WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently took to his podcast, “The Ross Report,” to talk about several professional wrestling topics. Of course, one big topic of discussion was All Elite Wrestling (AEW). “Good Ole’ JR” discussed AEW’s pending TV deal, believing AEW will land a major TV network, once meeting up with AEW President Tony Khan for drinks, and more. Here are the highlights:
AEW rally wouldn’t have happened if a TV deal wasn’t practically done: “I don’t think you go on and do a big presentation like those folks, the Khans, AEW, did on Tuesday if you’re not pretty damn set on your television outlet. So I think the television outlet is more set than people probably know and maybe they’re not ready to know or need to know right now.” Ross said.
“Maybe there’s an I not dotted, or T crossed or whatever, but getting on a basic cable channel to me is imperative.”
A TV deal being essential to AEW’s success: “The issue is television is king. That’s your heartbeat. That’s your heartbeat and I’m of the belief, maybe I’m wrong, that a television deal is, I guess the politically correct term is ‘imminent’. I think a TV deal is basically done. Why would you do all of this celebration and this thing on Tuesday and all that without having more? You’ve got your [ducks in a row].
“You’re showing us that you have your ducks in order or getting there on talent. And so I’m believing they’re not going in half-cocked here. Why would you have this major announcement, this huge event, or huge company, all that’s going to happen, if you didn’t have TV pretty much locked up? So I’m sure the paperwork, the ink’s not dry, and all those good things.
“Could be possibilities or they’re still negotiating some finer points, whatever, but I believe, come this Fall, that AEW is going to have a very prominent television partner that’s going to give this team the opportunity to be successful.” Ross noted, “I do think that the TV’s more in place than they are ready to announce right now and I understand that too.”
New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW): “New Japan does a real nice job of having a small roster in number that remains special,” Ross said. “They do a real nice job of keeping their guys separate, keeping some exclusivity to the rivalries. That is [an] athletically oriented presentation.
“If there is anything I would suggest and I don’t know because I have not discussed it with anybody. Probably New Japan is going to be the closest analogy to what I perceive AEW might be, and I stress ‘might be’ because I don’t know. You can do more things, develop more talent, and do it in a reality based manner that people don’t roll their eyes every 30 seconds because they’re watching that damn wrasslin’ again.
“There’s credibility to it and at least the presentation bell-to-bell is going to feel like you’re watching kind of a perverse legitimate sporting event.”
Having drinks with Tony Khan: “Alex [Marvez] and I have been friends for years, since the WCW days. And he introduced me to Tony and we had a [pro] wrestling fan chat and had a few drinks. But I said, ‘if somebody was ever going to do a pro wrestling company, the foundation is not a mystery. It’s all about television and talent.” Ross explained, “you can’t have one without the other.”
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions