Pop Culture Exclusive: Jim Ross Discusses His Book, Booing Roman Reigns, and Banking on Brock Lesnar

There may not be a human on the planet more qualified to discuss professional wrestling than Jim Ross. In nearly 50 years of "the business" Good Ol' JR may have actually seen it all.

The WWE Hall of Famer recently joined us to talk about his newly released book, Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling, as well as aspects of the current WWE product.

Many fans exclusively associate Ross as the quintessential WWE broadcaster. While this may be the case, JR did way more for WWE than just call matches. During WWE's most fruitful eras, he was the Head of the Talent Relations, which meant he was responsible for which wrestlers came into (and out of) WWE. Ross' keen eye for talent brought in The Rock and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin to name a few.

That said if Ross were to start his own promotion tomorrow, which WWE Superstar would he bring along?

"I would probably take, because it would be instant credibility to get me started with my imaginary company, Brock Lesnar," said Ross.

Why the Beast Incarnate over everyone else?

"Because he's got name identity, durability, believability, and he would probably more closely represent my stylistic approach that I would probably want to take if I was spending my own money to create a wrestling product," Ross reasoned.

While Ross chose Lesnar to star in his imaginary promotion, Vince McMahon has continuously chosen Roman Reigns to figurehead his real-life billion dollar conglomerate. However as adamant as Vince is about The Big Dog, WWE's fans are just as committed to rejecting him.

That said should WWE consider altering Roman's big push?

"Well, I think you just got to continue to allow him to be pretty good. You know, whenever the time is opportune. He is better than pretty good and a good kid, real good kid. Very committed," explained Ross.

Ross believes that WWE planted thoughtful seeds for the Reigns character and it's only a matter of time until he's universally accepted.

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(Photo: WWE)

"There's nothing you say on TV, there's no pillow vignettes, let's change his music, let's change his hair color, let's change his outfit. You know, let's change for change's sake. Let's change not knowing the selection, but just change for change sake. Because well, it might work. It might not. Steer the course and not be so wrapped up in getting him accepted as a fan favorite or a villain. I accept him as a star. And that's what Roman Reigns is, he's a star," emphasized Ross.

The rejection of Reigns has become a part of the WWE experience for fans. Does Ross remember comparable amount fo disdain towards budding John Cena back in 2006?

"It's a fan base, man. It is a fan ... You never heard this ... I don't remember hearing that kind of fan reaction to this level at any time in my lifetime in this business. It's a thing, you know, social media's changed a lot of stuff," he said.

Despite fan's reluctance to accept Reigns, he's been a perpetual main eventer for WWE. That said, Superstars like Sasha Banks and Bray Wyatt who have been embraced by fans still have yet to bottle consistent success. We asked JR which floundering Superstar will be a WWE Champion next.

"Probably Sasha," he said. "I think Bray Wyatt's an amazing upside. I think he's a character baby face and I think Sasha Banks is a neutral heel," he explained.

Ross would expand on both characters.

"Bray Wyatt to me is, you don't have an audience that supports your entrance by being a firefly if they don't like you," he reasoned.So I think there's a foundation there to be a very bizarre, mysterious character babyface."

For Banks, Ross believes that she's not playing her natural role currently as the Boss is portraying a babyface character.

"Sasha seems to be at her base, she seems to be at this, as a TV character, as far as how she comes across in my living room when she has a little edge to her and just a little bit of a heel," he said.

Jim's book, which can be purchased here is a collection of candid stories, lessons, and deeply personal revelations shared by the man who spent half a century in professional wrestling.

"All my experiences are documented. My trials, tribulations, two failed marriages that I often times place my work and my job above my family, not proud to say. But, I wasn't probably father of the year because I was gone all the time and had this insatiable appetite, a workaholic's appetite, to be successful," he explained.

Perhaps more than anything, Slobberknocker is about finding one's path.

"Somehow, a chubby kid from Oklahoma with a southern accent and three bouts of Bell's Palsy parlayed all that into a career that's been pretty remarkable based on where I came and what, probably, the expectations of Jim Ross was back when he was a kid," said Ross.


Thanks to Jim Ross for being so generous with his time. Go out and pick up his book on Amazon or a signed copy from PremiereCollectibles.com.

Not into reading? Ross actually recorded the entire book and you can get that here at Audible.com