Jim Ross has admitted he is surprised to hear of Andrade's request to leave WWE during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but believes the promotion's denial shows they are 'keenly aware' of AEW.
Reports broke late last week that Andrade had asked WWE to let him out of his contract, having not been used on television since October of last year, but the former NXT Champion would confirm on social media on Thursday that the company had declined to release him.
Former WWE commentator Ross, who now works for All Elite Wrestling, was shocked to hear of a WWE superstar asking to leave the company and a guaranteed pay-check during these difficult times.
Speaking on the Grilling JR Podcast, he said: "I am surprised during this COVID climate that people are asking for their release. You damn sure don’t want to ask for a release unless you’ve got somewhere to go and can establish some stability and financial security. I don’t know if he has that or doesn’t have that.
"I’m not as familiar with his work, Andrade, as a lot of guys are. I don’t watch as much WWE TV as people would expect. I have different viewing habits now. I’m not going to watch a three hour RAW.
"Unless you’ve thought it out and you got a good long range plan in place, it’s probably not the smartest thing to do. If it’s an act of defiance or an act of anger, that’s probably not the right reason to ask for a release especially if he doesn’t have somewhere to go. I’m not sure where he’d go."
Ross however speculated that WWE's decision to not release Andrade was to stop him potentially joining AEW, and the company wouldn't mind making the Mexican superstar sit out his contract.
"To me it says WWE is keenly aware of AEW,” Ross added. “We’re not that ‘p*ss ant’ company that Triple H said we were going to be at the beginning. If I were [Andrade], I hope he’s thought it out.
"Right now, the most significant thing in his timeline is he’s dating and living with Charlotte. That’s his claim to fame. He is a good worker don’t get me wrong, he looks great but right now he hasn’t distinguished himself. He’s another guy, a very talented other guy. Would I like to work with him someday? Why not.
“I’m not surprised that WWE refused it because that allows them not to make him happy or another company. They don’t give a s**t if he sits at home till the contracts over. If you’re going to dig yourself in a hole, get ready to step in it. You think he endeared himself to the decision makers [in WWE]? I don’t."
H/T Wrestling Inc