Legendary announcer Jim Ross has been a huge part of WWE since debuting at WrestleMania IX in 1993, but "Good Ol' JR" has decided to ride off into the sunset as he is retiring from WWE, according to WWE.com.
While Ross hasn't been a full-time announcer for a few years, he has pitched in and helped the company in a number of different ways. Ross will always be remembered as the voice of the Attitude Era, though, as his announcing helped stars like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock get over with the fans.
The relationship between Ross and WWE chairman Vince McMahon was contentious at times over the years, but McMahon thanked JR for everything he did while with WWE.
According to WWE.com, Ross ultimately made the decision to end his 20-year WWE career in order to focus on other business ventures. That likely includes his signature JR's BBQ, which is his signature brand of barbecue sauce and related products.
Ross thanked his fans for their support on Twitter:
In a post on his blog, Ross reflected on his tenure with WWE (read full post here):
So, at the age if 61 it's time to close this chapter of my life and begin exploring new, adventures while my health is great.
I wouldn't have changed a thing in WWE except I wish that I'd been able to avoid some health issues along the way. That was the hand that I was dealt and I simply refused to fold it.
Other that health issues my 'run' in WWE has exceeded my wildest dreams.
Although Ross' on-screen role had diminished in recent years, he still made special appearances. Following his friend and former broadcast partner Jerry "The King" Lawler suffering a heart attack last year, Ross filled in alongside Michael Cole and JBL. He also did some work on NXT, which was huge for the development of WWE's rising stars.
There is no denying that Ross had an incredible career as an announcer, and that is made even more amazing by the fact that he battled Bell's palsy for much of his tenure with the company.
Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H tweeted their thoughts on Ross:
The Iron Sheik expressed his feelings for Ross' career:
Despite his limitations, Ross was arguably the greatest announcer in the history of professional wrestling. Ross was so good that legions of fans call for him to be used as a full-time announcer to this very day, but with so many other ventures on his plate, the 61-year-old legend will unquestionably be very busy and successful in retirement.
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