WWE Hall Of Fame commentator Jim Ross recently did an interview with ESPN to talk about a variety of professional wrestling topics. “Good Ole JR” discussed where his foundation as a professional wrestling broadcaster came from, his letter from Vince McMahon after his second battle with Bell’s Palsy, and how much the demands for commentators have changed in today’s era. You can check out the highlights here:
Where he foundation as a pro wrestling broadcaster came from:
“I believe that to be a great broadcaster one has to have basic fundamental, instinctual, communication skills, and I was blessed with having two very talkative grandfathers. They were very entertaining when they told their stories. And when you didn’t have Wi-Fi, or cable TV, or satellite TV, or all the social media things we have, you did this strange thing … you read books, and you talked.”
The letter Vince McMahon wrote him after his second battle with Bell’s Palsy:
“I was really in a fragile place, but Vince hand-wrote a letter to me, and had it delivered to my home in Norwalk, Connecticut. I used the letter in the book. It’s pretty amazing. It was a ‘Come to Jesus’-type pep talk. I was just so self-conscious with how I looked. I just thought how I looked, how I sounded with a little bit of a speech impediment because of the Bell’s palsy. I was going through a tough time — I was producing announce talent and I was happy to do it.
“But I really believed that WrestleMania was my last one, and I appreciated the fact that Vince decided to go with me in the main event because he knew that we’d signed two potentially all-time greats. I thought that would be my swan song, but we talked through it, the match was good, the fans were glad to see me back, so we started up a little run there, but it was very challenging.”
How much the demands for commentators have changed in today’s era:
“A lot of folks get angry at today’s commentators, but it’s how they’re produced. It’s their skill-set, a lot of them, and it’s what is asked of them to perform and to do … the demands on today’s wrestling broadcasters are extensive. The job description of that role has evolved and changed over the years. People can hear, and they can certainly tell that. It’s changed a lot, and that’s due to the fact that there are a lot of producers who are dictating what the product sounds like on the air. It’s a different mindset, they were raised differently. They have different values and they perceive things [differently].”
Read Ross’ full interview with ESPN by visiting this link.