WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently weighed in on the formation of All Elite Wrestling on The Jim Ross Report. Specifically, Ross speculated that a TV deal is more or less in place for AEW come Fall 2019. Ross suggested that AEW will most likely be most comparable to New Japan Pro-Wrestling in terms of roster size and an athletic presentation. Also, Ross talked about the advice he imparted on AEW President Tony Khan.
According to Ross, the AEW rally most likely would not have happened if a television deal was not basically done already.
“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 added, “maybe there’s an I not dotted, or T crossed or whatever, but getting on a basic cable channel to me is imperative.”
In Ross’s learned view, a TV deal is essential for AEW’s success. ‘Good Ol’ J.R.’ went on to say that he thinks AEW will be on a major network come Fall 2019.
“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.”
Also during the podcast, Ross stated that NJPW is probably the closest thing to what AEW will be as a promotion with an emphasis on athleticism and a real sports presentation.
“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.”
Additionally, Ross shared that he met up with Khan for drinks and told the young billionaire that pro wrestling promotions require talent and a television deal to be successful.
“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.”
Check out this edition of ‘Slobberknocker Audio’ here https://www.westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/the-jim-ross-report/ or via the audio player below at the link below.
Source: WrestlingINC with credit to The Jim Ross Report