What a week! All is great in Norman, Oklahoma and all of the sudden I'm busier than a fruit merchant. Let's grill....
All my legal commitments to WWE ended Wednesday night at midnight which concluded a 21 year tenure with the company. Coming to WWE in 1993 was the best business decision I ever made even though I really loved living in Atlanta. Great city...great food...many friends...fun, sports town.
Arriving in WWE in 1993 and officially ending my tenure there this week made it 21 years working for Vince McMahon which not too many individuals can say that they did especially on the management level that I was in the majority of the time. We worked through drastic, financial issues, a federal trial, bankruptcy was discussed more than once, but we all pulled together and put our personal lives on hold, got lucky on hiring some amazing talents and then launched the Attitude Era that created the greatest success WWE ever achieved.
It was always a team effort and we had some very talented people working tirelessly to make WWE a more viable brand and to establish their place as firmly the #1 sports entertainment company in the world.
I have no regrets and am thankful for the opportunities that were presented me. I wouldn't have done a thing differently but I'd have preferred to not have had three Bells palsy attacks but that's the hand I was dealt. I've always tried to man up and navigate through those challenging waters. Obviously, my 'look' after the Bells attacks did me no favors as a TV broadcaster and some folks even had fun imitating me but that's something that they have to live with and not me.
I will always take great pride in how our staff in talent relations delivered time and time again when the company was going through it's toughest period ever. We got the work done, were honest and straight forward to the talents, managed some highly motivated and talented athletic performers, and recruited and signed some of WWE's all time biggest stars.
I'd like to think that my work at ringside with Jerry Lawler and with Paul Heyman along with Vince McMahon contributed some to the process. It sure as hell was a lot of fun working with such talented men at the announce desk.
Not a bad 'run' for an Eastern Oklahoma boy who grew up loving pro wrestling when it wasn't exactly the popular thing to do in many circles. I never put limits on what I could accomplish just like I never allowed Bells palsy to define me. My experiences in the business were vast and exciting and provided me a perspective of the genre that few in the business will ever have. I was the last of the Territory announcers of which I am grateful. The death of the wrestling Territories was one of the worst things to ever happen to the business and the territory's absence will be felt for years to come....but that's a story for another time.
Being a non athletic, non family member, no insider connections, etc aren't usually conducive to 40 year pro wrestling careers but it just goes to prove that any of us can do whatever we choose if we fully commit to our goals and eliminate failure as an option. Remember, if you turn in our jersey you're out of the game....so never quit on your dreams.
Thanks to the many, many great wrestling and promotional minds that I've worked with since 1974, I have a unique perspective and background on the entertainment and sports business thanks to being around so many of the all time greats and them allowing me to experience different aspects of the genre.
Life will never be boring in the Ross house but I will only be doing projects that I feel will be fun and challenging and that I truly want to invest my time. Retirement is and never has been an option. My health has never been better and there's a lot of life left to live as far as I'm concerned.
My departure from WWE over the Summer Slam symposium in 2014 was a fiasco of misinformation and rumors allegedly spread by some perhaps with dubious character, agendas and with an overall lack of information. My side of the story will be told thoroughly some day to the chagrin of some and, yes, there are two sides to every story. But that was then....today is a better day with great things on the horizon.
As I have said, I have no regrets about joining WWE in 1993 and it was the best professional move that I ever made and I only hope that my contributions to the growth of the company and the wrestling business in general will be remembered positively by the fans who really are the only one's that matter.
There are many opportunities coming my way but other than my weekly Podcast on podcastone.com I will not be overly busy doing outside projects until after the Oklahoma Sooners complete their upcoming football season. A guy's got to have his priorities, right?
We will kick off our RINGSIDE w/ Jim Ross shows in 2105 again.
I hope to do more boxing broadcasting on TV, would love to try my hand at MMA play by play, and perhaps even dabble in football if the right opportunity arises. We are diligently working on a autobiography and will be hunkering down in Norman in the next few days to spend 4-5 straight days working on the project. These writing sessions will be multiple in number as we're writing a book that I always envisioned and I will have final say on the edit.
Thanks to all those who have sent well wishes on Twitter @JRsBBQ and via emails here on our site. They are all greatly appreciated. It's funny at who does reach out when the chips are down and it's even more surprising at who doesn't. The wrestling biz isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination and like many other businesses, I suppose, when one ceases being able to help some individuals, one is soon erased from the 'script.'
Such is life.
The AJ Styles Ross Report podcast is going great guns at podcastone.com and iTunes. If you subscribe for FREE you won't miss an episode and each show will automatically be downloaded into the devise that you select. AJ is a great young man, an amazing performer and is a credit to the wrestling business.
Next Tuesday night at 9 eastern time, our long awaited Sting interview will debut in what we expect to be a two parter. It's an awesome conversation with a dear, old friend who I've known from day one of his career.
Lots of Sting buzz out of the San Diego Comic Con these days but to the best of my knowledge he has NOT signed a wrestling contract with WWE but apparently has multiple, business arrangements on the marketing side of the business from various venders.
Those that think that it is a lock that Sting will actually wrestle in WWE might be disappointed at the end of the day and I hope that I am wrong on that one. I'm of the belief that Sting has earned his 'WrestleMania Moment" and win, lose or draw I hope that happens for him and his fans. It's a no brainer to me and hopefully the multitude of writers in WWE cannot come up with a viable idea that upper management will buy to facilitate this. It's not exactly like WWE's top tier talent base is red hot at the moment based on attendance, etc and adding Sting to the biggest show of the year in an ensemble sort of presentation seems to be logical and very marketable.
For those holding off for the Sting vs. Taker match, it feels as if that ship sailed when Taker became mysteriously 21-1 at WM30 in New Orleans. Plus, there is no guarantee that the Undertaker will be back in the ring at WM31 but for him to leave without an amazing, farewell promotion would be a terrible, missed opportunity. I guess my idea of Taker calling it a career in Cowboys Stadium before 100,000 fans might be in serious jeopardy.
I hope that you keep supporting my family's efforts by shopping online for our delicious products at wweshop.com, americansoda.co.uk and beyondtheropes.co.uk notwithstanding our Tee shirt partner prowrestlingtees.com/jimross.
Great days lie ahead and I hope that you choose to come along for the ride. It should be fun.