Jim Ross has revealed what was said in the conversation he had with the most recent AEW debutant Malakai Black after the former WWE star appeared unannounced at AEW Road Rager.
Black appeared on the show interrupting Arn Anderson who was in the ring with Ross’ fellow announcer, Tony Schiavone. As Anderson spoke about the crowd in Miami the lights cut out and when they came back on the former Aleister Black was standing in the ring. Black then floored Anderson with a devastating Black Mass spin kick. This lured Cody Rhodes to the ring where the newly christened Malakai Black repeated his actions decking the first-ever TNT Champion.
With fans shocked at the debut, Jim Ross revealed on Busted Open Radio that he felt the same as he didn’t know Malakai Black was even in the building.
“Well, I’ll tell you the honest to God truth — I didn’t even know that he was there. We were in a unique building that was kind of old school, had different levels, and different, little cubby-holes. It was funny, Mark [Henry], Big Show, and I shared a room for the announcers. I didn’t see this guy all day long, so I was shocked at how it came off.”
“As many fans know that listen to my podcast — which drops every Thursday — I didn’t want to know. I react better if I don’t know the lay of the land, as much. I don’t look at this as a theatrical performance. I look at this as a ballgame, and I don’t need to know who wins the game until the game is over. I was pleasantly surprised that Malakai Black joined us. I saw him after the show, he shook my hand. I never met him before, he said he was glad to meet me and likewise for me.”
Jim Ross then discussed what he told Black during their meeting, saying the Dutchman has high expectations on him coming to the land of All Elite:
“I said, ‘We’re counting on you. We’re counting on you to play in a big way. Not just come in and be one of the boys, but come in and be one of the stars.’ I think he hadn’t heard that in a while. And I think that meant a lot to him. I wasn’t trying to blow smoke, I was just trying to say, you’re a highly regarded piece of talent that we value and we’re happy you’re here. So, now we’re looking for great things. You set the bar high with your debut, now let’s see where we can take you.”
Jim Ross recently discussed on his podcast the difficult position WWE was put in when they had to let a talent go over a deeply offensive tattoo.