Before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the wrestling landscape as we know it, Jim Ross says AEW was planning to add house shows to the schedule.
When asked during a recent interview with the Wrestling Observer whether or not he thought AEW needed live events, JR said, “Absolutely and I think that’s the plan. There were some live events penciled into the schedule until the virus.”
“You can’t get better working one night of the week. It doesn’t matter who you are,” he added while clarifying that somebody like Chris Jericho doesn’t need to work a full schedule at this point in his career, but the younger performers on the AEW roster need the reps.
“A lot of guys need to continue to work under the supervision of the coaches in AEW to continue to learn the fundamentals,” the announcer explained.
Ross also points to the fact that house shows are an important revenue stream. Up to this point, AEW has only consisted of weekly airings of “Dynamite” and “AEW Dark,” plus their pay-per-views.
The revelation comes in stark contrast to what Cody Rhodes has said in the past regarding the potential of non-televised live events. “One of the benefits of working for All Elite Wrestling, if you’re a competitor, is you’re really only working one day a week,” he once told the Dallas Morning News.
Rhodes went on to criticize the idea of house shows more generally. “I think the model of the live event system, and I’m not trying to knock anybody, is antiquated. The last few years [I was] with WWE, those houses live events and not TVs were good, they were a couple thousand, but they weren’t the same as the big TV spectacle,” he said. “It just seems like you’re putting less of an emphasis on your show if you do that.”