Jim Ross has discussed how he really felt when he was replaced by former ECW commentator Joey Styles as the lead announcer on Raw.
Styles came to WWE for the first time to announce the inaugural One Night Stand event in 2005 alongside Mick Foley. For much of his time as the voice of ECW, Styles announced many shows and pay-per-views by himself. Several months after his outing at the ECW themed pay-per-view, Styles was back and now in the hot seat on the flagship show.
However, a few months into his tenure, the cracks were already forming and Jim Ross replaced Styles to announce WrestleMania 22 for the red brand. By the time Backlash in April 2006 took place, Ross was again called into action. The day after Backlash Joey Styles famously cut a promo on Raw announcing he was quitting while delivering a scathing attack on WWE and sports entertainment.
Jim Ross, speaking on his Grilling JR podcast explained his feelings surrounding him reclaiming his position as the voice of Raw.
“Well here’s how I look at that deal and this is gonna sound very egocentric, maybe I should’ve always been a heel but I thought that was my chair. And I really appreciated him keeping it warm for me. That sounds really like a d*ck but I was sick, [my] career was in jeopardy, I wasn’t handling it well. Thank God for Jan [Ross’ wife] to keep me as propped up and positive as she could because I could be a miserable b*stard.”
“Joey did a great job but he came in with that ECW feel. To me, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I think over the years the legend of ECW continues to grow in many of their former athlete’s imaginations. You know, they went broke. If you’re a great star and you draw a lot of money then you wouldn’t go broke. Joey just was not Vince’s cup of tea and I don’t know why.”
In contrast to the WWE Chairman’s views, JR says he was a fan of Styles’ work:
“I thought Joey Styles did a hell of a job. Sitting in, taking my spot while I was sick and on the [injured reserve] as it were, he did excellent work. I consider him a good friend, which may taint my evaluation of him. I thought Joey Styles was one of the better announcers that I’ve encountered in my career. But he didn’t have that same feel in the front office and that’s unfortunate. I was excited to get back to work man, you kidding me? My wife was excited for me to get back to work, get the hell out of the house.”
Jim Ross also discussed his feelings on Edge and Lita’s infamous ‘live sex celebration’ on Raw to celebrate Edge’s first WWE Title win.