Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone Talk JR Negotiating Their WCW Contracts, TNT & Talent Creating Their Own Content
Photo: Simon & Schuster
With his new book Under The Black Hat set to hit shelves on March 31, Jim Ross joined his Dynamite broadcast partner Tony Schiavone and AEW referee Aubrey Edwards on the latest episode of AEW Unrestricted.
During the interview, JR and Tony noted the significance of having AEW Dynamite on a network with so much wrestling history like TNT.
“Well there’s history there. Nitro history and TNT has the NBA. I spend a lot of time watching TNT during basketball season because I enjoy the pregame show and the halftime stuff. Ernie Johnson group, they’re amazing, they’re entertaining. They’re better than any NFL pre-game or post-game team by far, because they give you information, they give you an opinion whether you like it or not you get an opinion and that’s kind of what we do on AEW. You’re opinionated and I’m opinionated…”
Chris Jericho’s influence on the AEW product also gets brought up and JR explains what it has to be like for a major star like him (as well as the newer talent on the roster) to have the freedom to create their own content:
“In the same vein of thought why we don’t have writers to tell wrestlers what to say in a given scenario, Jericho can handle his own creative. He can be himself and I think that’s something he has not been able to have. That freedom, maybe a little bit in New Japan when he had his run over there, but by in large, the guys domestically in the pro wrestling business haven’t had that luxury of creating their own content.”
“Well and if that’s what made you, then why not continue doing what’s successful?” asked Aubrey.
“Well that sounds logical, but sometimes the decision makers in wrestling aren’t logical,” said JR.
Nearing the end of the conversation, Tony had an interesting story to add as he talked about how JR helped negotiate their contracts back when they both worked under the letters of WCW.
TONY: “Jim negotiated my first contract.”
TONY: “Yes he did.”
JR: “I had too much coffee that morning. Oh, God. I think they agreed to our terms just to get me to shut the hell up. I really believe that. ‘Shut the hell up. We’re gonna do the deal. Stop. You got your deal.’ So it was great.
TONY: “Yeah, and I in the meeting thinking, ‘I better say something about myself to sell myself,’ but then I think, ‘He’s on a freakin’ roll. Let him go, man.'”
“When I got home that day I told Lois, Lois: ‘How’d it go?’ I said, ‘It’s great. We’re gonna make more money than we ever made thanks to Jim Ross.'”
JR: “Well we earned it, we deserved it.”
JR later added, “We kind of set the benchmark is what I’m saying, and that number helped me get a good number with Vince in ’93. So it was an interesting move. We backed into that deal, quite frankly.”
TONY: “Right place, right time. Right person in our negotiations, too.”
AUBREY: “Right amount of coffee.”
JR: “Yeah, too much coffee.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
Listen to the third episode of AEW Unrestricted in its entirety below: