In sad news from the world of professional wrestling, legendary announcer Jim Ross has retired from WWE. I suppose there’s an argument to be made against it, but the majority of wrestling fans agree that JR is the best announcer of all time. His calls took good matches and made them great. Announcers are supposed to enhance talent in the world of pro wrestling and JR epitomized that.
JR’s career didn’t come without bumps in the road and his were mainly health-related. The legendary announcer suffers from Bell’s Palsy, which is a nerve disorder that causes facial paralysis. The disorder would have been a death sentence for a normal announcer, but not for good ol’ JR. He rose above the condition time and time again to give WWE fans top-notch commentary that will never be topped, in my opinion. No one before or since has ever called a match with as much as enthusiasm as JR.
Even though we should be remembering the legendary career of Ross at this moment in time, I can’t help but feel there’s something fishy about the timing of his retirement. It comes just weeks after WWE reportedly got very upset with Ross for his conduct at the WWE 2K14 symposium. JR and Ric Flair were in rare form that night while answering questions and telling stories and WWE was not happy about it. There were reports that the two were drunk, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
Flair did confirm on the Steve Austin show that WWE is mad at him, so it’s likely they were also upset with JR. This leads me to believe that his retirement came as part of an agreement with the company. This happens all the time in sports. Long-time coaches ‘retire’ even when it’s obvious that they’re being pushed out the door. JR loves the business and I’ve never once heard him say that he was looking to retire, mainly because he’s been a part-timer for years now.
This is complete speculation on my part and in the end it really doesn’t matter why, because the industry’s greatest announcer is retired either way.
It’s being reported that JR was in fact let go by WWE for failing to control Flair during the WWE 2K14 symposium.