Legendary WWE broadcaster Jim Ross says he’s leaving the professional wrestling company when his contract expires on March 29.
“I need to move on,” Ross said on his podcast. “I still want to play in the game. I still want to stay busy. I still think I can do play-by-play even though others that may surround Vince [McMahon] think I can’t.”
“At this stage in my life where you’re an empty nester, and you lost your best friend, she’s no longer there — I need to stay busy,” the 67-year-old said. “I need to get back on the road. I needed to get back out there and do what my passion leads me to. So that’s what I’m gonna be doing.”
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Though Ross did not share his next move, assuming he knows it, the wrestling lifer finished his thought this way: “I don’t think I’ll be out of work long.”
Ross recently wrapped a separate contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. A spokesperson for the Mark Cuban-owned cable channel told TheWrap that they “don’t know” if Ross will be back in the future.
J.R.’s guest on this episode of the “Jim Ross Report” was Brandi Rhodes, the chief brand officer of upstart league All Elite Wrestling. Does that mean AEW will be Ross’s likely landing spot? We reached out to a rep for the promotion but did not immediately hear back on exactly that question.
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The WWE Hall of Famer (Class of 2007), who first left WWE in 2013, has mostly been used to call special events for McMahon’s company, like when The Undertaker wrestled Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. That marked Ross’s return and was supposed to be ‘Taker’s final match, but both have stuck around in limited capacities.
Minus a few years, Ross has been with McMahon since 1993.
Ross’s wife Jan died in 2017 following a Vespa accident — she is the “best friend” he’s referring to in the above quotes.
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Listen to “The Jim Ross Report” below.