Jim Ross took his first steps in the wrestling industry all of the way back in 1974 working as a referee for NWA Tri-State which later became Mid-South Wrestling. This means that the announcer has spent the best part of five decades working with and watching the great and the good of the wrestling world.
By the time the late-1990’s and early 2000’s rolled around, Ross was WWE’s Head of Talent Relations as well as calling the action from ringside. In this role, Ross helped sign some of the biggest stars that WWE has ever seen, while also playing a part in assembling the famed ‘OVW-Four’ made up of John Cena, Batista, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. During this period, Ross also saw the arrival of Australian star Nathan Jones.
Jim Ross Claims Nathan Jones Was Undone By Poor Social Skills
Jones signed with WWE in 2002 and made his televised debut on SmackDown a year later. Standing at around 6ft 10inches tall Jones was also in impressive physical condition, which always scored highly with former Chairman Vince McMahon. While Jones was an imposing presence on first sight, he was also notable having served time in prison aged just 18 years-old for armed robbery.
Once on WWE television, Jones became a protégé of The Undertaker but was famously pulled from a tag team match at WrestleMania 19 where he was scheduled to team with The Phenom to take on A-Train and The Big Show. After spending time in Ohio Valley Wrestling, Jones returned to the main roster late in 2003, before quitting the company altogether in December.
Speaking on a recent episode of his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross gave his thoughts on the short career of Nathan Jones. JR surmised that the Australian lacked the social skills to be a success with the company.
“I was very impressed. The eyeball test was pretty impressive, and he was a pretty bright guy, i.e., he could put sentences together. Physically, he turned heads, but Nathan was not ready to travel. We’ve had other guys there; their social skills didn’t correspond to their look. It was a fait accompli with Nathan. He was unsteady, he was unstable, I thought, a little bit.”
After leaving WWE, Jones briefly wrestled back in his homeland, and later signed with TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, although he never appeared for the company. The former strong-man wrestled his last match in October 2005.
H/t to Sportskeeda