Jim Ross “Wasn’t Ready To Be Replaced” In WWE

Jim Ross WWE

Jim Ross believes his behind-the-scenes role in WWE ended prematurely.

The AEW announcer previously sat behind the commentary desk in WWE, most notably as the voice of Monday Night Raw alongside Jerry “The King” Lawler, calling some of the most iconic moments in the history of the promotion.

Along with commentary duties, Ross also served as Head of Talent Relations, overseeing in-ring and other onscreen talent in the company. Knowing that the role would not be forever, JR hired John Laurinaitis to eventually take over the role. Originally thinking that Laurinaitis would take over further down the line, head office had other ideas in 2004, relieving Ross of the duties.

peaking on the Grilling JR Podcast, Ross stated that while he was annoyed at the sudden replacement, he was aware that the role wouldn’t be forever:

“I had originally hired Laurinaitis to be my replacement,” Ross said. “I just wasn’t ready to be replaced at that time. When I got replaced in [the Talent Relations] role, … that thought came up prominently — that maybe it’s time. Maybe this is an omen,” Ross stated. “I had to look myself in the mirror and say, ‘Look, you’re not invincible. You’re not getting any younger.’ … I had to think about it in some of those terms, because I was pissed off that I got showed the door.”

Ross continued, stating that Vince McMahon hired Laurinaitis as the Chairman wanted someone new and younger. Ross ended the quote by saying that he was not warned in advance about the change in the role:

“I wanted him to be my number two guy,” Ross continued. “Vince liked him, because he was fresh. … I wanted to help Johnny get up to speed, and then all of a sudden he supplanted me as the head of Talent Relations. I found out like everybody else. No warning, no heads-up, no nothing. That’s what frustrated me.”

When Did Jim Ross Leave WWE?

The former voice of Raw departed WWE in 2019, electing not to renew his contract. Ross believed that he could still provide play-by-play commentary despite concerns from higher-ups in the company. Later that year, JR was revealed as one of the announcers for AEW, announcing on weekly TV and pay-per-views.

Ross is currently absent from AEW TV due to ongoing health issues but hopes to make a return soon.

H/t to Wrestling Inc.