Jim Ross Explains Recent Change To AEW Commentary Role

Jim Ross Tony Schiavone

Jim Ross has explained why he now only calls the second hour of Dynamite while also commentating on the action on Rampage.

In April 2019 Jim Ross joined AEW as the promotion’s lead play-by-play announcer, while also working as a Senior Adviser backstage.

In the role, Ross called the action on Dynamite as well as all pay-per-views. After the introduction of AEW Rampage, he also made occasional appearances on the show, most notably for CM Punk’s debut.

However, in recent weeks the legendary announcer has only been at the announce desk alongside Tony Schiavone and Excalibur for the second hour of Dynamite, while also calling Rampage, which is taped directly afterwards. Taz has become the third man in the booth for the first hour.

Speaking on his podcast Grilling JR, the veteran explained the rationale behind the decision, explaining that the idea came from AEW President Tony Khan.

“That was a Tony Khan decision. Creatively, I was coming out before the show and doing all of Dynamite. The reception was humbling, fans were glad to see me and they expressed themselves. The reception I was getting was really good. He thought the middle of the show, Dynamite, needed a boost. So JR became the booster.

I come out in the middle of the show, still going to call the main events. Then we all take a bathroom break and go right into taping Rampage. It’s only an hour, it’s kind of like an old school hour wrestling show. I like that deal. I didn’t have any issues with at all. I’m very Mariano Rivera, go in for long relief and get results for you. That’s the deal there. Just keeping me fresh and ‘special,’ and try to give Rampage a little boost commentary wise, selling wise.

We need to, obviously, get the ratings up, which we are. That’s the reason for that. No problem whatsoever. I get more exposure now than I did before,”

Back in May Jim Ross revealed that he had signed a contract extension which will see him remain with AEW for another year and a half.

H/t to Fightful for the transcription.