Exclusive: JR Talks Josh Barnett Appearing On Impact

Jim Ross liked the way that his NJPW on AXS broadcast partner Josh Barnett was used by Impact Wrestling in episodes that aired recently on Pop TV.

During his exclusive interview with Fightful.com managing editor Sean Ross Sapp, Ross said he got the scoop on his broadcast partner's imminent appearance on Impact from Barnett himself. In fact, the day before Barnett flew to Orlando, he and Ross were doing voiceovers for an episode of NJPW.

Ross described Impact's use of Barnett as "a smart idea" because the former UFC Heavyweight Champion made one flight to Orlando but appeared on three episodes of Impact thanks to the way the promotion structures its tapings by filming a month's worth of episodes at one time.

"Josh goes in on one plane ticket and he's on three shows," JR said during the interview. "That's smart for Impact. I just assume he got a flat fee. ... He could go there and make one trip and get on multiple programs, so he had a beginning, a middle, and an end, and now he's set up to come back if he wants to."

JR added that he thinks Impact should consider using other talents in the same way that Barnett was used at that taping, which involved a three-show arc with him battling Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Title.

"You do a show, a storyline that hs an arc to it that ends on the last day of their taping. If you get them back, you pick it back up. If you don't get them back, you've had a natural conclusion. That way it keeps the roster somewhat fresh and it's a little different philosophy from what other promotions are using. If you're Impact Wrestling you have to think outside the box. Whereas WWE would not bring anybody in to do a few days deal or a week's taping and three or four episodes. They would not do that. They don't have to do that. Probably Ring Of Honor would be somewhat reluctant, but maybe not. Impact is not in position to be laying down the law in how they're going to use talents. If they can get a talent to come in and work a week and get a couple of episodes of TV out of them, much like Cody Rhodes has done, then that's smart."

Barnett was not part of Impact's most recent set of tapings, which marked the first tapings since Jeff Jarrett returned as the new head of the creative team, but Ross said Impact should consider using him again in the future.

"If I'm Impact, and I'm not the booker, nor do I want to be or play one on television, then I would say, I would consider bringing Josh back because he's an intriguing character that's not overexposed on television and he's got a very believable reality-based background that quite frankly, Impact Wrestling, along with other promotions in America, could use—a reality-based, non-eyeball-rolling, presentation."

Click here to check out Ross' full interview with Fightful.com. You can hear Ross and Barnett call NJPW every Friday on AXS TV.

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