Jim Ross Talks In-Depth About NXT vs. AEW Wednesday Night War On "Grilling JR" Podcast

Jim Ross Gives Insight Into Vince McMahon’s Mind As NXT vs. AEW War Approaches

On the latest episode of the “Grilling JR” podcast, Conrad Thompson talks to WWE Hall Of Famer and the voice of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Jim Ross, about the big news that WWE is moving NXT TV from taped one-hour shows on the WWE Network to live two-hour shows on the USA Network starting on Wednesday, September 18th, and airing the same night as the AEW On TNT weekly series premiering on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Featured below are some of the highlights from the show.

On NXT TV moving to USA Network: “I’m not surprised. Knowing Vince as well as I do and working with him so closely as I did for over a quarter of a century. He, to lay back and let AEW grow independently and freely was never going to happen. He feels threatened for some crazy reason, and I think that’s interesting to me. I’ve seen on Twitter where ‘Well, AEW started all this because Cody busted up a prop, a throne or something. And the Bucks did something. I can see where the point is made, but I don’t know that there was ever any gunshots at each other. But it didn’t surprise me.”

On competition between NXT & AEW: “Competition is good. It’s gonna be like a football scrimmage, Goods vs. Good. We’ll be very happy to compete. We knew it was gonna be a competition all along, we all knew it wasn’t gonna be an easy road. But at no time in my interview process, or my short experience since March with Tony Khan and AEW, have I heard one person every say that ‘Oh, we’re gonna get the WWE on this one.’ It’s never been brought up! It’s brought up online. It’s brought up in the wrestling media. And I just see that when Vince moved NXT off his own network that’s streaming. I’ve been a loyal subscriber to the WWE Network since the day it started … but man, I tell you Conrad. It tells us all we need to know that, is WWE aware and cautious about the development of AEW. Well, the answer is obviously yes! Should they be? I don’t really know if they should be or not. Because no one is going to supplant WWE as the #1 sports entertainment company in the world. That’s just the way it is.”

On whether or not the shows will be written with competition in mind: “It could, good point and good question. I would say it’s on the radar, big-time. How do we write TV, how do we — how long are we away from action. Factoring in how long a commercial break is, do we have a segment that’s only talking, and no physicality. You might see less of those. But I don’t think talking, the promo side’s gonna be a big deal on AEW anyway. These promos are not scripted, they’re real and they’re natural, and they’re made based on bullet points. But I think if you’re the writer, you gotta be aware of the flow of your show.”

On Vince McMahon potentially taking control of NXT: “I think Vince has his hands on everything, from approving t-shirt designs to everything else. And as you said, who’s gonna stop him? Nobody’s gonna stop him, ’cause that’s his company. He built it, so it’s his football. If he wants to play quarterback, he will. I just think from a time situation, and the fact that the launch of the XFL is imminent. And he has a lot of skin in the game on that one, millions and millions of dollars, that the football’s gonna take him away from some of the wrestling. Not all of it, but some of it. And as much as, he’ll never be out of touch understanding the direction of the show is going, and the talents more specifically are being pushed that he wants. He’ll never stop that. But he may not be at TV as often as he was, where he’d never missed … I see this thing as, the individual guy who is responsible for the show will be at the head table along with Triple H, who will be at all these events more than likely. And Kevin Dunn, the executive producer. You’ll see roles like that being filled in Vince’s absence.”

On Vince loving competition: “But you’re right, he will have a hand in it, now more than ever because there’s competition. And Vince loves competition and loves to compete. Vince McMahon once told me, and I don’t remember how he got into this thing, I remember where I was sitting, that, ‘JR, I’ve gotta tell you something. I’ve never lost a street fight’ … that’s kind of his mentality. Vince will look at this as somewhat of a corporate street fight. Because he needs to have that mentality to get what he needs out of himself. He loves to compete.”

On believing Vince won’t change much with NXT: “He’ll be involved, but I don’t think they will deviate too far from what brought them to the dance, speaking of NXT. They have a good show, I enjoy watching it. I love listening to Mauro Ranallo, who I consider a friend. And he does a great job. And talents, they’ve loaded that roster up. It’s a who’s who. So in any event, Vince will be involved in some manner as long as his heart is beating.”

Check out the compete episode of the “Grilling JR” podcast below, or at Omny.fm.

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