WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross recently spoke with the folks at The AV Club to promote his new book, “Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling.” Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On the critically acclaimed Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada 60-minute draw and if he feels it was the greatest match ever: “I thoroughly enjoyed it. Excellent. Was it the best I ever saw? I have a hard time thinking somebody would actually want to argue the Okada-Omega matches were better than [Ric] Flair-[Ricky] Steamboat from 1989. I think both of those trilogies were phenomenal. And there’s nothing to complain about them, much less say one was better than the other. It depends on your taste, if you’re a big fan or a casual fan. I’ve been real lucky to call some great ones. Foley-Undertaker Hell In The Cell is the most memorable. It wasn’t the best match, but it gets talked about more. Those three Flair-Steamboat matches are hard to beat. The three Austin-Rock matches at WrestleManias were pretty incredible as well. I’ve just been so blessed in my journey. Fat kid from Oklahoma, buddy— Southern accent and Bell’s palsy, becoming a broadcaster and hanging around a fickle business for 40 years. You wonder how in the hell that happened. It was somebody’s plan.”
On the importance of Memphis Wrestling announcing legend Lance Russell, who passed away earlier this week: “Oh my god. I can try. First of all, make no mistake: He was really important to the success of that entire territory. Jerry Lawler said to me many times that without Lance Russell, there’d be no Jerry Lawler. Lance was challenged with being the host of a no-net, live studio wrestling show every Saturday morning in Memphis. It was wild, wooly, crazy, edgy, and unpredictable, and Lance was the guy who kept the rudder in the water every single week. The ratings that they got for that show were frightening. He was so good at enhancing talent, and he did this for decades and decades. He was just a wonderful and honest guy, and he came across that way on television. He was so believable, so when he thought he feared for Jerry Lawler’s life, you really believe that’s how he felt. He could express angst, fear, trepidation, and the jeopardy on the heroes really well.”
On his favorite match he has called over the last few years: “There’s so many things that go into matches that make me like them. Obviously, calling Undertaker and Roman Reigns on a grand stage like WrestleMania— there’s nothing even close to that. But I’ve also called three of the [Kazuchika] Okada-[Kenny] Omega matches. I called Omega in Long Beach when he won the U.S. title for New Japan. The live stuff will always trump going into a studio to do voice-overs.”
Check out the complete Jim Ross interview at AVClub.com.