J.R. brings the steak
"Our company is like any entertainment company. There tends to be a higher value placed on looks and youth rather than talent and experience," claims Jim Ross regarding the addition of Jonathan Coachman to the RAW announce team.
While the new three-man booth appears to be here to stay, Ross said he still runs into WWE fans who swear by the traditional two-man booth Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler made famous over the years.
"A lot of people might not like Coach on the broadcast," said Ross. "A lot of people watch wrestling for the steak, and I think I can bring that. But a lot of people watch it for the sizzle or the entertainment. They want somebody to stir the pot, and certainly both Lawler and Coach have the ability to do that. Coach brings a different demographic and a knowledge of pop culture, which is good. Every young guy should get the opportunity to see if they can come and hunt with the big dogs, and this is his chance."
In a WWE.com interview this past weekend, Coach boasted that it was just a matter of time before he was added to the team. While it was a no-brainer for Coach, Ross admits that the addition came about rather quickly, just hours before Vengeance this past June.
"I would have liked more time to prepare, but my job isn't to question those decisions," Ross told WWE.com. "I'm a team player, and if that's what management thought was best for the company, then I'm going to make it work."
Ross and Lawler had been calling the action on RAW for more than a decade before Coach joined the tandem this summer. Still, Ross is no stranger to working with a pair of color commentators.
Ross cited his early days in WWE when he called matches with Vince McMahon and Lawler, and also noted his one season of XFL work, when he called football games with Dick Butkus and Dan Hampton.
"It's a challenge getting down a rhythm and getting comfortable with three guys in the booth, but it's not something that's foreign to me," Ross said. "I don't feel badly about any broadcast we've done, but can we get better? Absolutely. And I think you'll that improvement as we go on."
Ross understands that change is part of any business, especially when you work in front of a television camera every week. But he relishes the challenge of improving the quality of every RAW broadcast, and if Coach can contribute to that effort, he welcomes the addition.
"This isn't about egos," Ross said. "Sure, we all have egos or we wouldn't be in this business, but this is about what's best for the company and the fans. Hopefully we'll be rocking by the time SummerSlam rolls along."