Guest Author - Donna Johnson
Jim “J.R.” Ross is perhaps one of the best known voices of wrestling today. Born in Fort Bragg, CA in 1952, J.R. made his debut as a radio announcer in the 1970s. After spending some time as a college commentator, J.R. continued to work as an announcer through the early 1990s. During this time, he provided commentary for the Mid-South, National Wrestling Alliance, and World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
After resigning from WCW in 1993, J.R. became one of the voices of the WWF (now WWE). His first appearance came on April 4th of that year, at Wrestlemania IX. He has remained with the WWE through the years since then, except for a few real and scripted short-term firings and breaks for health concerns. Although his primary role in the WWE has been as color commentator, he has taken on other roles from time to time. J.R. has been featured in several storylines, even turning heel at one point, to WWE fans’ dismay. J.R. has also entered the ring against Triple H and as a tag team partner for Jerry “The King” Lawler and Steve “Stone Cold” Austin.
J.R. is billed as coming from Oklahoma, where he does actually reside in real life with his wife. He has two daughters and two grandchildren. He has cultivated a “down-home” image that has made him very popular among many WWE fans. This image was furthered in recent years when J.R. released a line of barbecue sauces and opened two barbecue restaurants, with plans for more in the future. J.R. also has several country-style catchphrases, such as “stomping a mudhole and walking it dry” and his infamous “slobberknockers.”
J.R. was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame along with fellow announcer Jerry “The King” Lawler in 2007. Longtime friend Steve “Stone Cold” Austin had the honor of inducting J.R. into the Hall of Fame. During his induction speech, Stone Cold called J.R. one of the greatest announcers of all time, not just in wrestling, but in any sport in history.
J.R. has appeared on all three of the WWE’s current brands, Raw, ECW, and Smackdown, but currently calls the announcer’s table on Smackdown home. However, he is now on hiatus after suffering his third attack of Bell’s Palsy on October 20, 2009 and has been out since then. No date has been given for his return, but WWE fans all over the world eagerly await the day when “Good Ol’” J.R. will be back.