Jim Ross On How Mr. McMahon Character Helped His Announcing Career

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Jim Ross’s legendary commentary and announcing became that good thanks to Vince McMahon’’s help.

Jim Ross debuted as a commentator for WWE in 1993 at WrestleMania IX and did commentary for a year until he was fired in 1994. But Ross wasn’t gone for long as he was brought back to WWE around the same time Vince was indicted for alleged steroid distribution.

After that situation, Jim Ross and Vince did commentary together more or less continuously until late 1997 after Vince capitalized on the Montreal Screwjob and became an on-screen character.

That four-year-or-so stretch of Jim Ross commentating alongside Vince McMahon helped Ross substantially. Speaking on his Grilling JR Podcast, Jim Ross explained how the chemistry he had with Vince made for superior commentary when compared to JR’s commentary with Kevin Kelly or Michael Cole.

“It’s a 3 man team of play by play guys. So you’re dancing, your rhythm is already off kilter. So for me to lay out more than normal on that first hour with two other play by play guys sitting beside me, who both are young and trying to get, move their way up the ladder and prove their announcing life.

You know, it was the thing to do. I thought, give this guy some space and let him, let them do their thing. And I’d jump in here and there, because I never thought that was a long term solution. I don’t really know why we did it. But you know, that was assignment.”

H/t Inside The Ropes for the transcription