Jim Ross Criticizes WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins for Calling AEW the “Minor Leagues”

Jim Ross was “fired up” again this week on his Grilling JR Podcast with Conrad Thompson. What had Ross so upset this week was the comments that Seth Rollins made about Kenny Omega being in the “minor leagues” with AEW.

Rollins said the “minor leagues” comments when asked by a fan at a recent Q&A about a match with Kenny Omega and Rollins said maybe if Kenny left the minor leagues, which is a reference to AEW where Omega is an Executive Vice President right now.

You can see the video of Seth’s comments above. It’s worth noting also that Omega was critical of WWE NXT in an interview last month as well.

Thanks to Wrestlezone for the transcript below.

“You’re right, I’m pissed off about it. Here’s what I’m pissed off about: Number one, it doesn’t do any favors for our business. Our business in general, any promotion in the total of all the pro wrestling business it’s bigger than any individual. Now I’m not inferring that Seth thinks he’s bigger than the business, but by what he says sometimes, you can make that assessment, rightly or wrongly, but it’s not a classy thing to say, for an athlete of his designation.”

Ross went on to commend Rollins on his in-ring work, but made it very clear that he doesn’t believe that Rollins is a top draw for the WWE.

“Since this came out, I talked to two Hall of Fame guys—off the record cause I’m not going to throw them under the bus—that were embarrassed about those remarks as well. It doesn’t do the business any good and one of these cats even said to me, ‘Well maybe Rollins is breaking under the pressure because he’s getting a lot of criticism.’ You know, here’s the deal folks: the WWE today is a whole different world than it was when guys were earning a buck or a downside guarantee significantly, based on what the live events and the PPVs were producing.”

“As another Hall of Famer has mentioned to me, it’s not about the individuals being over or drawing the house or selling out, it’s about the WWE brand selling out. Hence, the best illustration is WrestleMania. The brand name WrestleMania and the parent company, the big dog in the yard, WWE is what sells tickets to WrestleMania under the auspices that they’re going to do deliver a special show, opponents and participants to be named. But Rollins is in a great spot, he’s blessed, maybe someday he’ll be as over as his girlfriend, I don’t know, but nonetheless, I’ve always liked his work. He’s a solid guy, he’s a solid guy, but saying things like that make him look bad and for that I feel bad for him. I just do.”

Ross then went on to make it clear that his focus is entirely with AEW and not with what the WWE is doing.

“Here’s the thing I find incredulous about this deal—one of the things. He says, ‘Well, when you’re through playing in the minor leagues…’ Ironically, Mr. Khan’s got more money than Vince, but nonetheless, that’s another story for another day. We believe we have a great network in TNT, we think we have a chance to build a nice brand. You never heard from me ever, Conrad, even when we’re drinking, say ‘we’re gonna kick WWE’s ass.”

CONRAD: “Oh no, never.”

JR: “It’s stupid!”

Ross went on to praise how amazing a Rollins vs. Omega match would be, and explain why Rollins comments have him so upset.

“If Omega and Rollins did have a match it would be a great match because both of them are great workers. I was upset at Seth because I thought his comments made him sound bad, made him sound bush league. Made him sound like he was one of those guys that was born on third base, woke up and thought he hit a triple because it’s just, for a guy that worked his way through the indies and Tyler Black and Ring Of Honor, great hand, I don’t know what happened with some of these guys.”

Ross then went on to speculate what could have lead to Rollins making those comments.

“I just believe sometimes it’s internal, sometimes what they’re driven to say, what they feel obligated to say, they say things that they think will gain the favor of their bosses, I don’t know. I don’t know what the answer is, but for a top talent that’s being blessed with great health right now—thank God—and making a ton of money and dating the hottest woman in the business, arguably by many, man what do you got to bitch about? Are you kidding me? We’re over there working our ass off and a lot of us have dedicated our lives longer than you’ve been alive to this business, and we’re busting our balls without knocking – I’m not knocking WWE. I think it’s a bad thing when you’re knocking a company that’s working our ass off to be good.”

Finally, Ross compared Rollins criticisms to his co-host Conrad Thompson starting his mortgage company.

“It’s just frustrating, Conrad. You booked your mortgage business from the goddamn ground up, man and so somebody say, ‘Conrad, that little rinky-dink company that’s not as big as Chase or somebody,’ right? That’d piss you off. Well, it’s successful and you’re working your ass off, and you’re a good guy and you love what you do. That’s kind of where we are in this AEW thing. Young team, ever-evolving, going to continue to grow, going to continue to make mistakes, gonna have to tweak our styles here, there and yon, but so what? So what? That’s what growth is about and evolution. So it will be a fun journey that we’re on, but again, my deal with Seth is not his work. All those guys are playing under different rules than the guys on the old Attitude roster that we put together. And guys that I talked to today, not just specifically about this matter but this matter was included, says it’s just a whole different locker room, different world, different mindset. And some of that charm of the old school wrestler is slowly slipping away and for that I say that’s a damn shame.”

Matt’s Musings: Having a WWE Hall of Famer such as Jim Ross completly lambaste his comments may have Seth Rollins wishing he never reactivated his Twitter account. In the end, hopefully both sides can just put on entertaining programming and not worry about taking jabs at each other.