Jim Ross Talks About Working WWE Commentary With Vince McMahon
The latest WWE Classics column from Jim Ross on WWE.com features JR talking about his time working commentary with Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler. Here’s part of what Ross wrote:
“Much like Bill Watts, the owner of Mid-South Wrestling and UWF who I broadcasted with a generation earlier, Vince knew exactly what he wanted to see and hear on the broadcasts that he created and produced. I cannot think of any occasion where I was ever better prepared for a broadcast than when working with McMahon. Traveling with the head honcho and talking the product 24/7 certainly kept one completely immersed in the moment and informed of WWE’s creative direction. When we went on the air, we were thoroughly prepared, ready to inform and entertain … or adlib on the fly if need be, especially when the chairman would call an audible.
One thing that I’ve always admired about Vince is his untiring work ethic and relentless pursuit of the brass ring. McMahon often said “that sleep is our enemy” and no matter how many hours we put in at work prior to going on the air, Vince was always ready to go over the top, become larger than life and fulfill his role as the voice of WWE.
Most fans don’t realize how challenging it is to broadcast live TV, especially in a hybrid genre such as WWE. Unlike the on-air talents in the NFL where they have producers figuratively joined at their hip, providing them with info and tidbits of data, we WWE announcers are responsible for getting ourselves ready for every broadcast. Luckily for me, Vince McMahon, who created the product, was my broadcast partner and I fed off of him. I traveled the same road as Vince in the creative sense.
Obviously, we had different styles and backgrounds, but, along with Lawler’s brilliance, that’s what helped make our three-man team special. Vince was an outstanding storyteller and he knew the direction that he wanted the product to take. “King” and I simply had to listen and emotionally invest while coming up with our own material to complement what McMahon established.”