Why Did Jim Ross Describe Joining AEW as a 'Layup'?

Veteran announcer Jim Ross discusses career transitions and insights.

by Atia Mukhtar
Why Did Jim Ross Describe Joining AEW as a 'Layup'?
© notsam/YouTube

Renowned broadcaster Jim Ross, a familiar voice in professional wrestling, recently opened up about his transition to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) during an episode of his podcast, "Grilling JR." Ross, who has been a key figure in calling AEW's major events since 2019, including the inaugural Double or Nothing pay-per-view and numerous episodes of "AEW Dynamite," shared insights into his decision to join the burgeoning promotion.

Ross's WWE Departure

Ross's move to AEW came after a significant tenure at WWE, where his distinct voice and charismatic commentary had become synonymous with many of wrestling's most iconic moments. However, changes within WWE's broadcasting strategy signaled it was time for a shift.

Ross candidly expressed that he felt out of sync with WWE’s evolving dynamics, particularly under the leadership of Vince McMahon. "It was obvious that he wanted to have another announcer out there, one that wasn't old, one that wasn't Southern, one that wasn't chubby," Ross stated, reflecting on his perception within WWE at the time.

His decision to leave WWE was further solidified by McMahon's apparent desire for change, something that Ross sensed deeply. Discussing the professional crossroads he faced, Ross explained that there was never a serious offer from WWE to return full-time, despite his sporadic appearances throughout the 2010s.

"Vince wanted to make a change. He had already proven that. he had done it several times," Ross noted. This realization, coupled with an attractive offer from AEW that surpassed what he was earning at WWE, made his decision straightforward.

"So, for me, it was just a layup," he remarked, underscoring the ease of his choice given the circumstances and the more lucrative opportunity awaiting AEW. In March, Ross solidified his commitment to AEW by signing what he anticipates will be his final contract with the promotion, extending his tenure until 2025.

This new agreement marks a significant milestone, not only ensuring his voice remains a staple in AEW’s broadcast team but also reaffirming his influential presence in the world of professional wrestling. Ross’s journey underscores a pivotal shift in his illustrious career, highlighting a decision driven by both professional fulfillment and personal respect.

His narrative is a testament to adapting to industry changes and embracing new opportunities that align with one's values and aspirations in the ever-evolving landscape of professional wrestling.

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