Jim Ross recently shared his thoughts on this year’s list of WWE releases including several long-standing company veterans.
Speaking on his podcast ‘Grilling JR’, Ross criticised WWE for the way in which they handled releasing employees, many of which had been furloughed during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic:
“Just because you’re a publicly traded company doesn’t mean you can treat people like shit. Nowhere in the publicly traded company manual does it say now that you’re publicly traded you can treat people like dogshit. It’s not that. You still have to be a people company.”
A former WWE announcer and talent relations executive, Ross expressed his sympathy for the various number of WWE employees let go this year, including the likes of ring announcer and production manager Tony Chimel, who had been with the company since 1989:
“They were loyal, they did their jobs very well. I felt badly for the way they departed the company. It should have been more ceremonial and feel good because you’re letting people go that have been with the company for 30 years.”
Speaking during a 2019 episode of ‘Grilling JR’, Ross stated that even though he loved his time with WWE, he felt the feeling wasn’t always mutual:
“Wrestling has always been, to me, a mistress. And sometimes in our dalliances in our life, our mistresses or significant others can betray us, and they don’t always love us back. And I thought sometimes that was of my scenario in WWE. Even though I loved the company, I loved my contributions there, my years there, over a quarter of a century, I loved that.”
Jim Ross would leave WWE for the final time in 2019, joining the AEW commentary team shortly after. Recently revealing on his podcast that AEW would be his “last gig” in Professional Wrestling, JR expressed the contentment he feels within his new role:
“I love working for Tony Khan, he’s a whole different ball game. People just don’t understand that the culture of WWE is what it is.It’s all Vince related and oriented. If you’re on Vince’s good list, it’s a wonderful thing. If you’re not, then it’s not so great. Tony Khan is the same every time you see him. He’s still a fan, he still loves the business”
It should be noted that Ross has stated in several interviews and appearances that he considers Vince McMahon to be one of his closest real life friends, and was particularly supportive following the death of his wife in 2017, as he shared with Conrad Thompson last year:
“I know that in my personal life, if something occurred and I needed to reach out to him, I know that he would respond quickly and positively, so I always believe that he has a very good heart in that respect. I can’t tell you all of the good things that he did and said and offered when Jan got killed. That means a lot to me, folks.”
Jim Ross has been known to be open and honest in his opinions regarding WWE, both good and bad. The Fort Bragg native made his on-screen debut at Wrestlemania IX and would work for the company on several occasions, being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
During his time with WWE, Ross was the subject of several controversial on-screen angles, including several in-ring matches, kissing Vince McMahon’s ass, being traded from Raw to Smackdown without prior knowledge and, perhaps most controversially of all, being the subject of the Dr Heiney segment on an episode of Raw.
h/t to Wrestling Inc for select quotes