Episode #283 of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomes back WWE Hall of Famer and the greatest pro wrestling announcer of all time, "Good Ol' JR" Jim Ross. In today's episode JR responds to critics of his recent New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Special commentary by simply explaining the art of live television. Speaking with Chad and John Poz, JR details the entire week of events leading up to the HUGE two night spectacular and his disappointment with the entire social media backlash to his mistakes made during the live broadcast. JR also gives the audience an inside look at his upcoming WWE schedule and what he expects out of the WWE Network specials he will be apart of.
You can also catch JR alongside fellow WWE Hall of Famer and former broadcast colleague at the ICONS of Wrestling Convention in Philadelphia, PA on 8/12/17 at the 2300 Arena (formerly the ECW Arena) from 10am-2pm. Details can be found here. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
On still feeling the need to prove himself before every broadcast:
"I am competitive, I've always been competitive. When you come up in the business like I did and you get in the business like I did where you are not somebody's relative, you are not related, you are not a shooter, you are not a world class athlete, etc etc and complete cold turkey getting in the back door working for Bill Watts and Leroy McGuirk at 22. I wasn't supposed to stay long. I thought I'd have a summer time job and have some great stories to tell my wrestling fan buddies when I went back to school in the fall and that is how it would be. Well, forty years later I am still waiting to go back to that one more semester of college and I'm not sure that I'm not still going to do that one day but this has lasted so much longer than I ever dreamed and I've had a dream career but I wasn't supposed to make it. Unfortunately for me, I still believe that I have to prove myself everyday. Every broadcast you have got to prove yourself. Today's audience that didn't hear my work in the 80s or in the 90s in the Attitude Era and the 2000s, they are young, they are defiant, they are Millennials, they have a little different mindset and they don't know my history and so I have to prove myself to them that I am worthy of them investing their time to listen to my broadcasts and I don't have a problem with that. I am a Hall of Famer, in fact I am in three Halls of Fame so who cares for the young fans that don't give a damn. They just give a damn about themselves and what they are hearing now. What can you do for me now? What have you done for me lately? I've got no problem with those rules and I know the rules going in and I am happy to play the game that way."
How does he look to move forward following all of the chatter coming off the G1 weekend:
"It was a good weekend for me and I would have liked to not been called out on the carpet by the fans about a couple of boo-boos that I made but you are doing live TV and there is no net, you live with what you say, you do the best you can and hopefully you get better next time. I've been doing this a long time and I've never called a perfect match ever and my best work has yet to be recorded. That is how I approach every job."
"You can't rest on your laurels and I can't stay in a comfort zone and you want to get better all the time so I wish that some of that had been better but I think that is what you get when you have a crew that is out manned and you've got not a lot of experience and you will just have one of those deals. I like this; I like that fact that everything you heard was real, everything you heard if it was a mistake or fumble was real and it wasn't packaged or rehearsed. We rehearsed nothing and I love that part, we did it live just like we would do a ball game. I had no idea who was going to win any of the matches, didn't talk to anyone from New Japan and neither did Josh about what was going on with the creative that night and didn't want to know. Somebody told us that the New Japan people didn't want us in the locker room and they aren't going to tell us about the creative. That was cool with me and I would have preferred not to know what the creative was going to be. Why do I need to know the creative? It makes it more of a work, makes it more of a "show biz" presentation. If we are doing great athleticism than that is enough show business for me."
The return to WWE:
"I had never stopped communicating with WWE and the WWE had never stopped communicating with me. Basically, I was in contact with Vince regularly because we are friends and are still friends and if I saw something on TV that I liked then I might send him a text. Kevin Dunn and I are friends from OU football because he is an OU football fan and a lot of people don't know that so that was always our link. Triple H was a guy that I signed and he's done pretty well for himself like a lot of guys that we were fortunate enough to get under contract and I had just moved on because they didn't have a spot for me at that point in time and I thought that was cool because I had plenty of work to do. I really reinvented myself and I had plenty of projects to work on. My wife (God bless her) wanted me to go back to the "home team" as she called it."
Who was the catalyst behind bringing him back:
"Kevin Dunn and working through Vince was very instrumental in me coming back. It was the Friday night before WrestleMania and this was a week after my wife got killed that I signed my contract. They were negotiating with my manager Barry Bloom (who represents a lot of guys like Goldberg, Jericho and Foley I think) but we got a deal done and I signed the contract on Friday night, got it notarized and I think it was on Saturday before WrestleMania that I heard Vince wanted me to work a match."
"I went there on Saturday and found out they wanted me to work the Undertaker's match and by the way it is going on last. I was very honored that Vince had picked me to call that match with Cole and JBL and it was a great way to get put back on the team and we kept it under wraps as best we could because there are so many leaks and guys calling me asking if I can give them a story and can you give me the scoop and it got to be ridiculous. The wrestling websites and guys that have podcasts would say that I've got to have a story and what is the deal. I didn't answer those calls and didn't want to feed that monster. Let somebody else feed it because I know there are plenty of other guys that love to do that but it wouldn't be me. The whole thing was a good healthy negotiation and the biggest aspect of the negotiations believe it or not was not the money because WWE stepped up big time on the money but it was my other obligations that I had on going like my Fox Sports contract, my AXS TV contract and my book was in the process of being written. Those were the business issues that needed to be worked through and they were. They were all satisfied to everybody's level of comfort."
What is his future outside of WWE looking like and does he have to be exclusive to WWE:
"With social media like it is and everybody sensibilities like they are, the last thing I want to do is overstay my welcome and be an embarrassment to my body of work. I am not going to let that happen. I plan on being a WWE guy for the duration and in a perfect world and if I was allowed to do it and I don't know that I am not or I am, I would love to be able to continue my AXS TV work because I think it keeps me sharp, allows me to call a lot of matches, it is a couple of days a month in L.A. (which is not a bad place to hang out) and I hope I can continue to do both. But the WWE is always going to be in my professional life and personal life quite frankly."
For this and every other episode of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling please subscribe to us on iTunes, Podomatic, Player FM, Tune In Radio and The IRW Network, The EXCLUSIVE home of The Triple Threat Podcast featuring Shane Douglas & TMPToW. As well as follow us on Twitter @TwoManPowerTrip. Please credit The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling for this transcription.