Kevin Kelly On Working With The Rock, How Much Rock Improvised, PG Era Helping Women's Wrestling

Recently on The Ross Report, the legendary Jim Ross caught up with the voice of Ring Of Honor, Kevin Kelly. Among other things, Kelly talked about how women's wrestling has benefited from WWE's PG programming and working with ten-time world champion, The Rock.

On the subject of the women's professional wrestling today, Kelly professed that the so-called 'women's revolution' is a byproduct of WWE producing strictly PG programming and that women are not objectified like they used to be.  

"That's one of the best byproducts of PG, is that now women on the roster are being presented not being objectified or abused in any way. But instead, they're put on a pedestal and their athletics are showing through more than ever."

As for working with The Rock, Kelly admitted that Jerry 'The King' Lawler's reactions to the backstage interviews would almost make him laugh and he claimed that people ask him about working with The Rock more than anything else he has done in the professional wrestling business.

"It was a lot of fun and one of the things that always cracked me up, so we did them live-live, so the people could react. I always had the ISB in so, of course, I can hear Lawler and so, Rock serves up a shot, and I try to then stone-face it, and then, I hear Lawler in my ear, 'ahhh!' And it was Jerry's reaction that almost got me to break more than once, but those were always a lot of fun. They really were. And I think I get asked by fans about that more than anything else."

According to Kelly, The Rock would improvise about 30% of his interviews and the rest was memorized beforehand.

"He worked with Brian Gewirtz," Kelly continued, "and they would go off and craft it. Now, I think Brian would probably start with? I'm not sure how much he had, but by the time Rock and I got together, he would say, 'alright, ask me this and I'm going to ask you this,' 'I'm going to ask you this, Rock,' 'yes, I'll cut you off here and I'll say this and you say this'. We'll play with it that way, so I think he had quite a bit of it memorized by the time I would say 70% memorized and then, 30% was just kind of off the cuff."

Kelly suggested that we are now seeing that The Rock was a generational talent in his ability to cut promos.

"It's the difference now between the way The Rock captivated the audience, held the audience, used the audience, as opposed to nowadays where the crowd can hijack a live promo, and the talent may not be strong enough to get it back. Rock had that gift to be able to heel on the crowd and make the crowd love him even more for it and he could push through and get to the point. It's amazing how you see, generationally, how skilled he was in that regard. Today, there [are] some, still, who are able to do it naturally, but it's a skill, man. It takes practice; it takes feel; it just takes confidence to be able to burst through."

Also during the interview, Kelly acknowledged that he was never a fan of Gewirtz.

"I can't sit here and say blow smoke and say, 'oh, I think it's great [that The Rock and Gewirtz are working on a pilot inspired by their time in WWE].' I didn't care for Brian personally or professionally. I didn't like the idea of Hollywood writers coming along and without any kind of wrestling background. And having a role or influence or say on anything that these guys do because they have no idea what these guys experience. How could they possibly write for them? Of course I was wrong and of course they still do this to this day."

Check out the show here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Ross Report with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Source: The Ross Report