As wrote about earlier here on WrestleZone, The Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer was on Jim Ross‘ The Ross Report this week. Meltzer and JR covered a wide range of topics that includes the late Larry Matysik, the rumors around the All Elite Wrestling promotion, WWE’s use of comedy in storylines and the company’s talent being over-scripted. Quotes are below (transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo at WrestleZone):
Dave Meltzer on WWE’s toilet humor comedy and the over-scripting of personalities:
“To me it’s all entertainment, but it should be good. I don’t mind occasional comedy, I like it, but it’s not a comedy show. The comedy can’t be forced comedy. I think the toilet humor stuff, I don’t know, it’s like I kind of outgrew that in maybe junior high? It is an older audience now and it’s almost like doing that childish stuff is out of touch with the modern audience in a lot of ways.”
“They [the wrestling talent in WWE] have compelling personalities, but the personalities they portray on television are so overly scripted that the person where I see them or talk to them and feel like ‘you know this guy’s got charisma, he could be something’ and then when I watch them on TV it’s like ‘uhh, it’s not working’ because like you said so many times, they’re not actors. They know how to be themselves, but when they’re out there doing something that’s really not themselves and not their own words and reciting lines – and there’s so much talking. I think that’s part of it too, is like if it was perhaps like 90 seconds of talking and you have to remember a few things you might be okay but when you’re out there – there’s very few guys that are good at extemporaneous speaking and even the ones who are, I think they could do it three minutes instead of 15 and be just as effective and the show would flow so much better cause the audience wouldn’t get so bored and things like that and we both know that doing a three hour show every week is challenging as hell, even a two hour show.”
JR on three-hour RAWs & the talent on 205 Live:
“That’s daunting. Look, as long as WWE does a three-hour Monday Night RAW and we all understand the financial implications of doing three hours, I get that and for that reason, the old ‘quote unquote’ bottom line, I’m not against a three hour show. I think there’s some things that they can add to it. I think they can add a little bit more 205 [Live] content and attempt, at least attempt to the national audience, a bigger audience, to get some of those talented young guys over that are in the 205 brand. I don’t understand that because they’re always going to be perceived as ‘that online show, that digital show and they’re not really the main stars of any kind, they’re just those smaller guys, preliminary guys. They don’t even put them on RAW or SmackDown very often.’ I think that’s a bad perception.”
JR and Meltzer on the under-utilization and booking of the RAW Tag Team Titles:
JR: “Apparently, Bobby Roode, who’s a hell of a talented. Apparently, Bobby Roode’s robe and his music mean more than winning the tag titles. And why would you cut away to a men’s restroom during a championship match?
Meltzer: “What got me was when you said that I go ‘what was the tag team title match?’ And I start thinking, ‘oh yeah, the match where he peed on the robe. It’s like, it was so ridiculous, yeah you made the tag team match feel like this comedy match with guys that don’t matter. And when it was over, Bobby Roode sort of looks like a goof, which is the worst thing, you never want your babyface to look like a goof. Moreover, it made the championship mean nothing and did AOP get great heat for winning that match? No. Did you come out of it going like ‘oh I want to see Roode and Gable, they got screwed in the match I want to see them come back those guys are really talented.’ No. And they are really talented and I didn’t think that at all when it was over. It was totally counterproductive to me and it really, to me, I don’t think the show ever quite recovered from it.”
JR on the rumors surrounding his involvement with the potential All Elite Wrestling promotion:
“I’ve been rumored to be in every role in this company and what you find out is eye-rolling, I swear to God it’s eye-rolling. At one point it’s Jericho and me, which I thought ‘that’s really stupid.’ Me and Jericho are gonna spend all the money we made over the years to get into the wrestling business. ‘Nah, you crazy? Are you nuts?’ Then secondly, then we’re not involved at all. It’s these other guys that are really the movers and shakers. There ain’t nothing to move here, folks. There ain’t nothing to shake. Am I dodging all the issues here, Dave or is there something that I’m not addressing that people don’t understand.”
Meltzer: “Obviously, Cody’s made it’s very clear that it’s serious talk, until everything’s intact, if it wasn’t for the trademarks I don’t even know if I even would have reported it, but once the trademarks are out then it becomes, okay, there’s a viable story here, but I still think yeah, yes. It could be a giant story and it could turn out to be nothing and we’ll know in due time. Right now we’re in a holding pattern because until, when or if a TV deal is placed – I think if there’s a viable TV deal I think there’s enough names and talent that we kind of do know a nucleus of who could be there, but even so it’s a few people, and obviously it’s a great group to start, but you also need more than that so yeah, there’s a lot of questions. We’re going to start knowing stuff I would say early next year, one way or the other.”
Dave Meltzer on the late Larry Matysik of the St. Louis territory who just passed away last weekend:
“Really, really smart guy. It’s funny because I feel he was very underutilized after 1984 in the wrestling industry. He’s one of those guys where you talk to where he knows it and he gets it and he’s got the experience. You knew people like that and somehow the business changed and they kind of, they just didn’t remain in it not by choice, but by the fact that they constricted, but there was so much knowledge and input and you know like if he was inquired and he was really good at logic and perhaps I think he could have helped any of the creative for any company at any time. I mean, he was very good at that. It’s too bad.”
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