Wrestling News

“It Doesn’t Seem Plausible” – Jim Ross On Intergender Wrestling

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‘Good Ol’ JR’ Jim Ross has spoken out about his views on intergender wrestling and why, to him, it isn’t believable.

Contrary to the beliefs of the legendary voice, intergender wrestling has proven to be somewhat believable and popular in the last few decades. From Andy Kaufman wrestling only women to Beulah McGillicutty vs. Bill Alfonso – while bloody – being an example of how two athletes of opposing gender can work together to create something memorable.

While World Wrestling Entertainment try to shy away from pitting man against woman for obvious reasons, their intergender tag team matches have often been a riotous success. Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34 was a celebrated occasion partly thanks to ‘The Baddest Woman on the Planet’ convincingly tangling with her male counterpart.

When it’s done right, the stipulation can provide drama and a welcome change to a stale product or storyline and one of those who always did it right was former WWF Women’s Champion, Chyna.

Appearing on his Grilling JR Podcast, AEW’s lead commentator became involved in a discussion about ‘The Ninth Wonder of the World’ Chyna and her intergender wars against the likes of Jeff Jarrett and Chris Jericho in the late nineties and early noughties.

“It went against a lot of things Chris believed in when he first got in the business being trained in Calgary. Do you think Stu Hart would have booked a woman vs. a man? I don’t. Cowboy [Bill Watts]? Nope. Eddie Graham? Nope. Vince Sr.? Nope. Because they want to protect the business, it isn’t a spectacle in that regard, it is an athletic event.

A woman, even though she had amazing stature, a great look, all that stuff, beating a male was still hard to accept in that era. I never accepted it and I just wasn’t ready for it. I’m still not a big fan of intergender matches and I know I’ll get criticized for that too. It doesn’t seem plausible, it doesn’t seem real. The more things we do in wrestling today in any company that takes me out of the moment that isn’t plausible is not good for the business. End of story.”

However, that notion changed when Chyna came onto the scene. Bigger and more fearsome looking than your average male superstar, the woman who began as a bodyguard to Hunter Hearst Helmsley was tangling with men while her counterparts were contesting Bra and Panties Matches.

When asked about Chris Jericho’s style of wrestling against Chyna – he was accused of working stiff against the talent – Jim Ross stated that the current, ‘Demo God’, always worked that way with everyone:

“I don’t remember there being a significant issue. I’m sure Chris being trained in the dungeon in Calgary, son of a former NHL goon, he might not have thought that was becoming of his wrestling career. I could see that, a lot of guys had that same feeling but I never heard it made public from Chris. If it had been a big big deal, the matches would not have occurred.”

With such a strong stance against intergender bouts, Jim Ross went on to talk about how Chyna wouldn’t have gotten the opportunities to work with the male roster had it not been for Vince McMahon.

According to the commentator, Chyna had refused to work with the female athletes, instead preferring to prove her worth against the men:

“She wouldn’t have gotten those opportunities if the [Vince] had not signed off on it. He still was not sold on her wrestling men but he eventually warmed up to that as well because she did wrestle men. I never warmed up to that as I said, it just seemed to be unbelievable. I may be too set in my ways, I’ll admit that, but I’ve never been able to get over that hump.

I know that’s going to piss off Tessa Blanchard fans and all these other fans, it’s no disrespect to any of those women. I don’t think men should wrestle women either. This ain’t Jim Carey the inter-gender champion on the Tonight Show. It’s supposed to be a real sporting endeavor but maybe we’re too far from that to be considered any longer.”

Currently, Jim Ross serves as lead commentator on All Elite Wrestling and has vowed to called the first match of Brodie Lee Jr. when he comes of age to compete.

Credit for the interview: Grilling JR. Podcast

h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.