Jim Ross, renowned for his illustrious on-camera career as an announcer for WCW, WWE, NJPW, and AEW, also achieved remarkable success behind-the-scenes during the '90s and early 2000s when he held the pivotal role of WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.
Under his astute leadership, the promotion made numerous game-changing signings, propelling emerging talents into becoming WWE's biggest stars. Among the notable names he helped usher into the limelight were the Hardys, Kurt Angle, Edge, Christian, Brock Lesnar, and a host of others.
Ross's Game-Changing Talent Relations Approach
In a recent episode of "Grilling JR," Ross delved into his tenure as Head of Talent Relations, revealing insights into his distinctive approach to the job and how it set him apart from his predecessor, James J.
Dillon, who held the position before Ross assumed the role in 1997 following Dillon's departure from WWE. "I was probably more aggressive," Ross candidly shared. "I was a lot more proactive in scouting and meticulously reviewing tapes, surrounding myself with individuals who possessed great talent and ambition.
For instance, if I had my sights on an amateur wrestler, like the incredible Brock Lesnar, I would enlist the expertise of Gerry Briscoe, who hailed from the world of amateur wrestling at Oklahoma State University." Ross emphasized the collaborative nature of the talent recruitment process, acknowledging the valuable contributions of his team.
Their enthusiasm and dedication to finding new talent inspired others to come forward with prospective signings. He readily engaged with potential talents, personally meeting and assessing them, creating an environment that fostered growth and collaboration.
The former EVP also acknowledged the fortuitous timing of his tenure. Without the responsibilities of raising twins, he could fully devote himself to the demanding role, ensuring that WWE's talent pool flourished. Passionate about his work and blessed with a keen eye for potential, Ross played an integral role in shaping WWE's roster during a critical era.
Beyond his prowess as a ringside commentator, Jim Ross's transformative impact as WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent Relations remains a testament to his enduring legacy in the world of professional wrestling. His aggressive and proactive approach forever changed the landscape of sports entertainment, leaving an indelible mark on the industry's history.