As all of you know, there has been many changes, regarding the WWE commentator booth in the past few weeks. I am writing today to clear everything up for the B/R universe, and also put in my own two cents, on how the WWE is dealing with this situation.
On the October 13th episode of SmackDown, Color Commentator, Jim Ross asked for a day off to spend time with his family, which marked the first time that he ever asked for a day off in his entire broadcasting career with the WWE. He was replaced by Michael Cole, the RAW play-by-play announcer for one night.
That was intended to be his only absence, however en route to the Columbia, South Carolina SmackDown taping, Jim Ross suffered his third Bell’s Palsy attack. He elected to fly back to his Oklahoma home, and take the night off. His plans for the Bragging Rights PPV, and the future of his broadcasting career in the WWE was in jeopardy. He was replaced by Jerry Lawler. Todd Grisham, who was also absent, was replaced by Michael Cole.
Cole described Ross as being “under the weather”, which is not the same way that they treated Ross’ two previous Bell’s Palsy attacks. His first attack occurred in 1994, where the WWE fired him. He went on to return to professional sports broadcasting, and become the play-by-play announcer for Smoky Mountain Wrestling, and then the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
In 1995, Ross was re-hired by the WWE, and worked for them for three more years, without any complications. The next attack occurred in 1998 in which he wasn’t fired. After he took a break that lasted a few weeks, they turned his attack into a storyline. Attempting a Ross heel turn, which eventually failed. He then took his seat back as the main RAW play-by-play announcer.
If Ross is able to come back and take his seat at the SmackDown announce booth, I have a question for the WWE. Until now, you have been seemingly dodging this commentating situation. First, all that Michael Cole was told to say, was that Mr. Ross was “under the weather”, and now you’ve brought up Matt Striker to replace Ross. I’m sure that the casual wrestling fan wants to know what is going on.
To the WWE: If Jim Ross is able to come back and take his seat at the SmackDown announce table, will you work this into another storyline? Or will you completely dodge this situation.
Or, will you once again, fire Jim Ross regardless of the situation.
There has been speculation in my mind, that Ross won’t be coming back, for this reason: It appears that Matt Striker has found his soul mate in Todd Grisham. I found that they worked extremely well together at the announce table, on the previous episode of SmackDown. Not only that, but Josh Matthews’ new partner Byron Saxton, is doing extremely well in the Land of Extreme.
The WWE commentator situation is currently one of great difficulty to understand, and there will be a lot of questions to answer in the future.
Jim Ross attempted heel turn video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3bX0p1gpAU