NORMAN — Professional wrestling is all about acting and telling stories. But World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross has said many times he is no actor. The emotions he displays on television are his real feelings. That was never more apparent than on Monday night. The WWE held its annual draft and for the first time included announcers. Ross, who has been the signature voice of WWE's "Monday Night Raw” television show since 1997, was moved to its Friday night sister show, "SmackDown.” The move was a huge surprise to Ross. Though there are many rumors claiming Ross knew about the transition, Ross said that was not the case. "I had no idea,” Ross, a Norman resident, said. "That was my real emotional response.” While Raw is live every Monday, SmackDown is taped Tuesday and airs on the CW network (KOCB-34 in Oklahoma City) on Friday nights. Ross only brought one suit with him to Monday's Raw in San Antonio, so he had to purchase a new suit at Men's Wearhouse a few hours before the Tuesday night show in Houston. "I didn't know I was going to be there and didn't bring any other clothes,” he said. A few hours after the Monday event, Ross wrote an emotion-filled blog stating his displeasure about the move. Ross was told the logic behind the move Tuesday night and now said he is excited about the new challenge ahead of him. "I was just in my comfort zone, and it's tough to leave that,” Ross said. "But now this is another opportunity to elevate ‘SmackDown' and to help the company.” Tonight's broadcast is Ross' first time with his new broadcast partner, former wrestler Mick Foley. He had worked the last 11 years with Jerry Lawler. "SmackDown” is moving to MyNetwork TV in the fall, and the company wants Ross to be one of the major faces to help bring in an audience. Ross has been the focal point in helping promote the WWE this week since "Raw” is coming to the Ford Center on Monday and "SmackDown” is in Tulsa on Tuesday. Ross is getting ready to launch his second JR's Family Bar-B-Q restaurant in Moore on July 14. He opened up his first one in Norman last July.Comments
Jim Ross of Norman switched broadcasts — and broadcast partners — when the WWE included announcers in its annual draft. by Jaconna Aguirre, THE OKLAHOMAN WWE on TV and in OKC
"SmackDown”•WWE's "SmackDown” airs Friday nights at 7 on KOCB-34 (Cox 11).
"Raw” in Oklahoma City•When: 7 p.m. Monday •Where: Ford Center •Tickets: Call (405) 235-8288 or log on to www.ticketmaster.com.