Jim Ross may be the greatest announcer in wrestling history, but he's become nothing more than a punchline for Vince McMahon and his lame jokes.
What a shame.
The guy's a WWE Hall of Famer, seemingly a great person and a loyal company employee, but he's treated like absolute crap by the same company that he busts his butt for.
The words "respect" and "Jim Ross" should go hand in hand, but thanks to the WWE, I'm not even sure Good Ol' J.R. remembers what it feels like to be treated with respect.
There are some ways to fix that, though.
Here are seven ways Jim Ross can actually be treated with some respect on Monday Night Raw.
I think that the biggest problem with the way Jim Ross is treated on Raw isn't necessarily that Michael Cole makes fun of him—it's that the way J.R. just sits there and takes it makes him come across as gutless and spineless.
Instead of looking like a loyal company employee (although I think he looks like that, too), J.R. basically looks like a wimp who can't stand up for himself.
So, here's a change from the norm: Why doesn't J.R. stand up for himself when Cole makes fun of him?
Sure, J.R. has done this before, but he's never really showed Cole how serious he was. I'm talking about beating the crap out of Cole and pummeling him mercilessly as he begs for someone to help him.
In that situation, Ross might not be announcing on Monday Night Raw, but at least we would respect him for not backing down from a fight.
A good portion of the jokes and ridiculous "comedy" segments pointed at Jim Ross stem from the man who took over his spot at the Raw announce table, Michael Cole.
Ever since Cole turned heel, he's had this stupid, unwarranted beef with J.R., and as a result, he's made Ross the prime target of all his jokes and over-the-top heel antics.
There's an easy fix for that, however: Town done Cole's aggravating heel persona, or just get rid of it altogether.
Ross should not have to sit there and have Cole make fun of him, especially when Cole could not hold Ross' jock when it comes to announcing.
The WWE needs to make sure that Cole's heel character adds to a broadcast rather than takes away from it, and if the company can't do that, then they need to scrap it completely if for no other reason than to show J.R. that he's more than just someone who Cole can make awful jokes about.
The way we see Jim Ross treated on TV is all part of a storyline.
Or is it?
According to F4Wonline.com (via SEScoops.com), Ross was not aware that he would be "fired" by John Laurinaitis on an episode of Monday Night Raw back at the beginning of October, which is eerily similar to reports that J.R. was not informed he would be drafted to SmackDown back in 2008.
Come on, WWE. This a little too much.
If you're going to make a life-altering decision by taking Ross off of TV or moving him to a different show, at least have the common courtesy of letting him know beforehand.
It's incredibly disrespectful not to do so.
Just off the top of my head, I can think of two instances in which the WWE unnecessarily made fun of Jim Ross.
The first came way back in 2005 when Mr. McMahon was featured in a series of segments that poked fun at J.R. and his legitimate colon surgery.
In the words of The Miz, really?
The second came just a couple of months ago when Cole revealed some pictures that "Ross had posted on Twitter," which actually turned out to be photoshopped pictures meant to mock Ross' weight.
I get that the WWE wants to integrate "comedy" into its episodes of Monday Night Raw, but it's completely unnecessary to make fun of an announcer who's just doing his job, especially when you're ripping on him for something as serious as colon surgery.
It's like the people who write Monday Night Raw are eight years old.
The ultimate sign of respect for Jim Ross would be for the WWE to give back his rightful spot as the lead announcer of Monday Night Raw.
Michael Cole isn't "The Voice of the WWE." Good Ol' J.R. is.
The WWE product has really suffered since J.R. left the announce table and was replaced with Cole, in large part because Cole is more worried about being a heel than actually calling the damn matches.
So, why on earth is Ross sitting backstage while Cole is making a mockery of wrestling announcing? I just don't get it.
Of all the changes I want to see in the WWE, Ross replacing Cole and bringing some much-needed legitimacy to the announce table might be at the very top of that list.
Sometimes, I wonder what the people within the WWE are thinking.
I mean, you can't find a storyline for someone like Tyson Kidd or Justin Gabriel, but you can find 3,000 ones for your announcers?
In my opinion, announcers should almost never be a part of a storyline, with the rare exception being someone like Booker T—who's an actual wrestler and can still put on great matches—being used to help elevate Cody Rhodes.
Other than situations like those, however, the Michael Coles, the Jim Rosses and the Jerry Lawlers of the WWE world should stay completely out of WWE storylines.
If Ross isn't involved in storylines with Cole or even a wrestler for that matter, then there's going to be no reason whatsoever to make fun of him every week, and he'll simply be able to do his job by announcing on Monday nights.
You know, I have little to no faith that the WWE will ever bring J.R. back as the lead announcer of Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown.
But I'm fine with that.
I'm completely OK with Ross joining Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on Raw if it means that Cole will shut the hell up, and Ross can actually do what he's meant to do: announce.
Theoretically, I think it could work having both Cole and Ross on Raw as long as Cole wasn't heel. They could both do a little play-by-play commentary, but they'd have to make sure they got the right balance down.
The bottom line, though, is that Ross deserves a spot on WWE TV, and it would be a great sign of respect if he was allowed to announce like he used to back in the day.
J.R. used to bring that energy, enthusiasm and excitement to the WWE product that no one before or after him has been able to, and he should currently be doing the same thing on Raw every week.