WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross recently spoke to Mirror.co.uk.
Working Global Force Wrestling’s English-language presentation of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 this weekend:
"Jeff Jarrett made the inroads, he and my business manager worked out the deal, it was a win-win for both of us, so I said ‘I’m in.’ I’m excited about it. I’ve been in this business for 40 years, so when you get a chance to do something new after being around that long, it’s pretty motivating. I look at this as a new adventure, it’s going to be a lot of fun."
If he will call another event after this weekend:
"I don’t know if I’ll do any more, I don’t know that I want to do any more. If there’s anything after that it’ll be a bonus. But I’m going to do this show, I’m preparing to do this show, like it’s my last major pay-per-view lead play-by-play."
His WWE departure:
"I had 21 years there - it wasn’t like I had a brief little run and everything was over. I had a great run in WWE, I went into the Hall of Fame, there were a lot more good days than bad ones. Was it the ideal way to exit? Probably not. I assumed a level of responsibility in that SummerSlam symposium, I was driving the train and the train got off the tracks, so the decision was made that it wasn’t a good thing and I moved on."
Vince McMahon saying he would be open to working with Ross again on Steve Austin's podcast:
"There’s an old expression in wrestling that says ‘never say never’, when you are in my stage of my life, where I’ve been so blessed with this career, I’m not going to tell you that I’d never go [back] but it’d strictly depend on my role and how much time away from home it would demand. I leave the door open. Would I say definitively no, I would never work for WWE again? Absolutely not. It would necessitate me to give it some thought and it would depend on what the job description was and what they wanted me to do. I’m 62, I’ll be 63 in January, I have to be conscious of jobs."
Has TNA tried to hire him?
"No. They know I don’t have any desire to get back in the weekly grind of that. Dixie and no-one else has asked about me coming back full-time and that’s why this opportunity [with GFW] was so fit really - it was a one-time deal, a one-off. I like knowing I don’t have any pressure on me beyond that, I can focus on this one big event, really try to nail it without any pressure that I’ve got to do something tomorrow, or next week, or next month."
Agreeing with Vince that no WWE Superstar has grabbed the brass ring since John Cena:
"Since we signed John Cena, no-one has outworked John Cena. John Cena’s work ethic is beyond reproach. It’s been phenomenal to see what he does and he’s made himself a brand. John was willing to do things that had not been done, he was willing to take a chance - his wrestling attire was non-traditional, he was a Caucasian rapper and that was unique for wrestling, that was bold. Vince made a good point, Cena did all he could to become the guy. Has anyone else since John Cena worked in every phase of their game to get really good? I think the argument could be made that some have worked as hard as Cena in some areas, but not across the board as he has."
"Sometimes if you look at your talent as athletes, not entertainers, they need to be challenged occasionally - we need you to play better, I need you to lose 20 pounds, I need you to work on your tan, as silly as that sounds. From an athletic point of view, every coach has those heart-to-hearts with their team at some point in time. If you’re going to go down the athletic road, every now and then they need a pep talk, and every now and then they need to ask themselves, ‘What have I done to make myself better than I was last week? What am I doing to make myself a more valuable player?’ I think Vince is sending a subtle message there, or not-so-subtle, that Cena was the last guy that went the complete distance to grab the brass ring. And then when he grabbed the brass ring he didn’t quit growing, he kept trying to get better. He’s their guy right now, lord knows what they would be without John Cena."