Jim Ross On AEW’s Commentary Chemistry, His Belief In Himself And Storytelling (Exclusive)

Jim Ross

Photo Credit: Thomas Tischio / AEW

Jim Ross is one busy man and it’s not slowing down for ‘The Voice of Wrestling.’

Ross just made a stop in Miami for Super Bowl LIV and now he’s headed to Huntsville, Alabama for tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite. Since this week’s taping is being hosted in Conrad Thompson’s backyard, Ross, Thompson and Tony Schiavone are gonna fire up a live show tonight at Stand Up Live In Huntsville (Tickets Available Here). JR took some time to speak with WrestleZone’s Dominic DeAngelo, discussing his upcoming schedule and what fans can expect from a live show, particularly this one being as unique as it is.

“The fans are just as involved as we are, we make it very casual with a very I think funny and honest and between Conrad, Tony and myself we have a lot of stories and enjoy the interactions with the fans, then of course on Thursday, Conrad and I are flying to Dallas to connect to go to London so we have a Q&A Grilling JR show in London this Friday night, we have one Saturday afternoon in Manchester and we have on Sunday afternoon in Glasgow before we fly back to London on Sunday night and then stay there and then get back to go to the States. Conrad will fly home, I’ll fly to Austin.”

JR, along with Conrad & Tony are certain to give the audience member an organic experience and a lot of it really focuses on the participation of the attendees.

“The way I work these stage shows is that I don’t, we don’t rehearse or have a setlist, so we don’t know what we’re going to talk about because we’re going to leave it completely up to the audience. My theory is, if you’re going to pay hard-earned money to come see us, we’re going to do our damnedest to entertain you and I’m not going to censor what you ask, so there’s no questions off-limits,” Ross said. “I started like everybody else, I’m still a fan so I want the audience to understand that they can ask what they want, they can interact, those shows are really free-wheeling, but they do have a beginning middle and end and I think that’s important for any storytelling.”

“I’m an old-school guy—much to the chagrin of some younger fans I believe sometimes—but bottom line is, what we do is parlaying on various forms of human emotion: happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy whatever the storyline takes us is what we do. I’m a big believer in storytelling and I’m a big believer in that fans want emotion they want something that’s real. They don’t hear JR manufactured, I’m not a product of a studio or somebody’s imagination. I’m real, for better or for worse quite frankly.”

JR connects that storytelling that to the experience with his Dynamite broadcast team in Excalibur and Schiavone, whom he genuinely loves working with, and he believes the best show he’s going to call is still in the cards for him:

“Our broadcast team is kind of still coming together. I love what Tony and Excalibur brings to the table. I love working with them, they’re good guys. Most of all I enjoy being around them and you can’t always say that so I’m very blessed in that regard, but we have a lot of work to do to get as good as we need to be and I don’t know if that process really ever stops. It doesn’t for me. I don’t know if it’s my ego or my insecurities as a performer, but I never ever felt like I called the best show and I still believe that my best work is yet to come.”

As far as fan criticism on social media goes, Ross just rolls with the punches and appreciate all the massive fan support he does get from those who have followed him all of these years.

“You deal with it, you learn to deal with it because for every one or two idiots, there’s a thousand wonderful fans that have followed my career, they believe in me and their trust and their confidence have helped me get through some very rocky times in the last few years.”

Another aspect that helps Jim Ross keep grinding is music, particularly that of The Eagles. FOX’s Colin Cowherd once mentioned that when Eagles’ stalwart Glenn Frey passed away back in early 2016, that The Eagles are the type of music that you listen to when you are doing something, and Jim seconds that notion, noting that his late wife Jan was a massive fan as well:

“Their songs mean a lot. They hit me at different times to my life, different transitions – poignant times, sad times, happy time so their music has been a real solid thing and my late wife Jan and I both of us were big Eagles fans. She collects a lot of Eagles memorabilia, signed items and things of that nature so it’s the real deal. And he’s [Cowherd] right, you know about being able to do anything with their music. I’ve written parts of my book listening to The Eagles in the background so to me it’s kind of a therapy thing, maybe it’s just psychological, but whatever it is it works for me.”

(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)

Interested in going to Jim Ross’s live show tonight in Huntsville? Tickets are right here!

So much more to come from this interview including Jim Ross’ thoughts on young talent like Darby Allin, Jungle Boy Jack Perry & Sammy Guevara as well as how the classic show Deadwood ties into wrestling. You can listen to the full interview below: