Even after leaving the WWE legendary announcer, Jim Ross hasn’t been sitting idle. He still has his booming BBQ sauce business and most recently did some boxing announcing for Fox Sports. To say wrestling isn’t in his blood anymore isn’t true but until something arises to his liking JR is happy with what new adventures come his way.
JR will be at the House of Blues this Saturday hosting his own one man show entitled “An Evening with Jim Ross”. The previous shows have been well received by fans and there will be plenty of apparel and merchandise to be had.
JR took some time and talked about his memories of Chicago and many other topics that included, of course wrestling.
Mick Foley has his own show that focuses more of the comedy side mixing in some WWE stories. How is your show different from his?
My show is directly targeted to wrestling fans, plain and simple. I have a very unique history with wrestling that covers 40 years. We talk about the early beginnings and how I was a fan and transformed into an announcer. There’s a lot of interesting stories out there that I love telling. I have plenty of relationships that have covered 4 decades and the stories are endless.
The most fun part of the presentation is fielding their questions. No questions are refused and if I don’t know the answer I won’t lie just to give an “answer”.
My show has some elements has some humor, philosophy, motivation and information. The audience really makes every show different. They are the focus and every group has their own interests.
You have mentioned in the past Chicago is a very special place for you. You were announced as a Hall of Fame inductee in 2007 at the Allstate Arena. What other moments do you have that makes Chicago such a big part of your career?
As you mentioned the Hall of Fame is one of the best moments ever in my announcing career. The Ric Flair versus Ricky Steamboat was a bucket list item of mine. Wrestlemania 13 stands out as well and was probably one of the best matches I called when Stone Cold took on Bret Hart.
The buildup for Wrestlemania 23 was also special and that night was the same when I found out that I was going to be into the Hall of Fame. Chicago is a great wrestling location and over the years it seems like its growing each and every day.
Your announcing style for wrestling has been called “unique” over the years. Some of compared you to the NHL broadcaster Doc Emrick. Do you think yourself and Emrick can switch places one day and things will sound oddly similar?
Well I know who Doc Emerick is and a commands a great deal of respect through the hockey world. But to tell you that I have sat through an entire broadcast of his, I would be lying. I know he’s really good and probably the best in the business.
I guess that’s a fair comparison but I just always have been myself. I never thought of copying somebody else but being compared to him is quite flattering. I always appreciate being compared to him and vice versa and any other announcer in the other major sports.
Do you think wrestlers should use their social media accounts as in character outlets or should they be themselves and use it the way they see fit?
Well whatever they do, I think they should be consistent with it. If you want some privacy with your real life, then yes stay in character. Whatever you decide to do I think you shouldn’t insult the audience either personally or intellectually. I think the wrestling fans on the internet today know wrestling is entertainment.
I love Twitter because I get to interact with the people. That’s why I love doing these shows so much because there are so many fans out there and I get to find out what’s on their mind.
The same old question is always brought to you each and every day, is wrestling announcing officially on the backburner for the foreseeable future?
It’s foolish to close any door. I’m not looking to do anymore pro wrestling broadcasting, but if the right opportunity arises then I will listen. I’m not soliciting companies but I will always keep my ears open. It would be stupid for me to say it’s over. I have my Podcast that is doing a lot of great things and I’m writing for FOX. So I’m staying busy but again I’m a wrestling fan, but as an entrepreneur. I am willing to try MMA or football if it’s the right opportunity.
But I can be selective right now and pick the opportunities that I feel are right for me.
People are always asking about the surprise guests for the shows you have put on recently. For your show tomorrow, are there any guests that will be in the audience so to speak?
We will just have to wait and see. The problem is just because I have surprise guests at previous shows, people automatically think more are lined up for the future locations. These kind of things happen with timing and geography. I don’t book a show because I want to bring in surprise guests. If the opportunity presents itself, sure I would love for them to be a part of the presentation. I don’t know what’s available for Chicago but the obvious one is CM Punk.
There are no plans for CM Punk to be at my show but stranger things have happened. I honestly don’t know but he knows how I think of him. I hold him as high regard as a performer and more importantly as a man.
The stars of the show are the fans in the audience. They are allowed to ask questions and pick my brain about anything. That's who has carried my career for a very long time and I'm happy to give back to them in this manner.
Editor Note: "An Evening With Jim Ross" is at the House of Blues Saturday May 31st. The show starts at 1:00PM and there are still plenty of tickets available at Ticketmaster.com
Filed under: Wrestling