Jim Ross’ future in WWE
While Shawn Michaels’ retirement obviously was the biggest story in wrestling this past week, I would be remiss if I did not mention that another WWE legend – who, like Michaels, is arguably the best in his field – isn’t likely to be coming into our living rooms on a regular basis anymore.
Jim Ross wrote on his blog last week that he is probably done as a fulltime wrestling announcer. However, he remains in negotiations with WWE for other roles.
“Broadcasting wrestling regularly is likely history for me,” he wrote, “but there are many other areas to which I can contribute in WWE and those options, among others, will be weighed over the next month.”
In a later blog entry, Ross, 58, reiterated that he wasn’t through with announcing altogether, and that he could be involved in the proposed WWE TV network.
“I know that I have not broadcast my last event,” he wrote. "Essentially [WWE has] decided to reassign me from weekly broadcasting, and that includes the monthly PPV’s, to focus on other areas of the company. I am guessing, and I stress guessing, that may be some form of scouting and/or talent development. … I'll know before the end of April as that is when my current extension expires.
“Will I be involved in the WWE TV network that is allegedly going to launch sometime in the summer or fall of 2011? I don't know, but one would simply assume that might be a possibility.”
Ross, who has been off television since last October after suffering his third attack of Bell’s Palsy – a paralysis of the facial nerve that causes an inability to control facial muscles on the affected side – noted that the reason that he was not part of the announce team at WrestleMania XXVI last Sunday had nothing to do with his health.
“My health is better than it has been in at least a decade,” he wrote. “I simply was passed over for the gig just like several wrestlers who did not have much more than a cup of coffee, if that, at WM 26.”
It’s unfathomable that WWE did not have Ross at least call the Michaels-Undertaker match at WrestleMania. With all due respect to the three anouncers who worked the show, a match that historic deserved to have Ross providing the soundtrack.
As far as Ross not announcing on a weekly basis anymore, he obviously will be greatly missed, but at this stage in his life, having a job that is not as stressful and involves less traveling is probably very attractive to him and his family.