Jim Ross says he appreciated WWE’s offer to appear at the Raw Reunion show, but it was an easy decision to decline.
JR went into detail about his decision on the most recent episode of his podcast, “Grilling JR”. While speaking with Conrad Thompson he said AEW President Tony Khan was good if he’d accepted the offer from WWE, but Ross felt it might raise questions about his relationship with AEW.
Saying it wasn’t that he turned WWE down with any hard feelings. In fact, he said, “I appreciated the opportunity to come back to Tampa to see all my buddies and so forth.” Instead, Ross was concerned about what a certain segment of fans might think. He explained, …”if I had gone there, there would be a certain segment of the social media society that would’ve said, ‘Uh oh, there’s trouble in paradise, JR’s looking to bail already, he’s already back with WWE, something’s wrong with AEW.'”
A second reason was how serious he was taking his role as a mentor in AEW. Part of his new job is to work with the young talent on the roster and groom them as a team, ready to take on the world of professional wrestling under the umbrella of AEW. If he’d have jumped at WWE’s offer, JR was worried about what message that might send. “I’ve taken on this role with these kids in AEW, that I really embrace and I love it. I’m an old coach at heart,” he explained.
Ross Probably Made the Right Call
Fans in WWE would have loved to have JR call another match. That said, he would have been just another former star on a huge list of stars who made small appearances on the show. By not leaving AEW when an opportunity arose, even if for the short term, he proved he was an “AEW guy” and set a strong example for the AEW roster.