Jim Ross Told Malakai Black: "AEW Is Counting On You To Be One Of The Stars"
Black debuted in AEW last week
Jim Ross has revealed he told AEW's newest recruit, Malakai Black, that the company is counting on him to be one of their stars going forward.
Black surprisingly debuted on AEW Dynamite last Wednesday, attacking Arn Anderson and Cody Rhodes, and Ross says he had no idea that the former WWE star was set to show up on the show.
Upon meeting Black for the first time backstage following the show, the AEW commentator made a point of telling him how important he expects Black to become to AEW.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, JR said: "The honest to God's truth is I didn't even know that he was there. We were in a unique building that was kind of old school and had different levels and different little cubby holes. It was funny, Mark [Henry] and Big Show and I shared a room for the announcers and, you know, 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 said, 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 it as a ball game. I don't need to know who wins the ball game until the game's over. So I was pleasantly surprised that Malakai Black joined us.
"I saw him after the show. He shook my hand. I'd never met him before, he said he was glad to meet me, and likewise for me.
"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. I think it 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. We're happy you're here and so now we're looking for great things. You set the bar high with your debut, now let's see where we can take it'".