Long-time professional wrestling announcer and commentator, Jim Ross, is reportedly being phased out from the list of many AEW commentators, and this change will be happening in the coming months.
A familiar voice
If long-time wrestling fans look back through the annals of time; perhaps even search your memories of the first match you ever saw, maybe it’s likely that it’s Jim Ross’ familiar southern drawl that comes calling to you from those recesses at the back of your minds.
His career has undoubtedly been legendary and his name is synonymous with the term professional wrestling.
When I was young, and the kernel of thought to become a writer and journalist was forming further from where it had been, it was Jim Ross’ column in Raw Magazine that helped point me in the right direction—especially in regards to my pro wrestling news writing.
His voice was authoritative, opinionated and rich of knowledge when it came to what I considered the greatest sport known to man.
He is up there with Tony Schiavone and “The Professor,” Mike Tenay himself, as the best in the business, as far as I’m concerned, and there have been a lot of announcers over the years, but we’ll call these three men the OGs for now.
Good old JR’s history is well documented, and it is perhaps his time and influence in WCW and of course WWE that has made him as widely known in the industry as he is today.
It was in 2019 that he started with AEW—since its inception—and his involvement provided a certain validity with the then new brand and promotion, as did Schiavone’s, as well as the list of many wrestlers already signed on at the time.
When doing an interview with DAZN in 2019, Jim said of his contract and obligation with AEW:
“…The contract I came in here (with) was three years because that’s what he (Khan) wanted. He wants stability. It made Time Warner happy because they’re used to my work in their company for many years and the WWE stuff as well…”via: ringsidenews.com
A difference in job description moving forward
It was reported by ringsidenews.com, though, that although he would be transitioning, as they put it, from announcing and calling matches with the panel, that he would still be a part of the show, fulfilling his aforementioned 3 year contract with other tasks.
What comes after that is uncertain. It has been said that he will still be conducting backstage interviews and the such, but would soon be leaving the announce table on a full-time basis.
These changes will not be all of a sudden, however, but will happen soon, as the source quotes suggest; perhaps even when the three year contract is over and up for renewal. But despite all of this, Ross is so engrained in any AEW-based programming, it’s very hard to see him being completely phased out, which really, is rather unlikely.
A source told ringsidenews.com:
“…don’t be surprised if when JR’s existing contract is up, it isn’t renewed for his current role/position/responsibilities…”via: ringsidenews.com
He will still be calling some special matches apparently, and we will still see the legend, so that’s the positive in all of this. Another positive, is that a new generation of announcers will get the chance to step into the role and perhaps make a name for themselves as well, as Excalibur has been doing—by now a standby in his own right on commentary over at AEW.
At the age of 69, Jim Ross has no plans to retire however, so we hope to see him in backstage segments and on commentary for special events for years to come.
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Besides, hearing him and Tony on commentary together just brings me way back, and these days, that’s never a bad thing, folks.