Something I really wanted to discuss here. I was reading an article about Jim Ross in Apter's "The Wrestler". I know the web isn't exactly high on these publications' credentials, but as a continuing reader I often come across very insightful articles. The author, "Harry Burkett"(whether actual person not relevant) brought up some interesting points to consider concerning JR's position as a Raw announcer. I'll type in some tidbits verbatim from the column to familiarize you, because admittedly I don't feel I'd be too great at summarizing it in my own words:
Originally posted by Harry Burkett via The Wrestler As I watch Raw, I often wonder what is going through Jim Ross' mind. Does Ross really believe in the product he's trying to sell us? Is is heart really in it? Something tells me Ross would be more comfortable handling the blow by blow on Smackdown, where he could talk about Kurt Angle's gold medals and Brock Lesnar's NCAA heavyweight title, in addition to the amateur exploits of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Hass.
-Over the past year or so, Ross has been forced to sell us necrophilia angles, HLA and Kane emerging unscathed from a raging dumpster fire and surviving certain decapitiation when that limousine wedged under a semi truck. Meanwhile Ross has had to watch WWE creative mishandle his fellow Oklahoman, Bill Goldberg, who became just another steppingstone for Triple-H.
-During the 10 years Ross has been employed by the WWE, Ross has spent much of his time making excuses for its product. While WWE has been successful in appealing to casual fans, diehards have never been able to get what they want: more wreslting and logic, less backstage skits and silliness. He went from defending the cartoonish characters and angles of the the mid-1990s to rationalizing the outrageous and tasteless stunts of the "Attitude" era.
Ross is quick to point out that the WWE superstars are the greatest athletes in the business and that the overall athletic quality of its pay-per-views is better than ever. He is correct, but we diehards have to digest a lot of fluff just to get a straight dose of wrestling. Ross is a diehard fan himself, so he knows what we're talking about.
-I don't think Ross has enjoyed his prominence in storylines, either. Would you? We've seen Mankind thrust a mandible claw down his throat, Steve Austin give him the stunner, Triple-H break his arm, Vince McMagon drop his pants so JR could kiss his ass, and Kane set him on fire. -I suspect WWE insiders resent Ross' credibility with the fans, and do their best to undermine it.
-Every week Ross heaps praise upon Shawn Michales, Booker T and Shane McMahon. But, deep down, is he really thinking about Danny Hodge?
Ended up throwing in a little more than I expected, because it was a good article. He also mentioned Ross' idolizing ofnames like Leroy McGuirk, Bill Watts, and Jack Brisco, and of the likeliness of him being reprimanded for mentioning those names on the air too often. I could see that being true.
So does anyone think Ross maybe deserves a little more credit or perhaps sympathy? I'm certainly no Ross apologist as he annoys me too, but there is some stuff to consider here. He may not actually WANT to suck as bad as he does, but may have become washed out and unenthusiastic about things. Could being on Smackdown maybe recharge him in some way? Really interested in hearing your responses.
It still doesn't excuse JR's constantly confusing wrestlers' names or his inability to call moves correctly, but I do feel some sympathy for the guy. There was that story last year about how Vince was looking to replace JR because he still feels that JR has too Western a look, which is baffling after being the lead announcer for the past 6 years and one of the all-time greats. If I were JR, I'd feel a bit put upon too. There's nobody better at telling a story than Jim Ross, but for the love of God WWE, give the man a good story to tell. Or at least a story with a happy ending, not just "The Game was taken to the limit, but he came out on top again!"
Wait…if it’s MLK Jr. Day AND Pat Patterson’s Birthday…who gets the token win here?-- Matt "Excalibur05" Hocking on a match between Mark Henry and Rico
MH: What’s a clever way to say that I have a penis? CJ: Uh…Mark, nobody’s going to buy that shirt. MH: How about if I say that I’ve got…a…uh…? CJ: Coming up with T-Shirt ideas is hard Mark, why not leave it to the WWE marketing department. MH: I know! I’ve got it! CJ: Got what? MH: Stank! That’s Mah Stank! I’m gonna make a fortune!! CJ: “That’s Mah Stank”? MH: On the front it’ll say “Can You Smell It?” and on the back it’ll say “That’s Mah Stank”. Everybody’ll buy it because they’ll think it’s a Rock shirt. CJ: You know…you might be on to something there, sad to say. MH: I can’t wait to show mah stank to Trish.
You know, I have a feeling that Spanky didn’t quit, he was fired. Why? So they could repackage Mark Henry as “Stanky.” Think about THAT! --Matt "Excalibur05" Hocking, 1/19/04 Raw Satire
Well, to be fair to him, ever try to talk on the phone, and to somebody in the room with you at the same time? Its hard to concentrate on one conversation with somebody in your ear. Not to make excuses, but it must suck to be on live TV and have Vince in your ear telling you what to sell, and how to sell it.
Originally posted by StaggerLeeWell, to be fair to him, ever try to talk on the phone, and to somebody in the room with you at the same time? Its hard to concentrate on one conversation with somebody in your ear. Not to make excuses, but it must suck to be on live TV and have Vince in your ear telling you what to sell, and how to sell it.
Amen to that, I wouldn't mind seeing Tazz (who is a much better color commentator) teamed up with Ross and moved to SD! (where they could talk more "wrestling")..I thought they kicked ass together during the Rumble
And leave Lawler on RAW (if we must keep him, I'd still love to see the WWE beg DDP to come back and be a commentator) and move Cole there (where he is more animated than Ross is and could probably put over the ridiculousness of cHHHubby winning once again), I think these 2 are more suited for RAW
By the way, am I the only one who wished during the mixed tag match that Ross could have handed Lawler a copy of the new Playboy and told him to go off and read?
"I'm not that big, but I'm fast, I'm pretty sure I can outrun the whole Dallas Cowboys team." --high school senior RB (and possible future Boomer Sooner) Adrian Peterson on his thoughts on his chances in the NFL
Am I the only person who hope this kid signs into the NFL and Roy Williams and Parcells get to let that comment stew for the next 7 months?
Part of JR's job (a big part on the announcing side) is to get across Vince McMahon's vision to viewers at home. He's not supposed to put across his personal feelings about the tastelessness of angles, about whether Goldberg's push has been handled right, or any other insider aspects. Same goes for Lawler or anyone else behind the mic.
So when Ross said this past week on Raw that he had no idea if The Undertaker was really behind those videos, I cringed. But then I realized he was told to say that. Hell, I was even surprised that Lawler was allowed to be skeptical and suggest it may, in fact, be The Undertaker.
So I don't feel incredibly sorry for Good Ol' JR. He's being paid well to sell an opinion on television. It seemed like he used to thrive on calling matches on pure emotion (look at all the times in WCW his voice was shot at the end of a PPV or Clash), but now he's no longer allowed to, for whatever reason. Still, the guy could quit at any time and retire on all those stock options he has. He doesn't HAVE to stay around.
Would he add something to SmackDown? Probably, yeah. But the fact is there isn't a better play-by-play guy in the company right now, and no one likely would give Raw matches that 'important' feeling better than JR can.
Yeah I feel that if a switch were to be made, move Tazz to Raw, Lawler to Smackdown..
Rationale being, Michael Cole is barely tolerable. I find Lawler obnoxoius too but more effective as a heel commentator. Cole doing is indignant act about whatever injustices the heels are taking part in would work a lot better with the equally obnoxious Lawler as a foil. Also the women on Smackdown are non-wrestlers for the most part. This way Lawler can do his ogling the women "act" on them, rather than detracting from the women's division matches on RAW. Tazz can still make comments about the women but can be more understated and knows how to get down to business when it comes to a wrestling match. As it is on RAW, JR's trying to call a women's match and all we get is Lawler shrieking here and there, simply giving everyone the impression that "This doesn't matter."
It essentially would put the two "child-like" commentators on what I consider to be the more "child-like" show, Smackdown.. And the two somewhat more sophisticated (if "mah gawd!" and "here comes the champ, Brock Lesnah" can be called 'sophisticated') on RAW.
If he really didn't want to be on Raw I'm sure he wouldn't be. He's not just an on-air announcer. He's also the Vice President in charge of talent for WWE. I'm sure he takes home a nice paycheck, and if he wanted to jump brands, I'm sure he could use his executive ties to make it happen. I don't think he's a victim.
That said, if the Sooners offered him the broadcast job for their college football games, he'd probably retire from the WWE in a heartbeat.
The constant shilling of everything else but the actual match style of commentating is the worst part of a WWE broadcast. No matter how you switch the teams around the style will still be the same. I think the best way to go would be to put the Women's div on SD and at the same time let the established announce teams do more match calling and replace all the endless recapping with short shilling sessions before and after each match.
Jim Ross might have to put over some bad angles now and again, but would it really kill the man to learn the names of the moves that people are using? He's become Vince McMahon at the announce table calling everything a 'hard slam'. I don't know if he's lazy, unmotivated, has too much on his table, is too old or a combination of all of these but he just seems unprepared a lot of the time. You would think that sooner or later he would figure out what an 'Unprettier' is after miscalling it for a year now.
Ross also has the problem of calling a show with Jerry Lawler, who brings little to nothing to the table and does nothing to elevate the shtick that makes Jim Ross, Jim Ross. J.R. has only made the situation worse by becoming buddy buddy with Lawler taking any extra edge off of the show.
Jim Ross may be a victim, but he's a victim of his ego and his own ways as much as anything else.
Ross doesn't deserve a drop more pity than any other number of wrestling announcers who had to shill things that were absurd. Compared to some of the stuff Tony Schavonie, Gorilla Monsoon, and even Joey Styles had to pass off as viable (Bilvis Wesley someone had AIDS of the brain on that idea) Ross has got it easy these days.
And all that aside, there is no excuse for not knowing the names of moves, or the names of wrestlers.
I'd tell you to kiss my ass, but I don't want to get it infected.
I'd like to see them do Hogan-Flair at WrestleMania. But, I suppose there's no way that they can give it the kind of promotion it deserves in these next four weeks. Maybe we'll just have to wait until next WrestleMania.