Official’s View with Wes Adams: Jim Ross – End of an Era?
Welcome to another edition of Official’s View with Wes Adams exclusively on PWMania.com. The biggest news story this week (possibly of the entire year) was the retirement/release of Jim Ross from the WWE roster. Speculation has run wild about heat being put on Jim Ross for Ric Flair’s behavior at a recent round table forum, which lead to his release.
What a sad day for professional wrestling. I started watching wrestling in 1984, and at some point during that early time period I started watching Mid-South/UWF wrestling, with Ross as the announcer. Many of us have been watching Good Ole JR for 20 plus years. After the UWF was swallowed up by the NWA, and it evolved into WCW, Ross was the go-to announcer. Clash of Champions. Great American Bashes. Halloween Havocs. And good lord the Starrcade events that man called. He can make a shitbag match sound like a 5 star classic. The Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat series wouldn’t have been the same without him calling it. Ross put over the product!
I remember being a ten year old and legitimately thinking the Black Scorpion was going to end Sting’s first World title reign. Even though that’s a ludicrous statement that will probably cost me ridicule for a good while, the fact is that Jim Ross SOLD ANGLES! He made people believe. Look up Kevin Nash’s debut as OZ at Clash of the Champions 15, where he destroyed Johnny Rich. Listen to Ross sell that match! That’s what an announcer does! It’s a lost art. Ross is a WRESTLING announcer. Ross is everything that is RIGHT with wrestling. Ross represents what many of us WANT wrestling to be!
WWE has been evolving from a “wrestling company” to an “entertainment company” for years. They would probably even argue that they have never been a “wrestling company” to begin with. It’s sad to watch strong WRESTLING people like Ross and Matt Striker be released and sent on to their future endeavors.
Striker is a walking encyclopedia of wrestling. He could have been one of the strongest teachers to the next generation of developmental talent before his release.
Jim Ross was the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations during the hottest period the WWE ever had. He has an eye for talent, and he knows what wrestling fans want to see because he IS one! The man has said it himself many times over!
His tenure began in 1993 at WrestleMania IX, and we’ve seen Ross fired/rehired in real life and angle several times. Remember the Imposter Diesel/Razor Ramon fiasco? He worked his butt of to get that angle over, although I don’t think that there’s a person alive that could have done that. He went through the firing angle with Dr. Death Steve Williams (RIP). He went through the infamous kissing Vince’s ass debacle. Then Vince pulled JR’s head out of his ass during the atrocious Dr. Heiny skit. What do all these angles have in common? THEY DIDN’T GET OVER!
Even though WWE is an entertainment company, I lay odds that more WRESTLING fans watch WWE religiously than entertainment fans. ***
***Seriously if I ever met anybody in real life that said “Oh I’m a huge entertainment fan” I would duct tape them upside down to a flagpole and shoot them with a paintball gun until they looked like one of the Blue Man Group. #BAHeel
Only Jim Ross knows what his future holds, but hopefully we see him back on TV. If a WRESTLING company wants to put out a WRESTLING product, you’d be doing yourself a huge favor by scheduling a meeting with the man. It’s pretty common knowledge that he has met with IMPACT Wrestling in the past before. For the good of the future of wrestling, I hope they have another meeting…
Thanks for reading.