James William "Jim" Ross (a.k.a. "Good Ol' JR" or just "JR") is one of the greatest (and most beloved◊) commentators in the history of Professional Wrestling having provided commentary for the WWE for almost 20 years (and having worked for several other promotions, including WCW, prior to starting with WWF/E). In addition, he is the man behind his own brand of barbecue sauce, has written cookbooks, and has opened a barbecue restaurant. He is also close friends with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He is semi-retired from commentating now, though he does come back every now and then. In his spare time, he also runs a website that peddles his own brand of condiments and barbecue products, and he also offers a regularly updated blog about current events in wrestling and even boxing, MMA, football and other sports.As usual, That Other Wiki has additional information on his life and career.
Artistic License - Martial Arts: Granted, this seems to apply to a lot of wrestling announcers, but Ross has a tendency to say "Martial Arts chops" and "Martial Arts Kick" without referring to which martial art is being utilized at a given time.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: A covert case, but not obvious to the casual wrestling fan who assumes everything is scripted. During the 1998 Hell In A Cell match between The Undertaker and Mankind (a match now considered legendary), Mankind was thrown off the cage, through a table to the floor. He is stretched away, but gets off the stretcher, climbs the cage again and restarts the match - at which point, he is chokeslammed through the roof off the cage to the ring below. Ross shouted: "Will somebody stop the damn match? Enough is enough!" This was out of legitimate concern for Mankind, who had already taken quite a beating up to this point.
In addition, Ross was so calm whilst telling the audience of Owen Hart's fatal accident at Over the Edge 1999 that it is often hard to believe it was live. Jerry Lawler, on the other hand, looked like a ghost. Ross's reiteration of that fact it really happened whilst trying not to outright say wrestling is fake was something to be absolutely commended. While he seemed slightly exasperated that the event was going to continue after Owen's death, he did not appear to be too concerned for long.
The Chew Toy: An unpleasant Real Life example. During his time with the WWF/E, Ross has suffered an incredible level of degradation and hazing backstage, and all for no apparent reason. Vince McMahon just seems to want to wipe JR off the face of the earth. It's rarely seen on TV (though the time he joined the "Kiss My Ass Club" might be one of the most public humiliations of all time, as were the jibes at Ross' deceased mother and Bell's palsy), but the pranks inflicted upon Ross behind the scenes have been reported for years in various media, to the point where Ross sometimes comes across like a bit of a battered spouse, making excuses for his abuser.
Unfortunately, aside from TNA, the WWE is pretty much the only game in town these days. Ross' got bills to pay, after all.
One theory is that J.R. enjoys Ultimate Job Security, having been fired numerous times only to be "invited" back once the WWE realized they had no one to replace him with. (The push for East Coast-bred Michael Cole could therefore be seen as a deliberate effort to distance themselves from J.R.'s iconic southern twang.) Ross has also frequently promised — threatened? — to write a tell-all biography about his time with the company, only to clam up once he's been re-hired.
Deadpan Snarker: Whenever he's not yelling or getting worked up, he acts as this trope on occasion.
Enforced Method Acting: During the 2008 WWE Draft, none of the draftees were told that they'd be switching shows until just seconds before the announcement was made. Most notably seen with the announcer switch between SmackDown! and Raw... the looks of confusion and anger on Michael Cole and Ross' faces as they switched chairs following the announcement of the change were completely real, and Ross actually considered retiring the day after it happened.
Ross was also not told that Santina's (Santino Marella in drag in order to win the WrestleMania Diva Battle Royal) secret infatuation was actually JR. When this revealed live on PPV, with Michael Cole and Lawler ribbing him for it for good measure, Ross was less than amused and did everything he could not to play along.
Also, Ross' announcing career; he's admitted before that he went out of his way to avoid being told the ending of a match so that his announcing would sound more natural.
Face-Heel Turn: WWE tried this (and failed spectacularly) a couple times, including assaulting Michael Cole in early 1999 because he thought Cole was stealing his job. It backfired as the crowd pretty much agreed and cheered. Turns out beating on a Creator's Pet is not the best way to gain heel heat.
Flanderization: Many fans might not realize that Ross started out as a far more reserved, cerebral announcer in the mode of his mentor Gordon Solie, before playing up his Oklahoman roots upon joining the WWF, and becoming increasingly reliant on catchphrases and wild outbursts in lieu of thorough play-by-play.
"He's either crazy as hell of the toughest SOB I have ever seen... in this type of environment." (a Freudian Slip because Ross was honestly calling Mankind the toughest SOB period, but "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is meant to be that.)
"Jericho looking right at you Triple H". (Mistaking Chris Benoit for Chris Jericho during the former's entrance on an episode of Raw)
He accidentally said "WWF" on RAW 9/19/2011, which was censored. He apologized for it the next day on Twitter.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: More in a smark sense but JR definitely has his share of filling his commentary with sly comments that would pass over the heads of more casual fans.
"Pat Patterson coming up behind as always."
Happily Married: Whenever Jerry Lawler or Paul Heyman drool over whichever Diva is wrestling in the current match and mention it to JR, the latter calmly replies that he's a happily married man. Of course, his clever retort would be, "I may be on a diet, but I can still look at the menu!"
Hot-Blooded: JR tends to yell a lot during big matches but he never quite got as worked up as much as he did during WrestleMania XXII when Shawn Michaels fought Vince McMahon in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Playing off of when Vince forced JR to kiss his ass and off of Vince's continual mind games with Shawn, Ross went absolutely ballistic during the match. Even the usually over the top Jerry Lawler was (kayfabe) surprised when Ross stated that Vince deserved getting beat down more than anyone alive: "More than anyone alive, JR?!"
*when HBK grabs the large framed Muscle & Fitness cover at ringside and prepares to hit Vince with it* "That's right! Hit him over the head with it AND THEN SHOVE IT UP HIS ASS!!!!"
He was the same way at No Way Out 2003, when Steve Austin faced Eric Bischoff. Not only was Stone Cold coming back from a ten month absence, but Eric Bischoff had kicked a cinder block through Ross's head. Suffice to say, JR was as pumped for Bischoff's comeuppance as the red-hot Montreal crowd.
Ross absolutely flipped out at the end of WrestleMania 17, when Stone Cold did a Face-Heel Turn.
It Will Never Catch On: When Eric Bischoff took over WCW and started executing his plans to make it the national juggernaut it became, decided that Ross was too fat and too southern to be on TV. When Ross was hired by WWE, Vince McMahon played up these traits by giving him the name J.R. and giving him his ten gallon hat, both of which he hated at first. Eventually he became beloved as "Good Ol' J.R.", the voice of professional wrestling.
Licensed Sexist: Maybe it's just what he's told to say or maybe he didn't know how to turn it off, but, he has a history of making dismissive, sexist comments seemingly at will. When WWE had their developmental program FCW, he sat in on commentary on one episode. He hyped a Divas match that would be happening after a commercial break as the "Battle of the Jezebels."
Mundane Made Awesome: His commentary is well known for making matches exciting when they would otherwise be average without him.
Nice Hat: His signature black ten-gallon Stetson cowboy hat. Any time a heel wants to get some quick Kick the Dog heat, they mess with the hat. Interestingly, he initially hated the hat at first, but eventually grew to like it so much that he never takes it off at work.
Overprotective Dad: When Trish Stratus first appeared in the WWE, she recorded a series of promos where she polished tables in her underwear to tease Buh Buh Ray Dudley. Jerry Lawler reacted in traditional Dirty Old Man fashion, but JR came across more as a scolding father with the way he admonished her for what she was doing.
Reasonable Authority Figure: He was always more straight-laced than broadcast partner Jerry Lawler, who always held up the "heel" side of the commentator equation by (among other things) leering at all the Divas.