During the latest episode the Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross covered the career of Bobby Lashley.
Ross also mentioned several other things, including the time he was let go by the WWE in the early 2000s. Ross said he found out about the company’s plan to let him go as the process was going along.
“I found out as the process went along but in the beginning, I didn’t know,” Ross said. “I didn’t know that I was that ugly or that old. I’m not buying into that bullsh**. Nobody ever told me, ‘JR you’re getting too old’. They’re making themselves vulnerable to an age discrimination lawsuit. It was just another bump in the road. I could’ve easily quit and say I’m not going to be in this wrestling business anymore, bullsh**. Getting rid of JR as the voice of Raw after all the success and years of productivity that we had. And my loyalty meant sh**.”
During that process, Mike Goldberg, formerly of the UFC, was offered the job to replace JR on Monday Nights as the lead commentator. According to Ross, people got into Goldbergs ear and told him it would be a mistake to sign and do commentary because the fans will reject him knowing he replaced Ross.
“He turned them down,” Ross said. “Which ironically got my phone ringing again. They wanted Goldberg for a big show in Dallas and he turned them down, so I got a phone call asking ‘What are you doing Monday?’ “
Ross continued to mention how his commentary team was a staple on RAW, and how he was mistreated.
“It was just disrespectful,” JR said. “Poor communication and too many sycophants surrounding the boss to change his mind about the team. JR and the [Jerry Lawler] King were the solid components always on RAW, there was stability there.”
In 2007, Jim Ross and his Monday Night RAW partner Jerry The King Lawler were both inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame headlined by Dusty Rhodes. Ross talks about how the induction was going to be his exit from WWE after being mistreated by the company, and how they continuously planned to get rid of him despite the fans treating him well.
“2007 was a bittersweet year,” Ross said. “My hall of fame induction was a way for me to say goodbye. Todd Grisham was promised my job that Fall. [He was] younger, he did Sportscenter, he’s exactly what they were looking for. He confided with me that it was uncomfortable for him cause we were working together on SmackDown. That was the plan, get rid of JR again before the end of the year.
“The reaction I got in Chicago when I was announced I was going into the Hall of Fame blew [Vince] McMahon and Kevin Dunn away. They put the brakes on me being derailed. I knew it was inevitable and I knew it was coming. It’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen when Vince wants it to happen.”
This past Wednesday, Ross’ close friend and partner on the announce desk Tony Schiavone was removed from the table due to a late COVID test and replaced by Chris Jericho and Taz. Ross talked about getting Tony Schiavone back on the announce desk for Fyter Fest 2 weeks ago, and mentioned how his announce team can compete with any in the business today.
“It’s so much fun getting Tony back at the announce desk and working together with him,” Ross said. “Excalibur compliments our older styles and our more traditional styles extremely well. I think our broadcast team will stand against anybody’s broadcast team in today’s game. Not knocking these guys, but we’re a new team. We got together in October, we’re still getting our rhythm and dance steps together.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.