Jim Ross, Vince McMahon Mutually Agreed on Legendary Announcer Leaving WWE

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2019

EL PASO, TX - SEPTEMBER 1: World Wrestling Entertainment announcer and Oklahoma Sooners fan Jim Ross walks the field before the Sooners' game against the UTEP Miners on September 1, 2012 at The Sunbowl in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by Jackson Laizure/Getty Images)
Jackson Laizure/Getty Images

WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross confirmed Wednesday he will depart WWE when his contract expires March 29.

Speaking on The Jim Ross Report (h/t John Pollock of Post Wrestling), Ross said he and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon made the decision mutually. JR has been under contract with WWE for the past two years, as they brought him back shortly after the death of his wife, Jan, in 2017.

Ross still has interest in continuing his work in wrestling, and he opined, "I don't think I'll be out of work long."

The 67-year-old Ross joined WWE in 1993 and worked for the company almost uninterrupted until 2013. During that time, he became the voice of WWE and the Attitude Era, which is why he is now widely considered one of the best play-by-play men of all time.

Ross did some announcing for New Japan Pro-Wrestling on AXS TV after leaving WWE and continued to work in that capacity until 2018, even after rejoining WWE.

In an emotional moment, Ross called the WrestleMania 33 main event between Roman Reigns and The Undertaker on commentary just weeks after his wife's death. He also called the inaugural Mae Young Classic alongside fellow WWE Hall of Famer Lita and made additional sporadic appearances as an announcer and pre-show panel member.

While Ross hasn't had a significant presence on television in recent years, he made it clear Wednesday that he wants to continue as a play-by-play man outside WWE:

"I'm 67, I still feel I can get the job done doing wrestling play-by-play, and I want to explore that opportunity and possibility. I'll be moving on in a positive way; nothing but good things to say about everyone involved.

"You know, I have my critics in WWE, as we all do, as people do when you're there for very long. It's a very unique community, and I have no regrets. The smartest thing I ever did was come to work for Vince McMahon in 1993."

There are options aplenty for Ross with the end of his WWE tenure approaching. All Elite Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling and Major League Wrestling are just a few of the promotions that could potentially bring him in.

AEW appears to be an especially strong possibility, as Ross had Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes on his podcast Wednesday, and AEW has yet to make an announcement regarding its lead play-by-play announcer.

While AEW has already made waves in the wrestling business by signing big names like Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega, supplementing that with an announcer such as Ross who commands so much respect from the viewing audience could go a long way toward establishing the company as an even bigger player in the wrestling business.

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