AEW announcer Jim Ross has discussed a former WWE star, saying that they failed to make the grade in the company as they were “unsteady and unstable.”
In the early 2000s, WWE was in the midst of increasing its roster and bringing in new faces to refresh the roster following the end of the Attitude Era. But for every John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Batista, and Randy Orton that were unearthed by the company, there were many more that failed to live up to their early promise.
One of those that very much falls into the latter of those camps was Australian star, Nathan Jones. Jones turned up in WWE in early 2003 with a character based on his past as a criminal who spent time in jail in his homeland. That character was quickly nixed and he was instead paired with The Undertaker as his protege.
A planned tag team match that would have seen Jones team with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 19 against The Big Show and A-Train was scrapped with The Deadman facing his two opponents in a handicap match.
In December 2003, while WWE was on tour in Jones’ native Australia, he quit the company and only wrestled three times following his departure.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross – who previously worked as WWE’s Head of Talent Relations – explained why he thinks Jones didn’t work out as a success for the company:
“I was very impressed. The eyeball test was pretty impressive, and he was a pretty bright guy, i.e., he could put sentences together. Physically, he turned heads, but Nathan was not ready to travel. We’ve had other guys there; their social skills didn’t correspond to their look. It was a fait accompli with Nathan. He was unsteady, he was unstable, I thought, a little bit.”