WWE.COM today confirmed that WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has announced that he will be retiring from the company to focus more on his personal business.
The news comes out of nowhere as Ross often claimed that he’s happy to be doing part-time stuff for WWE and doesn’t have to travel as often except to do commentary and work for NXT as well as doing sporadic appearances for the company.
Ross joined WWE in 1993 with WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas being his first event. He was eventually fired just a year later by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon only to be re-hired a few months later after McMahon had legal trouble with the U.S. government. JR was fired for the second time but by the end of 1994 he found his way back in the company and became a regular announcer in 1996.
Battles with Bells Palsy and colon surgery kept JR off WWE television for months at a time and he was slowly phased out and replaced by Michael Cole as the lead play-by-play man for WWE. In 2007, JR was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by one his best friends, Stone Cold Steve Austin.
In his 20 years of service for WWE, Ross held several positions in the company including heading up the talent relations department, signing Superstars such as The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Mick Foley, Edge, Trish Stratus, and many, many others, and was recently an advisor and a talent scout.
Vince McMahon thanked Jim Ross with a message on Twitter just after the announcement was made saying, “Thank you @JRsBBQ for 20 years of service with @WWE.”