Jim Ross = GOAT of commentary?

I want to leave this question of the forum because I’m curious to hear a lot of peoples’ thoughts. Many people have been very critical of Jim Ross in recent times for his commentary in NJPW, WWE UK, Mae Young Classic, etc.

This triggers this question for me, is he still in the discussion as being the greatest announcer of all time or are people overvaluing and overrating him for being exposed? I mean it’s been a tumultuous year and a half for him for all the health issues and his wife passing away.

The critiques of Jim Ross’s recent commentary to ne is basically because he isn’t relying on screaming his soundbytes like he did in the Attitude era and is calling his shows like a sport again. That and he’s old, there seems to be a major bias against elders in online fans these days.

Most social media attack the elder statesmen in all forms of entertainment. Because they have the audacity to still work and somehow that means they’re taking jobs away from the young because…Idk it’s like when people blame immigrants for taking their jobs.

Jim Ross is the greatest play by play bar none. Anyone saying otherwise either are bitter and jaded are too stupid to look back on his work to justify their inane opinion.

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I tthink that JR was the best at certain times. He was great in wcw and wwf. He was also very good in Mid South Wrestling especially considering how new he was to the wrestling business.

He is just not as good on New Japan. It has nothing to do with him screaming. I just dont hear any passion in his voice any more. He did not seem as knowledgeable on New Japan as he should be.

The show just has a better energy with Kevin Kelly doing commentary. I used to not like kevin kelly in the wwf and Roh but I think he is doing great work in New Japan. Kevin kelly works best on opening matches when he does not have to scream.

I wanted to just add that at times older people do get criticized for their age. For example soccer managers. If they are older and their team is not doing good then it is because they are too old. People automatically say that the sport has passed him by.

Tony Schiavone is maybe the best commentator right now and he is about JRs age. He has a great voice and sounds so professional.

He’s still probably the best that I’ve heard – he was fantastic for two decades through mid south, WCW/Crockett and WWF. He was different in all three too – he fit in perfectly with the more sports like atmosphere of Crockett then changed when he went to WWF and fit there perfectly too.

That said, the last few years have really soured me on him – its not that he’s stopped being 98 Ross or whatever, he just sounds unmotivated and disinterested whenever I hear him. There seems to be a lack of care when I hear him now – he’s not up on the storylines, he doesn’t recognise a lot of the wrestlers or understand their characters and he always mispronounces stuff. The commentary for the NJPW show in March was atrocious, one of the worst commentated major shows I’ve ever heard. He just seemed like he didn’t want to be there.

He’ll still be remembered as a great – his good stuff was more popular and long lasting than his bad stuff.

Regardless of how he has been lately it shouldn’t take away from how great he was for 20 years. Nobody really watches any of his stuff lately so it shouldn’t hurt his legacy at all. He did all his best stuff on the highest platform possible.

People forget how horrible Hennan was in WCW for like 5 years and how Lawler was the beloved announcer over him during the MNWs. Heenan is still regarded as the greatest color commentator.

He’s close to the best. I think his best announce work was in WCW and early on in the Attitude Era, but I’d still take a modern day JR over Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Josh Matthews, or Mauro.

His heel promo he cut when Fake Razor and Fake Diesel debuted is also one of the most underrated promos of all-time in my opinion. It was easy to get behind what he was saying in that promo, and it was so well-delivered. It was just the lame Fake Razor and Fake Diesel introduction followed it.

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To me that’s the same kind of argument of “Ric Flair matches were bad as he got older”. To me it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s one of the greatest of all time. Ross may not be fantastic these days but it doesn’t take away from his work in the NWA, WCW and WWE.

JR’s easily on the short list of greatest commentators of all time, and anyone who says he isn’t is either being a contrarian, a troll, or was too young to watch classic Jim Ross. His recent inevitable decline doesn’t affect that, IMO.

Now it CAN affect where you rank him amongst the likes of Solie, Heenan, Russell, Ventura, insert your favorite commentator here; but even then he’s still one of the best to ever do it. :100:


He hasn’t been that good recently. Sounds like he’s not fully in tune with the story of any of the matches he’s calling. That’s the problem when hiring commentators for one off shows here and there. You want a commentator to, at the very least, know as much as the viewer.

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Have a announcer have more of a full-time presence. Wouldn’t disagree there.

@Rated_R_Poster what are your thoughts?

i think kind like every great play by play guy in wrestling, as you get old, you tend to phone it in a little more and stick to what made you great in the first place. I’m not saying that J.R. is phoning it in but he did lost a step since he came back. I would compare him to tony schiavone on MLW. he still love what he’s doing a does it really well, but he’s not the schiavone that i grew up listening to when i was a kid. Another comparison for older fans would be Gordon Solie, Listen to some Early gordon from the 70’s, early 80’s , then listen to him near the end of his run in WCW and you could tell that he lost a step and just rely on what made him great. That, how J.R. is now

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Completely off topic. But regarding commentary.
Some To Wrestle With covered Foley’s first title win on Raw in 97. I went back and watched the finish. And Michael Cole, who I find unbearable most of the time…is REALLY good on the call!!!
Shades of Chris Charlton digging down to give you the emotion and reason this was so monumental. Loved the call. Made me yearn for an unproduced, young Michael Cole.
Pritchard says Cole is better without someone in his ear and since Vince is ringside here he’s pretty much on his own.

Anyway. Ross is the GOAT for his longevity and amount of moments and eras his voice scores. But that said, he’s ruined his legacy a bit with the recent showings for NJPW and even his recent WWE returns. Not his fault, he just is being misplaced in a new generation of wrestling. Doesn’t mean his best wasn’t GOAT material.

Second place behind Coachman in my book

If anyone wants to see how good Cole is, you watch him on the first UK tournament.


I feel like Cole gets a bad rap because he’s pretty much the voice of vince and has plug all these different things throughout RAW. I don’t envy him at all at this point and i really hope that somehow he get his wish and can give the reigns of RAW to somebody else and just do the producing as he deserve a break.


I agree with this wholeheartedly. Not only does Cole get a bad rap, he literally has a job no one else can do. A couple of months of having Vince in his ear and Mauro fell out with the company. Every other play-by-play guy gets driven off by Vince. Cole is the only one who can do the job and still keep the show on track.

Without Vince I think we’ve seen examples of Cole being a very good commentator. Is he as good as Mauro, Kelly or Jim Ross at his peak? Probably not, but he’s the only one who can do it today. I think he deserves an actual break though. When was the last time he missed a Raw? It has to be years. I think he would come back refreshed and be welcomed back by the audience if he could take a break for a few weeks.

But back on topic, yes to me peak Jim Ross (which lasted over a decade) is the best play by play that’s been done for such a sustained period. He’s the G.O.A.T. until someone else does it at such a high level for decades.