Thursday, September 12, 2013

Survival Tactix: How to Say......

So it's finally happened for real this time....."good 'ol J.R" has been released from WWE. Find any professional wrestling fan on the street and ask them for the name of a wrestling commentator; 9 times out of 10 Jim Ross will be in the top 3. Back when I was still watching WWE television regularly, I simply couldn't imagine what Monday Night RAW would be like without Jim Ross and then, shortly thereafter, 'ol J.R was exiled from TV without so much as a poll asking what fans wanted to see.

I'll be completely transparent, I have no idea how to respond to this news. I celebrate and honor Jim Ross and his accolades, having called some of the greatest matches in my entire memory. It's very hard not to glare accusingly at Vince and company for their mistreatment of Ross over the years. It's also hard not to cry "foul" about his release over a minor controversy involving the a panel discussion promoting the release of WWE 2K14 and Ric Flair. What? You don't know about it? Well, allow me to elaborate...... reports that Ross and Flair were both drunk at the event, to the point where Ross forgot parts of his presentation, blaming his poise or lack thereof on his Bells Palsy. He later joked that the presentation was "sponsored by Grey Goose" Flair went so far off script that Paul Heyman just ripped it up. Ric Flair's lack of sound mind comes on the heels of losing his son to a drug overdose. It could be reasonably assumed that Ross was simply just being supportive by having a drink or two with an old friend as he and Flair go back decades.

My response? Though the appearance could have gone better, paints the off-script antics as a natural response to Reid Flair's premature death, leading me to believe that there is some sympathy for the loss and understanding being extended to them. I grant that this would have put some stress on Ross and Flair as representatives, but not to the degree that a release would warrant.

Vince McMahon had Ross removed from TV as the play-by-play announcer of RAW in favor of younger blood, completely dismissing the much larger older audience's vocal objections a couple of years back and it seemed, at least to me, that Jim Ross' years of productive use to the company were numbered. But I would like to raise a question.....what about TNA? While I doubt any offer TNA could make would appeal to Ross, the wrestling fan in me simply can't help but ask "what if?" Just hearing the voice of Monday Night RAW calling one AJ Styles match or the final match of Sting or even the fast pacing of an X Division matchup would be the capstone; the ultimate marriage between my childhood and the world of today.......think about it.

In the meantime, I'd like to take a moment to place two matches here in honor of a career well done....

The last match stands out as one of my personal favorites in recent history........

As a fan of J.R, I would like to take the opportunity to thank him for his years of making even the most mundane of matches seem like a main event. 

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