As noted earlier, WWE reported earlier today that Jim Ross announced his retirement from the company. In a breaking news audio update on F4WOnline.com, The Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer noted that Ross was in Connecticut last night and that no one knew exactly what was going on except for a handful of people within Vince McMahon's inner circle.
Meltzer noted that Ross was let go for Ric Flair's behavior at the 2K Sports symposium last month, and that there was talk of Ross being let go from "the minute it ended." WWE felt that Ross, as a representative for WWE, should have controlled Flair once Flair started going off the handle. Meltzer also said that the part of the symposium that got the most heat was Flair talking about his late son, Reid. They were also upset with Flair joking about John Cena not drinking before they met, and claiming that Cena now drinks a six pack of beer every night.
For those who missed the symposium, you can watch it in the video above. Flair's comments about his son, Reid, and putting his Hall of Fame ring in his casket is at the 45:15 mark. Flair was putting WWE over, and noted that WWE gave him another ring before saying that the people that work for the company are "awesome." Flair pretty much took over the panel from that point. For what it's worth, JR tried to regain control of the panel, before jokingly admitting that he lost control at the 1:05:25 mark.
Meltzer noted that the retirement excuse was a way for WWE to save face from a PR standpoint and to avoid an uproar. Meltzer also said that his reason for Ross' departure being over the 2K Sports symposium is 100% correct, and Melter figured earlier this week that it would be happening. Ross had stated as recently as a couple of weeks ago during his Q&A's in the U.K. that he never planned to retire from the company. It should be noted that officials at 2K Sports were happy with Flair's behavior at the panel.
It is interesting to note that while several WWE employees have commented on Jim Ross' departure on their Twitter accounts, no current WWE wrestlers outside of Triple H have mentioned it. Triple H tweeted, "Can't thank you enough @JRsBBQ for all you've done for me personally and for @WWE ... Enjoy your time, you've earned it!!! #thankyouJR"