FOX Sports today reported that WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has signed a deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling and AXS TV to be the play-by-play commentator starting in March.
JR will be taking over from current Smackdown announcer Mauro Ranallo and will be tag teaming with Josh Barnett from the March 4 show.
“This opportunity to work with AXS TV is attractive on many fronts,” Ross said. “The travel won’t be weekly but approximately 8-10 trips to Los Angeles in a year’s time. While there, in a two-day, voice-over session, we will hammer out up to six shows. I’m happy OKC now has non-stop flights to LAX.”
JR said that he’s been a big fan of New Japan for decades and the business philosophy behind NJPW reminds him of his early years in wrestling.
“I’ve had numerous other offers, some serious and others just flirting to return to TV Wrestling broadcasting but none have had the appeal that AXS TV offered me. We think my style will fit the NJPW in-ring presentation well,” Ross added.