In what has to be considered surprising news, Hall of Famer Jim Ross announced his retirement from WWE today. The news broke on WWE.com and noted that Ross would be focusing on his "personal business endeavors." Many of you may be thinking that "Good 'Ol JR" has been retired for years now since he hasn't been on the RAW commentary team in a long time, but he has always filled many roles in WWE whether it be special appearances on TV, scouting new talent, or even commentary on NXT. It seemed JR would be in an "employee for life" situation with WWE, but one has to wonder if a somewhat controversial event over SummerSlam weekend had anything to do with this decision.
Jim Ross appeared over SummerSlam weekend as the host of a panel for the new WWE 2K14 video game. The panel included Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Paul Heyman, and Ric Flair. The event made headlines more because of Ric Flair pretty much taking over the event by telling stories and such which didn't leave much time to actually talk about the video game. JR was a little "outspoken" so to speak as well, which lead to online rumors that the two may have been drunk; a rumor Ross later denied on his Twitter.
Regardless of the true reasoning, no one can deny Jim Ross's place in wrestling and WWE history. There has never been a lack of praise for JR as quite possibly the greatest wrestling announcer of all time. If you were a fan in the 80s, hearing a JR call the action from the UWF and NWA was a real treat. Before JR had to conform a bit to the WWE style in 1993, he really conveyed the excitement of that era.
Of course Jim Ross is most remembered for his 20 years in WWE being he called some of the most memorable moments and matches in history. Even though he had a rough first few years in WWE that included being released a couple of times, Ross came back to be the voice of the Attitude Era and has still popped up on TV various times in recent years. JR was also highly responsible for many of the new talents that popped into WWE in the 90s when he was the head of talent relations; Hall of Famers like Edge, Mick Foley, Trish Stratus and a host of others have given Ross much credit for their careers in WWE.
Of course this move is going to stir up the rumors of Ross going to TNA, but I just don't see it. Jim Ross is 61 years old and most likely isn't looking to downgrade at this point. Just because he has retired doesn't mean he won't be called in to action for a big WrestleMania match or something along those lines. If the 2K event was the reason for JR's departure, then it probably shows it was the right time since the event was probably more entertaining because of Ross and Flair's presentation even if it doesn't fit into today's corporate WWE. Regardless, Jim Ross will always be regarded by many as the greatest of all time, even if this really is the end.