Articles by "Jim Ross"
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WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross recently was recently interviewed by Doug Mortman and Dave Lagreca on Busted Open to remember wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes. Below are the highlights:
His first reaction to the passing of Dusty Rhodes:
"I choose to celebrate his life rather than to mourn his death. I knew for several weeks that there was something wrong and of course Dusty would never admit it. I compared him to John Wayne in his last movie – he knew that something was wrong, but he didn’t want to talk about it, and he wanted to go out on his terms, and his style and that’s what happened, and as quickly and as suddenly he was taken from us. I was up pretty much all night, and I just decided that as the day has gone on that I choose to celebrate his life, my fun that I had with him, the confidence he put in me. When Bill Watts sold Jim Crockett promotions, Dusty put great confidence in me to get the storylines over on NWA Pro and UWF. He kind of indirectly got a little heat on me because he said to some guys that I announced a match, I think it was Dr. Death vs Big Bubba Rogers he said that was an announcing clinic to all the announcers that worked for us and they should listen to this match. It didn’t do him any favors – but all it did was give me great confidence that my work was OK and Dusty facilitated my break to get on TBS and begin some somewhat relevance on national cable. I’ll always owe him for that. I’ll never owe him that $100 that I lost on the game of horse that we played at 3 in the morning after drinking beer all night because I paid my debt… But I just choose to remember him as the human being that he was and the great times that we had, and not the man that had lost all that weight and you could see him virtually vanishing before our very eyes. It is a sad day and we do need to mourn, but we also need to celebrate what he brought us and what he brought to the dance. He played himself in the ring, that character. He was the American Dream. He was that blue collar guy. I loved him and I will miss him but I choose to celebrate his life as opposed to mourning here today as best I can."
Dusty’s chemistry with the fans:
"He had what every wrestler in the business wants to have… the ability to connect with the audience. Dusty made the audience care about him. Dusty made the audience feel for him. He was a 300lb man, not just another pretty face, as he would say, with a non-body builder’s body, that can sell and make people care. He was a 300lb baby-face that was so good at the dramatic art of selling that he could make people care. And sometimes, and often times, vs a villain that was much smaller and that was a tremendous art form to be able to pull that off. He was the blue collar guy. More people could identify him than a lot of the quote on quote super heroes that are quote on quote bigger than life. He was bigger than life in many ways. There are more people walking around that look like The Dream than look like a super hero with big muscles and a body builder’s physique."
Dusty’s mind for the business:
"The great thing about Dream was that he was a fan as a kid. He watched wrestling and territories in Austin as a child and he became a huge fan. There was a special hour each week that was destination TV for him. He was an excellent athlete. He was probably a better baseball player than he was a wrestler or a football player – he was very good at both those. The innovations as far as War Games and the stars that he made…Nikita Koloff by all intents and purposes never really had any right at the time to be the superstar that he was … but he was a creation, his image, his persona was a creation of Dusty Rhodes… and how Dusty was able to create around the tragedy that Magnum T.A. was involved in. People want to look at glass half full too often. Dusty had a brilliant booking mind… much much longer than people like to give him credit for. He had great teachers. Bill Watts made him do the angle to turn him baby face in Florida. Gary Hart needs some credit for that. He also got his PHD under Eddie Graham. I will go to my grave and say, when motivated, and when used in the right way, the Texas Outlaws of Murdoch and Rhodes were as good a tag team as I have seen. They don’t get the credit other teams get but when you look at them or watch them on YouTube or something, they were absolutely incredible… the things that they could do in that era. Creative genius. War Games, I loved. How he built to the big match … the destination match. Which is lacking in the business today because there are so many quote on quote big matches … the destination match that he did, the tours, the big events, the Starrcades, things like that … Clash of Champions. He gave me my break, he wanted me on the Clash of Champions team. Tony Schiavone and I we called that first clash. Big break for me on free TV – prime time on TBS against WrestleMania – big opportunity that both Tony and I seized – neither of us were heels but he broke that tradition. He didn’t want a 3 man booth he wanted the two of us out there and we were able to be a part of a history making event as far as TBS and WCW was concerned and that was because of The Dream and his vision. He had great visions and I will never be able to thank him enough. His birthday is October 12th, same day as my wedding anniversary… and many October 12ths, while my wife was sleeping in, he got the birthday call… almost every year. It is also the same weekend that Oklahoma plays Texas and we would argue about Oklahoma and Texas all year – that was our thing. And when people would say “gosh its only football season guys” and we would both look at them and say “mind your own business… this is our argument… this is what we love to talk about”… and we did. We shared our love of BBQ and we shared our love of John Wayne. We have much more in common than people will ever know. He did much more for me than people will ever know. When he would go into his diatribes and using all the Southern South-Western colloquialisms to describe what he wanted in a match… I got it. I was raised in it. I understood it. So he trusted me to get his angles over and the talent that he was pushing over. He gave me that trust and gave me a chance to go on a national stage to do what I did for so many years. He is certainly going to be missed and yes I mourned but I just choose to celebrate the man that I knew, and that I loved, and that taught me so much, and was a great mentor for me, and a great supporter of my work and I think that’s the healthy way of looking at Dusty. He would rather us laugh at his humor, his dancing, his “Funky Like a Monkey” – he heard him talk one time and you never forget it. He loved that. And we talked probably every couple of weeks. I sat behind him at the Hall of Fame… I saw how hard it was for him getting up. He had some issues with his legs… I don’t know what it was. He had a hard time keeping his balance. He had a hard time getting up and down. I still don’t know what the cause of death was. And does it really matter except that there is another TMZ news story? He’s gone, but his memory will never be forgotten."
His lasting memory of Dusty:
"The last match that he and I called together was William Regel vs Dean Ambrose in FCW in Tampa a couple of years ago. And we approached that just like a Clash of Champions, and we were so fired up to go out and call that match. And when it was over, we both realized that we were both too Southern to probably ever work again on a National basis. We knew that the handwriting was on the wall but it didn’t scare us and it didn’t bother us. We got to go do that last one. We had a lot of fun and some of my best work… and people can go back and listen and be selective… the Dusty Rhodes /JR combination of where I followed him along on these storytelling journeys that he booked, and he did color on were some of the most fun times I ever had in broadcasting. Some of the things we said to each other, and he said and words he would invent were just absolutely hilarious, and I owe him a lot and I will never be able to repay him but some day our paths will cross again."


WWE Hall of Famer "Good Ol' J.R." Jim Ross posted the following in his blog at
“I’ve said here many times that I hope that all wrestling promotions are successful and make it through their respective rough waters that many are currently encountering. Nonetheless, some within these organizations can’t handle constructive criticism and seem to take some things that I say personally which is both childish and unprofessional. It is my prerogative to criticize bad acting, over scripted promos, no selling major moves, illogical creative and other eye rolling creative content in an attempt to re-invent what isn’t broken. I think that I’ve paid my dues, earned a decent track record within the biz and, above all, I am still a fan of over 50 years.
The vast majority of wrestlers these days are not good promo talents. Reason being is that creative staffs seemingly have to justify their existence by role playing with these individuals and scripting virtually every word that the talents say. That system is both outdated and unproductive as fans today can recognize a wrestler reciting a promo from memory instead as from their heart within a few sentences.
Wrestling is best when it comes from a logically, realistic place and is executed inside the ring as an athletic contest built on common sense and not an acrobatic show that exposes the business as a sham with no selling and the complete lack of some talent’s ability to properly apply an actual wrestling hold.
The faster some talent perform the louder that they tell us that their skill set is lacking and that they are trying to get by on sensationalism instead of realism.
I get taken to task because of my 21 years in WWE as if I’m picking on the TNA’s, ROH’s, Lucha Underground’s, etc of the world when nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve dedicated 40+ years of my life to the wrestling business, proudly I might add, and would do it all over again if the opportunity presented itself. But that isn’t going to happen. I want the business to be healthy and to prosper long after I’m gone for future generations to enjoy. At the rate of some of the things that I’m watching each week on TV are happening, I’m not sure sure that’s going to occur.
Some feel that we are allegedly in a pending “boom” period because there is so much TV wrestling product available o n a weekly. Does average, at times at best average, TV product indicate “Boom” to any one who actually thinks about it? I think not.
The product is by and large over thought and those in creative charge seemingly feel compelled to take a tried and true product and put their personal finger prints on it as if they are going to be the one who is forever known as “changing the wrestling business forever.” The wrestling business changed forever when the territories died due largely because local promoters got lazy and complacent and did not want to move into the modern era of marketing and producing TV programs plus they stopped developing new, young stars. Blame who you want but the territory system stopped doing what brought them to the dance and that was featuring new stars in compelling rivalries that were based in easy to understand, common sense story lines produced in weekly, episodic television. Plus, the talents back in the day were, by and large, better story tellers than we are fed today with some exceptions.
An essentially, easy to watch, non complex hour of TV that virtually anyone could understand and enjoy was what worked best for many of us lifers.
Where have those days gone?
Yes, I’ve been involved with many lame, ineffective and impotent TV storylines in my career but I was always a team player and had no problem cashing the checks to do what my employer instructed me to do in the fictional, show business word of pro wrestling. It was like an actor being cast in a role in a film. Some days were better than others…some shows were better than others, too.
Perhaps some day someone in a promotion will understand that simpler is better and the majority of fans don’t want bad acting or predictable promos but instead want to get lost in personal issues featuring the stars settling the conflict in the ring utilizing superior athletic representation.

Excerpt from Jim Ross's latest blog from JR's BBQ

Rumors of Sting appearing at Sunday's WWE Survivor Series PPV:
Legendary WWE Color Commentator Jim Ross

"My Twitter timeline lit up Friday night with the conveniently, timed info/rumor that Sting would make a 'surprise' appearance at Sunday's WWE Survivor Series. I have no idea it that's true or not and I'd have preferred if the info, true or not, would not have leaked out. I'm not a major fan of the 'Jardine's' aka spoilers. I'm a Sting fan from back in the day and believe that if his first and perhaps only match in WWE is at WrestleMania 31. The man has earned a WrestleMania Moment without question."

Who will win the Team Cena vs. Team Authority main event at Survivor Series:

"If forced to make a prediction, I'd go with Team Cena winning the Survivor Series main event Sunday in St. Louis which provides WWE the opportunity to truly set the reset button and create some new scenarios that are due with the build to WM31 beginning to commence. If so, Im curious to see how HHH and Steph are repositioned as WWE needs star power and they provide that more than many of the talents."


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