Recently I’ve posted a few videos featuring Jim Ross commentary overlaid on video game footage, which were amusing and all, but they also made me a little sad inside, because they reminded me of how damn good Jim Ross was at his job.
Don’t worry though, this list isn’t going to be a dry recitation of all the points everyone makes when talking about Jim Ross’ greatness. Yes, he was great at telling stories and selling emotions, but you know what? That can be taught. No, the reason we’re never going to get another Jim Ross (and we’re not) is more about WWE than it is about any individual commentator. Here’s a few reasons why Jim Ross (or somebody as good as him) could never exist in the WWE of today…
Both of these thumbs, right up all your asses.
He Wasn’t Drinking The WWE Kool-Aid
Right now if you work of WWE, you’re required to be a company man or lady, which is a shame because there’s value in employing people who don’t give a hot shit about your company. Wrestling promotions used to be packed with mercenaries who were just cashing a paycheck and glad to admit it, but that’s steadily been weeded out once WWE became the only game in town. Sometimes the outsider can hold up the mirror and provide that much-needed/exciting different perspective — I mean, that’s what made the NWO the phenomenon it was.
Jim Ross may have worked for WWE/F for 20-years, but he was never a WWE guy. He started under guys like Bill Watts and Jim Crockett and the Crash TV style wrestling he’s most known for commenting on was not his cup of tea. Just watch those Jim Ross video game clips again, and listen to how f*cking disgusted the guy is in them. When a heel did something evil during JR’s tenure, a throbbing barbecue-sauce scented cloud of loathing would descend at ringside — his revulsion and rage were palpable. Why was JR able to sell these outrageous Attitude Era stunts so well? Well, partly because he legitimately thought a lot of what he was watching was outrageous, awful crap. Sometimes you need somebody there to note the Emperor has no clothes, then get really, unreasonably upset about it.
Could go for some f*ckin’ barbeque right now.
He Was An Old Man Who Only Cared About Barbeque and Oklahoma Football
I like that wrestling exists in a cultural bubble. When I tune into to watch my pro-graps I don’t want to hear about Kim or Miley or Solange and Jay-Z. The only celebrities that should be referenced on Raw are ones that exist in their own equally weird cultural bubbles, like Bob Barker.
For some time now though, WWE has been obsessed with their commentators being hip, with it young Turks who speak in 50% cultural references. Failing that, they’ve trained JBL to blurt out TWERKIN’ MAHCHULL whenever they activate his shock collar.
Aside from the occasional apropos-of-nothing reference to Sooners football, JR never talked about anything relevant, and that’s the way it oughta be, by gumbo.