Jim Ross is this weeks Glass Half Empty podcast guest. The legendary former WWE announcer has several live shows coming up, where he walks through his autobiography and stops along the way for stories about everyone he rubbed elbows and shared beverages with. Here’s the details those:
- DC Improv, Washington DC, Wednesday, August 19; Tickets here.
- Gramercy Theatre, NYC, Saturday, August 22; Tickets here.
- The International, Knoxville, Tn., Thursday, September 10; Tickets here.
- Ballroom at Warehouse Live, Houston, Tx., Sunday, September 20; Tickets here.
We discussed the passing of Roddy Piper (J.R. wrote a great remembrance over at Fox Sports earlier this week), the early deaths of professional wrestlers from Piper’s era, WWE’s wellness program, and why Hollywood seems to get a slide for action heroes, many of whom look like they have a PED-aided physique.
At the end, we had this (slightly edited for clarity) exchange:
RG: Many WWE wrestlers, like Sting, Undertaker, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan before the events a couple weeks ago, are brought back as rare, special attractions. Could you envision — and would you want — a role where you’re on-air 2-3 times per year as special occasions?
JR: I would entertain that thought. I’m not against it. It isn’t something I’m lobbying for. I’m not sitting by the phone waiting on that call. If WWE said, “Hey, we’d like for you to come down and call a match at WrestleMania in Arlington, Tx. because we know it’s an easy drive for you, I’d certainly entertain that thought.
I’m as busy as I want to be, but I would entertain the idea, depending on how it was structured and how often I was on the road or whatever. One would think that 2-3 times per year would probably be nice. In a perfect world, if I was going to do something like that, it probably would be only at WrestleMania. They got their crew. They’re trying to get younger. They’ve got their guys they’re trying to break in. I think I could help a lot of those guys just for mentoring, but that’s another story for another time.
In any event, if I was gonna go back and do something, I’d wanna start with WrestleMania and then see where it went from there. But, there’s been no dialog on that. I’m not anticipating it. I’m sure that’s not on their mind either — I’m assuming that anyway. There’s never been any talk about that. I had my run.
RG: But, there are a lot of people who would be really happy if your two sides were able to come together for something like that. You see how often your voiceovers come up online, and how much interest there was in Sting.
JR: Again, I’m not saying no. People ask me all the time why I won’t go back to WWE. The common sense of it — of course, that’s not a thing on Twitter, where anybody can be a badass — is you don’t hire yourself to go back to someone else’s company. So, if there’s a mutual interest, it certainly could be discussed.
RG: Do you and Vince still talk?
JR: We text from time to time. Sometimes it’s about business, sometimes it’s not. We’re friendly. There’s a mutual respect there. He kept his word on everything he said he was gonna do for me financially over the years, which has been awesome, and if I didn’t want to work I wouldn’t have to. I practiced what I preached with my talent — we live within our means, we save our money, we invested well, and we strived to do what a lot of Americans should do which is to get debt-free. Unlike the federal government, we know how to balance the checkbook in our household.
We’re friendly, but he’s a busy guy. To call and shoot the shit with the chairman of WWE is not the best use of his time or mine. Obviously, if he called or I called him and I needed to get through, that could be facilitated very easily. We’ll text occasionally and just check on each other. When I had surgery this past July, I heard from him a couple times.
We’re fine. They gotta get younger all the way around, and I get it. If they came to me and asked me to do this or that, I’m still loyal to their brand for helping my family get to where we are. I’m not on a vendetta. I’m not like a lot of guys that used to work there that love to just urinate all over him. I’m not that guy.