Legendary announcer Jim Ross recently recalled how he felt about Vince McMahon booking him in uncomfortable segments on WWE television.
On the December 23, 2002, episode of RAW, Ross teamed up with Jerry Lawler to defeat Lance Storm and William Regal in the main event. The commentator was never trained to be an in-ring competitor, but he agreed to wrestle occasionally at the request of WWE's Executive Chairman.
The latest episode of the Grilling JR podcast revolved around the 2003 Royal Rumble, which took place a month after Ross' tag team victory. Reflecting on the match, the 71-year-old revealed why he wanted to draw bad ratings:
"The TV character of JR was abused a little bit from time to time, and I tell you, without sounding like an egomaniac, it's because it worked," Ross said. "The quarter hours always had a little bump, and I was always hoping that when the ratings came out after one of those episodes that it would s*ck pond water so they would stop using me!" [38:25 – 38:54]
Ross is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestling commentators of all time. He now works for AEW as an announcer and senior advisor.
Why Jim Ross agreed to be a WWE performer
Although he wanted to remain behind the announce desk, Ross felt it was his job to do whatever Vince McMahon asked of him.
The WWE Hall of Famer added that he always wanted to be viewed as a team player by his bosses:
"You can't be half-a**ed," Ross continued. "It's like being pregnant. You either are or you're not, so you're either a team player or you're not a team player. I always wanted to believe that I was a team player from start to finish, and I still have that mindset. I'm not gonna change my philosophy whatsoever." [38:57 – 39:16]
Ross also explained on this week's podcast why McMahon canceled his blog series on WWE's website.
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Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.