Ross (living legend of professional wrestling broadcasting)
Ross profile - WWE official website
Ross to retire - 11th September 2013 (WWE.com)
hot BBQ sauce and WWE Shop a winner for Australian
fans; Brings back fond wrestling memories, by Greg
Tingle - May 2013
put it bluntly, Jim Ross is a sports-entertainment
the play-by-play man on Monday Night Raw for nearly
a decade, the tough Oklahoman has the resume to earn
himself acknowledgement as one of the greatest commentators
in the history of the squared circle. Coining the
phrase "business is about to pick up" and
sporting his trademark black Resistol cowboy hat,
Good Ol' J.R. was a WWE staple in the broadcast booth
following his debut in 1993.
his unmatched passion and unmistakable southern twang,
J.R. called the action on television to millions of
fans worldwide each week. A walking wrestling encyclopedia,
the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame inductee takes great pride
in knowing all the stats and inside info on WWE Superstars.
J.R. isn't someone who is afraid of getting knee-deep
in the action he's calling. From time to time, J.R.
has even gone as far as to knuckle up and throw down
in the center of the ring with Superstars like Jack
Swagger and Triple H, not to mention fellow announce
booth mate, Michael Cole.
until his retirement in September 2013, Ross was always
at his best when he was at ringside, beautifully calling
the action of the business he's loved his entire life.
William "Jim" Ross is a professional wrestling
commentator (born January 3, 1952 in Fort Bragg, California),
known professionally by his stage name Jim Ross or
simply JR. Jim Ross is a restaurateur, professional
wrestling commentator and former company executive
currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE) working on its Raw brand as the play-by-play
commentator. To many peers, Ross is considered to
be one of the best wrestling announcers in history
and has been called the voice of World Wrestling Entertainment.
He is known affectionately as "good ol'"
J.R. or simply J.R. to his fans. In 2007 he was inducted
into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside his long-time
commentary partner Jerry Lawler.
recent years he has developed his own brand of
barbecue sauce, beef jerky and cookbooks, and
has since opened a successful barbecue restaurant
in Norman, Oklahoma, with plans to expand the
business into a multi-location franchise centered
in the Oklahoma City area.
his time in college, Ross had spent some time
commentating on college radio. With this experience,
Ross was given a chance to be a sideline commentator
when an announcer in one territory was unable
to show up one night.
after Bill Watts bought out the Mid-South territory,
Ross went to work there, becoming their lead play-by-play
man in 1986. The first World Title match he called
was between Ric Flair
and Ted DiBiase. When
Jim Crockett, Jr. bought the Mid-South (since
renamed the Universal Wrestling Federation) and
merged it with his Jim Crockett Promotions group,
Ross joined the new company and eventually supplanted
Gordon Solie and Tony Schiavone as lead play-by-play
man for the National Wrestling
Alliance. Ross continued to hone his skills
and build his legacy as Jim Crockett Promotions
became World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
worked his way up the ladder, yet along the way
had a contentious relationship with WCW executive
Eric Bischoff. According to Ross, Bischoff, who
reported to him, did a really good job of "selling
himself" to executives of WCW's owner Turner
Broadcasting. According to Bischoff, Ross mistreated
him, and when Eric was promoted to executive producer
in 1993, he "justly" fired Ross from
it happened, Ross had an air-tight three year
contract with Turner Broadcasting, but he took
an immediate buy-out for fear that he wouldn't
get work elsewhere if he was taken off television
for a long period of time. Mick
Foley claims that Ross resigned from WCW's
booking committee. Ross left WCW after being taken
off the air by Eric Bischoff.
his extensive work in the NWA and WCW, Ross was
hired by the World Wrestling Federation (later
known as World Wrestling Entertainment), making
his debut at WrestleMania IX and taking over for
Gorilla Monsoon on WWF Wrestling Challenge the
next weekend. Ross worked alongside Bobby Heenan
on that show until Heenan left the WWF in December
1993. Ross was originally the main voice of the
WWF's pay-per-view events when he was first brought
in, calling both WrestleMania IX and the King
of the Ring with Heenan and Randy
Savage in 1993. Vince McMahon took his position
at payperviews starting with SummerSlam 1993.
was then made host of Radio WWF, which lasted
a little under a year. In this role, Ross was
joined by co-hosts such as Johnny Polo, and talked
to various WWF Superstars and fans. Ross and Monsoon
called SummerSlam and the Survivor Series at the
end of 1993 and the Royal Rumble for Radio WWF.
was fired by WWF on February 11, 1994. He subsequently
became an announcer for Smoky Mountain Wrestling
and the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.
Vince McMahon was indicted by the United States
federal government in 1994, he was unable to continue
commentating on Monday Night RAW. After a few
weeks of Gorilla Monsoon on play-by-play, the
WWF rehired Ross to fill in for McMahon alongside
Randy Savage throughout that summer. When McMahon
was acquitted, Ross was let go by the WWF again,
but the Federation quickly rehired him in early
1995 in time for WrestleMania
XI. Relocated to the syndicated WWF programming
for the majority of the next two years, Ross would
rejoin the primary announce team in the summer
September 1996, Ross turned heel in WWF storylines
for the first time in his career. Following Diesel
and Razor Ramon leaving the WWF for World Championship
Wrestling and debuting there as The Outsiders,
Ross began to proclaim on television that he was
still in touch with "Diesel" and "Razor"
and claimed that he would be bringing them back
to the WWF soon. On the September 23, 1996 episode
of Monday Night RAW, Ross delivered a worked-shoot
promo during which he ran down WWF Chairman Vince
McMahon (outing him as chairman and not just a
commentator for the first time in WWF storylines)
and debuted his "new" Diesel and Razor,
claiming that while working in the WWF "front
office" he'd been the man responsible for
so many people leaving the company as part of
his "revenge" against the WWF for how
they treated him in the past.
this angle, Ross went on to host various WWF programs
such as Superstars, Action Zone, Monday Night
RAW, Shotgun Saturday Night and SmackDown! Ross
again became the main voice of the WWF beginning
at the 1997 Survivor Series.
1998, Ross took a break from RAW, due to the death
of his mother and the worsening condition of his
Bell's Palsy. He eventually returned to RAW as
part of a storyline alleging that Vince fired
him because of his condition, but that he would
not go down quietly and enlisted the services
of "Dr. Death" Steve Williams as his
personal "enforcer." The storyline went
as far as to have Jim Ross set up his own announce
table in front of the official announce table
labeled "JR Is War." The storyline was
soon dropped and Jim Ross took his seat back as
"official" commentator of RAW starting
with the main event of WrestleMania XV.
Bell's Palsy proved fodder for ridicule by WWF's
competitor, World Championship Wrestling. Ed Ferrara
parodied Ross, including doing a full impression
including mockery of his medical condition. This
was received negatively by fans and wrestlers
alike, with Jim Cornette even threatening legitimate
physical harm against Ferrara. The angle was soon
dropped by WCW.
Ross was the "voice of RAW" throughout
the Monday Night Wars alongside Jerry Lawler and
cemented his legacy as one of the great wrestling
commentators as WWE became the sole major wrestling
promotion in North America. After the WWE Brand
Extension, Ross worked exclusively for the RAW
brand, cutting down to doing play-by on RAW-only
pay-per-views, while SmackDown!-only pay-per-views
were announced by SmackDown!'s announce team.
most of the next six years Ross was involved in
very few storylines. Also during this time, Ross
served as an Executive Vice President of Talent
Relations for the WWF/WWE, a codified extension
of his long-time role as a member of management
backstage in charge of hiring new talent. By 2005,
Ross had stepped down from his executive and management
roles. According to repeated statements on his
official blog, the move away from management proved
beneficial in terms of decreased work-load, giving
him more time to focus on his health, his family,
and his entrepreneurial endeavors.
working as the voice of RAW, Ross was again "fired"
(as part of a storyline) from his play-by-play
job by Vince and Linda McMahon on October 10,
2005. Doctors had discovered a serious issue with
Ross's colon, and his storyline termination provided
an explanation for his absence. The next week,
Vince McMahon performed a skit on RAW ridiculing
Ross' condition, acting as a "doctor"
performing surgery on a Ross dummy, and removing
several objects from the dummy's colon in a much-maligned
storyline. Soon after, WWE ran an angle where
Ross' good friend Steve
Austin would fight for Ross' job. However,
WWE dropped the angle when Austin backed out over
creative differences. While recovering from his
colon surgery, Joey Styles (best known for his
commentary work for Extreme
Championship Wrestling) called the weekly
RAW. After recovering, Ross helped produce the
RAW announcers from backstage, and was brought
back for Saturday Night's Main Event in 2006,
then the RAW-brand matches at WrestleMania 22
in Chicago, before taking back his play-by-play
job on RAW on May 8, 2006.
Ross' contract with WWE expired in October 2006.
At that point, neither side had signed a new contract
and instead worked week to week under the terms
of the expired contract. In November 2006, Jim
Ross stated on his official blog that he had signed
a new one year contract with WWE and would continue
to work year-to-year.
March 31, 2007, Ross was inducted into the WWE
Hall of Fame by Stone Cold Steve Austin. As of
2008, Ross continues to work play-by-play for
WWE's RAW brand.
is married to his wife Jan and has two daughters
(from a previous marriage) and two granddaughters.
He suffers from Bell's palsy, which sometimes
results in temporary paralysis of Ross' facial
muscles. In late 1998, following the death of
his mother, Ross took a break from RAW as the
effects of his grief reportedly worsened his Bell's
palsy, and Michael Cole filled in for Ross. Despite
his condition, Ross has established himself as
one of the all-time greatest wrestling commentators,
often compared to Gordon Solie.
2007, spurred on by sales of his line of barbecue
sauces and beef products, Ross opened up J.R.'s
Family Bar-B-Q, a barbecue restaurant in Norman,
Oklahoma. The restaurant has proven very successful,
and, via his blog, Ross has announced plans to
expand further into the Oklahoma City area. As
of 2007, the next location is under construction
in Moore, Oklahoma, and there are plans to franchise
the restaurants nationwide. (Credit:
Ross official website