Did Jim Ross Talk To Vince McMahon Before Signing With AEW?

Jim Ross Vince McMahon

Jim Ross has revealed if he decided to talk with his former boss before deciding to sign with All Elite Wrestling.

The legendary WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has been part of the pro wrestling business for an impressive 50+ years. While JR had stops in many territories before landing in the NWA/WCW and being part of AEW for the last five years, most of JR’s legendary career was spent with World Wrestling Entertainment.

As WWE’s lead announcer for most of the 1990s and the 2000s, JR was the voice of the Attitude Era and the years that followed. Many people consider JR to be the best play-by-play announcer in pro wrestling history, or at least somebody who is in that discussion. In addition to being on WWE television telling stories to the fans, JR also spent about a decade as WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, which essentially meant he as like WWE’s General Manager from the mid-1990s until the early 2000s.

When Tony Khan launched All Elite Wrestling with EVPs Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega in January 2019, one of the biggest names hired was Jim Ross, who had a lot of credibility as a beloved figure to pro wrestling fans.

By the time AEW launched in 2019, JR was no longer a major part of WWE after being put on the bench, so to speak. It was several years earlier when WWE opted to go with younger announcers on television instead of using Ross prominently.

While speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross talked about signing with AEW in 2019.

“I just left it in Barry’s [his manager Barry Bloom] hands. Because being under contract to WWE, the last thing I wanted to do is get sideways with their attorneys. So I just backed away from it all. I didn’t dig too deeply into that situation. It just didn’t make any more sense, ddin’t make common sense. So that’s kind of how I handled it.”

“That’s why you have an agent; let them run the interference and he’ll cut the deal. And Tony Khan took very good care of me on that scenario.”

“That three-year deal was for the most money that I’d ever signed a contract for, including any of my deals Vince. Now I made a lot of money for WWE. I did, you know, I got put into video games that earn me more royalty money. So I did really well with Vince and had no ill feelings.”

“It’s just that I knew that from my past record there, being replaced and reinstated and being replaced, you know, all that s**t, that I needed to figure out plan B. And I thought this was a very viable plan B. And then when the numbers came in from Barry, after his negotiations with Tony Khan, I felt very comfortable that we were making the right decision.”

Jim Ross Didn’t Talk To Vince McMahon About Going To AEW

As the conversation continued, Jim Ross would go on to explain why he didn’t talk to former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon before signing with AEW.

“That never happened. I never had any conversation with Vince whatsoever, because why would I have conversations with him? Because it was obvious that he wanted to have another announcer out there. One that wasn’t old, one that wasn’t Southern. One that wasn’t chubby. I’m not as chubby today as I was then. So I didn’t bother him with it. That’s Barry’s job.”

“And Barry had a good rapport with Vince, still does because he represents Paul Heyman and others. So he was in communication with Vince on a quasi-regular basis because of the talents that he’d already represented or was representing.

“But I never talked to Vince about it. I just thought it would be smoother just to get the hell out. And, you know, once that gig with AEW was established, and the numbers were — confidential, but they were real numbers, and Barry did a phenomenal job. And Tony Khan’s generosity made it very easy for me to make that decision.”

JR would go on to say that he knew Vince was moving on with other announcers, so that’s why it was the right decision to sign with AEW.

“I started working for Vince in ’93. So we’re talking several years. And I knew how Vince worked, better than most; maybe better than anybody, because of the talent relations gig. And the fact that we rebuilt the talent roster for WWE. My team in talent relations, built a hell of a roster that fed that Attitude Era.”

“And it just seemed like a no-brainer, Connie, it seemed like a no-brainer for me. Vince wanted to make a change. He had already proven that, he had done it several times. And I had an offer to do something where I was going to make more money than I was even making for WWE. So, to me, it was a layup.”

After five years in AEW and dealing with several health issues, Jim Ross is still with the company although his appearances have been limited to being part of PPV broadcasts mainly rather than being on television.

H/T 411Mania