With Jim Ross’ long, storied WWE tenure coming to an end this week, we’ve been doing plenty celebrating of Jim Ross’ legendary commentating career around here, but JR also stepped out from behind the commentary desk more than a few times during his 30+ years in the business.
Unfortunately a lot of Jim Ross’ non-commentary moments are best left forgotten as embarrassing one of their most valuable employees became a borderline fetish for WWE, but JR had his moving, memorable and downright kickass moments too. Here are a few of my favorite Jim Ross in-ring moments…
JR Candy Jars Tazz
Back in 2000, watching the once unstoppable ECW champion Taz (now with an extra Z and 30 additional pounds) feuding with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross seemed like an egregious misuse of talent, but looking back, well, it was still an egregious misuse of talent, but it’s easier to appreciate the story for what it was. Tazz was fantastic as the bully who sets his sights on what he thinks is a soft target after finding he can’t push his weight around in the big pond. Also, check out those couple minutes of wrestling before JR gets involved — let it never be forgotten that Jerry Lawer was the f*cking best in the ring before becoming the hollowed out husk he currently is.
But Tazz wasn’t a complete clown yet in mid-2000, so he gets Lawler in the Tazzmission and all looks bleak until JR deploys the jar of hard candy that was a ringside staple during his tenure. JR casually checking out his lacerated hand and shouting about how Tazz DAMN WELL DESERVED IT is pretty badass stuff, but it’s really only scratching the surface of how cold Jim Ross could be.
JR Sics Dr. Death On Bart Gunn
This is about the closest you’re ever going to get to maybe, sort of, feeling like you want to boo good ol’ JR, which is an accomplishment in and of itself — when you’re as beloved as Jim Ross, getting people to dislike you takes some serious talent. This was from ’99 when JR returned from another bout with Bell’s Palsy, and WWE tried to do the heel thing with him again. JR getting all up in the tragically derpy Bart Gunn’s face is wonderfully uncomfortable, and then Bart steps out of line and JR summons Dr. Death Steve Williams and his beautiful musk-soaked beard to ANNIHILATE HIS ASS. The fact that the Jim Ross/Dr. Death combo only lasted a couple weeks is something I’ll forever be sad about.