next day saying what are we going to do. I always prepared for those rainy days, I’m a businessman.
“That’s what I would look at, take this time to better yourself, get bigger, stronger, faster, clear your head, be with your family. But I can tell you this, getting cut from the WWE or AEW or any other company, because you get cut doesn’t mean it’s over. I hope they listen, I feel for you but don’t jump down the rabbit hole of ‘I’m just going to get away from everything, I need time’. If you need time, take time but don’t get up in the morning thinking I don’t know what I’m going to do, this is horrible. Yes, this is horrible but get over it. Get over it and move forward and prove yourself and try to regroup because there’s a lot of folks doing wrestling right now. If you’re ready, willing and able and you’re a good locker room person, what the hell, give that a shot. Something else is going to come around, that’s the main message I would give them.”
AEW President Tony Khan spoke about taking advantage of WWE releasing tons of talented wrestlers like Ruby Soho and others on the latest episode of The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz. Khan mentioned the impact the WWE releases signing in AEW has had on the company and how they only look to hire a few superstars each time.
Jim Ross also continued to talk about whether or not he could see some of the recent names ending up in AEW. Although he believes some of the talents would fit in AEW, Jim Ross said he has no interest in getting involved in that field anymore.
“I don’t know why a lot of those people were cut, I like some better than others just like anybody else,” Ross mentioned. “But if there’s a place for them in AEW, I’m sure that will be explored. I don’t know, that’s not my area, that’s Tony Khan’s area. I don’t try to edge myself into that piece of business, I was there for a long time and I don’t care to be back in that role again. It’s just too much stress, pressure and Tony is young and he’s got control of the ship. He ain’t got to call somebody to ask if he’s got to sign this guy, he does what he needs to do that he feels is right for AEW so we’re lucky we have him. I would assume some of those folks will get a shot in AEW sometime in 2022. I’m guessing that but I could sure see some fun things happening with some of the folks that would be available.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.