James William "Jim" Ross (born January 3, 1952) is a semi retired American professional wrestling commentator, referee, restaurateur, occasional wrestler, and former company executive of WWE, where he worked as a commentator and as a talent relations consultant. He currently works for Fox Sports, where he writes commentary on professional wrestling for Foxsports.com and occasionally does play-by-play for boxing and mixed martial arts. He is the lead announcer for New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV.
Ross was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. He is known affectionately as "Good ol' JR" and widely regarded as the voice of the WWE. Outside of professional wrestling, Ross has developed his own brand of barbecue sauces and cookbooks.
Ross cites Gordon Solie as the most important influence on his announcing career.
Ross is married to a woman named Jan, to whom he was introduced by Ric Flair. He has two daughters from a previous marriage and two granddaughters. He cites Steve Austin and Jerry Lawler as his closest friends.
Ross suffers from Bell's palsy, which sometimes temporarily paralyzes his facial muscles. The symptoms first occurred on January 30, 1994. In late 1998, following the death of his mother, Ross took a break from WWE Raw as the effects of his grief reportedly aggravated his palsy; Michael Cole filled in for him.
In 2007, encouraged by sales of his line of barbecue sauces and beef products, Ross opened up J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q in Norman, Oklahoma.
The restaurant was closed by May 2010.
Ross is an avid Oklahoma Sooners fan and a regular football season ticket holder; this is reflected in his entrance music, which is "Boomer Sooner" (the Sooners' fight song). He can be spotted at every Sooners home game, and when the Sooners play top teams around the country.
In 2014, he became FoxSports.com's Contributor for NCAA Football and Oklahoma Sooners