J.R.'s last interview
WWE.com: What did you think of what went down last night?
Jim Ross: It was heartbreaking. I thought it was a sad end to 30 years of dedication to business. The way it ended was very abrupt.
WWE.com: If you had a choice, how would you liked to have
left the company?
Jim Ross: I would have liked to have had the opportunity to have one of those rare on-camera opportunities to sincerely and genuinely and honestly express my deep appreciation to all the fans who have become my extended family over the years. It’s a wonderful feeling when you get a 40-something year old guy with a teenage son and they watch Monday Night RAW together because the dad used to watch me on Mid-South wrestling when he was a kid or on TBS. They enjoy working in some of my clichés like “slobberknocker,” “business is about to pick up” or “he’s running like a scalded dog.” I’m happy I’ve gotten to contribute a little to some people’s enjoyment. But I’d like to have the opportunity to look into the camera and tell everyone “thank you.” I probably, to my detriment, let it become too big a part of my life. I took pride in what I did. Some weeks the shows were great, and some weeks the shows sucked. It was up to me to try and make whatever we saw a little better than it actually was. Monday Night RAW won’t be a deal where I have my top 10 favorite moments. That would make for a wonderful TV special, but that’s not what it would be for me. I remember the emotional involvement and attachment I had with that brand and that show. When I had Bell’s Palsy, I received thousands and thousands of cards. We got so many e-mails that it broke our server – because people cared about me. They care about me because they know I’m just like them, a lifelong wrestling fan.
WWE.com: Why do you think it happened?
Jim Ross: I would say it’s egotistically driven. Vince is hell-bent on having a fresh, new face that hasn’t had Bell’s Palsy or have a Southern accent sitting in the chair on RAW. This company is like any other entertainment company. You put looks and youth over skill and experience almost every time. I think this was a cop out. I think he just wanted a new voice for RAW, and I think he quite frankly didn’t think J.R. would have become as popular as he did. It certainly wasn’t Vince’s plan. He’s out of touch. He hasn’t been to the grocery store since George Bush, Sr. was president. Here’s a guy that takes a limo to get his haircut every week, and he’s trying to tell me about reality.
WWE.com: The Ross Report is now also gone. Do you have any
message for your WWE.com fans?
Jim Ross: I appreciate all of the dot com fans for checking it out. I always tried to be honest. That was first and foremost in my mind. I got 25,000 e-mails on my computer right now asking questions about various types of things. It’s just hard to believe that someone can spend 30-plus years of their life, endure sickness and death, and continue to persevere, the way the company showed me the door would be such a humiliating and embarrassing situation. I believe that there are many, many more issues to deal with other than who the announcers are. How many Bra and Panties Matches can you see? How different can they get? They’re all going to have big breasts. They’re all going to have a pair of bra and panties on. The only difference is what color they’ll be. We have to get back to wrestling. We have to get back to aggressive physicality. We have some guys in this business right now that don’t have a clue of why they’re there. Then we have a little bit of wonderful talent that needs to be emphasis of rebuilding this company and getting it rolling. It’s going to be built by physicality, aggression, suspense and drama. It’s not going to be built by becoming the action adventure show that empowers the audience to enjoy the humor and the sexuality. There are very few things in life worse than a wrestler trying to be an actor. It gets to be humiliating and embarrassing. I think wrestlers should wrestle. If they have a personality, then you exploit it. If they don’t have a personality they’re encouraged to find one or find another vocation. I’ve endured wrestlers having sex with corpses, 80-year-old women giving birth to hands, and that is what we perceive to be entertaining. I look at this chapter closing and beginning a new chapter.
WWE.com: Have you talked to Stone Cold Steve Austin since
Jim Ross: I haven’t talked to him yet, but I plan on talking to him later today.
WWE.com: What’s next for J.R.?
Jim Ross: I’d like to keep that confidential. I have several options in mind. It’s probably going to surprise some people. I have a lot of friends in the media that are interested in me. I have some radio opportunities, some football opportunities, some political opportunities. I’ll do a lot of exploration of things and move on. I’ll probably write a book. And the book will be the truth. I’ve been taking meticulous notes for 30 years. I have box after box of material for a book. It will not only be authentic, but it will be eye-opening. There’s a great side of our business that I love, truly. There are great friends I’ve made that I will have forever. To say that the wrestling business doesn’t have an ugly underbelly, though, would be a lie. If we don’t get back to doing more sports than entertainment, then we’re going to continue to be in the same rut we’re in now. I’m hoping one of these great young studs we have on the roster will demand the ball. Not just request it, but demand the opportunity to lead this company back to prominence like it was during the Stone Cold and Rock years. I feel very good about my track record. I hired Austin, I hired The Rock, I hired Mick Foley, I hired Kurt Angle. I think I’ve carried my share of the load. I have nothing to look back on and regret other than being utterly humiliated the last time I was on television. That’s the last memory. It won’t be a WrestleMania moment. It won’t be the first voice you hear at WrestleMania, it wont’ be the last voice you hear on Nitro, it won’t be calling a classic Austin moment. It will be me holding my testicles, lying in the ring with the McMahons celebrating. That will be my lasting memory and I don’t believe that to be fair. It will take some time to get over it, but I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. Maybe they’ll get a nice fresh-faced pretty boy that doesn’t know a wristwatch from a wristlock. WWE’s reputation for finding star announcing talent over recent years hasn’t been exactly sterling. Maybe there’s somebody else that wants me in the wrestling business. And if they do, I’ll talk to them. I don’t see myself coming back to WWE unless cooler heads prevail. The Osbournes are certainly closer to the Cleavers than they are to the McMahons. Some day they’ll get what they deserve. I believe in karma. The Good Lord has a way of evening things out.