Friday, February 23

Jim Ross’ Worst Moments In AEW

When All Elite Wrestling first started up in 2019, the fledgling promotion scored a major coup with the inclusion of Jim Ross on the commentary team. Joining indie veteran Excalibur and WCW legend Tony Schiavone, “Good Ol’ JR” seemed like a great choice to attract casual fans who remember Ross’ peak-era work during WWE’s Attitude Era.


Related

Why Jim Ross Was Fired From WWE In 2013, Explained

It wasn’t the first time he’d been fired, but in 2013, Jim Ross was let go from WWE after a panel he led got out of control.

However, ever since Ross started with AEW, the legend ended up receiving a lot of criticism from fans who perceived him as being “out of step.” Let’s take a look at nine commentary moments from Jim Ross in AEW that fans particularly objected to.


9 Various WWE Flubs

It’s An Understandable Mistake

Jim Ross WWE Runs

Jim Ross AEW Run

1993-2013, 2017-2019

2019-Present

Commentators working for WWE have all sorts of speech patterns, phrases, and vocabulary drilled into their skulls to the point that they tend to carry those tics with them to other jobs — for example, Nigel McGuinness still refers to wrestlers as “superstars.” Given how often WWE commentators say those three letters, it seems like an inevitability that someone might call their new home by the wrong name. Unfortunately, that happened to Good Ol’ JR, who once referred to Kenny Omega as “the WWE Champion” and called the show he was announcing “WWE Dynamite.” It’s understandable, however — never forget that Jim Ross worked for that company for over two decades.

8 “Why Is Everything Golden?”

Jim Ross Put The Controversial Statement On A T-Shirt

Match

Event

Date

Location

The Golden Elite vs. Bullet Club Gold

AEW All In

8/27/2023

London, England, UK

One major criticism of Jim Ross’ AEW run is a perception that he doesn’t always contribute to the show positively — to be more accurate, he sometimes seems like he’s trashing the product as it unfolds. One recent example that really caught the die-hard fans’ ire happened during All In 2023, as The Golden Elite (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Hangman Page) took on Bullet Club Gold. Vexed by the number of gold-based monikers in the match (two), JR randomly uttered “Why does everything have to be golden?” While fans balked at the comment, Ross capitalized on it by putting it on a T-shirt.

JR Sounded Like Something Wasn’t Right

jim ross celebrating and aew collision wrestlers
via AEW

Event

Date

Location

Main Event

AEW Collision

6/17/2023

Chicago, IL

CMFTR vs. Bullet Club Gold & Samoa Joe

The inaugural episode of AEW’s third weekly television show, AEW Collision, was a big enough deal that the promotion had Jim Ross sit at the commentator’s booth for the main event of the show. As CM Punk and FTR battled Samoa Joe and Bullet Club Gold, it was clear that something wasn’t right JR, as his voice was alarmingly low and raspy.

Related

Why Jim Ross’ AEW Career Has Been So Controversial, Explained

Jim Ross’ AEW commentary is not on the same level it once was for so many years in WWE.

Soon enough, it was revealed that Ross suffered a concussion, and took time off after making a public apology for how Collision went down.

6 Suggesting Joey Janela Should Be A Heel On The Air

FITE TV Viewers Got To Hear This

Event

Date

Location

AEW Dynamite

9/2/2020

Jacksonville, FL

Fans watching the international broadcast of AEW Dynamite on FITE TV (now known as Triller TV) don’t just get more wrestling than the average broadcast viewer, but also more commentary. Typically the repartee during the commercial break is a lot more loose than on the broadcast, but on one occasion it got too loose. While now-former AEW star Joey Janela was in the ring, Jim Ross randomly decided to break kayfabe and began to muse that “The Bad Boy” should be a heel. It wasn’t a major thing, but it did sound like JR had no idea that fans would be watching this portion of the show.

5 The Empty Arena Match

JR Went Solo For This 30-Minute Slog

Match

Event

Date

Location

Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager

AEW Dynamite

4/15/2020

Jacksonville, FL

After winning the AEW World Championship from Chris Jericho at Revolution 2020, Jon Moxley’s first challenger was Jericho associate Jake Hager, who took on Mox for the belt in an empty arena match on Dynamite. This No Holds Barred match went an agonizing, slow-paced 30 minutes, with Jim Ross doing solo play-by-play over the whole thing. While Ross certainly had his challenges in calling the match, fans were none too charitable towards JR’s work itself for this bout, which wasn’t quite on par with his usual work.

JR’s Apology Didn’t Seem Totally Sincere

Event

Date

Location

AEW All Out

9/5/2020

Jacksonville, FL

While for the most part the things fans complain about with Jim Ross’ AEW commentary is relatively minor, occasionally JR will cross a line and say something that he probably shouldn’t say in modern wrestling. One such instance was at All Out 2020 when he made a retrograde joke about Anna Jay.

Related

Jim Ross Catches Mainstream Media Attention For Tasteless Remarks At AEW’s All Out

After making some inappropriate comments — that he’s since apologized for — during Saturday’s AEW All Out, Jim Ross has been getting a ton of heat.

Noticing some kind of problem with Jay’s outfit, JR asked, “Did Anna Jay have a wardrobe malfunction or is that wishful thinking on my part?” Ross caught a lot of flack for the comment, he tweeted a seeming half-hearted apology, saying “Didn’t mean to offend anyone on the wardrobe malfunction line. Weak attempt at humor. Sorry. Now lighten up.”

3 Asking Excalibur The Difference Between A Liger Bomb & A Powerbomb

Some Fans Thought JR Was Taking A Shot At Excalibur

Event

Date

Location

AEW Revolution

3/6/2022

Orlando, FL

Despite Ross’ history as a play-by-play guy, Good Ol’ JR doesn’t actually work as a lead commentator on AEW programming. For many of the company’s shows, the masked Excalibur has spearheaded the commentary booth, and there’s been a bit of friction between the two, with Ross seemingly taking exception to Excalibur’s commentary style and tics. On one particularly cringeworthy occasion, JR seemingly tried to clown Excalibur’s encyclopedic knowledge of moves by asking what the difference is between a Liger Bomb and a Power Bomb. Of course, Excalibur was able to answer that.

2 Being Audibly Confused During Double Or Nothing 2023

JR Seemingly Thought Sabu Was A Guest Referee

Match

Event

Date

Location

Adam Cole vs. Chris Jericho

AEW Double Or Nothing

5/28/2023

Las Vegas, NV

The 2023 edition of Double or Nothing featured an Unsanctioned Match between Adam Cole and Chris Jericho, a No DQ match that included ECW legend Sabu as a ringside enforcer. However, during this match Jim Ross sounded confused on commentary, referring to Sabu as a guest referee and then wondering why he was getting physical in the match — something ringside enforcers can typically do. What’s worse is that there was also an actual referee in the match, making Ross’s comments seem all the more bizarre.

1 The Butcher & The Blade’s Debut

JR Got A Lot Of Grief For Not Knowing Who They Were

Debut

Event

Date

Location

The Butcher, The Blade & The Bunny

AEW Dynamite

11/27/2019

Hoffman Estates, IL

Over the years, AEW has experienced a lot of surprise debuts, but none so underwhelming as that of The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny. While they’re solid wrestlers, it was the commentary that totally undercut their big debut. As Excalibur exclaimed “It’s The Butcher and The Blade!” Jim Ross only replied, “Who?” Ross may have been prompting Excalibur to elaborate, but his younger counterpart didn’t take the cue, making for a surprisingly awkward moment as Excalibur went on to say, “And The Bunny!”

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